WeWork assumes first Austin lease amid bankruptcy exit

Will maintain occupancy at University Park building near UT campus

WeWork Assumes Austin Lease Near UT Campus
WeWork’s David Tolley with University Park at 3300 N. Interstate Highway 35 (WeWork, Google Maps)

After months of renegotiating nearly all of its leases across the country, WeWork’s future in Austin is becoming clearer as the firm works to climb out of bankruptcy.

The coworking giant will maintain at least one lease in the city, at the University Park office complex near the University of Texas campus, the Austin Business Journal reported

The lease is part of a broader strategy that includes assuming nine other leases in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston under newly agreed-upon terms with landlords. The University Park deal marks WeWork’s first lease assumption in Austin. 

The size of WeWork’s lease in the 206,000-square-foot building, at 3300 North Interstate Highway 35, is unclear. 

Last year, WeWork leased a total of 558,000 square feet across seven Austin locations, the outlet reported. However, the company has since reduced its footprint, terminating a 65,000-square-foot lease at downtown’s SXSW Center.

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The status of WeWork’s other Austin locations, including those in downtown buildings such as 600 Congress and in The Domain area of North Austin, remains uncertain.

New York-based WeWork is on the mend after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November. The company expects to exit bankruptcy at the end of the month, as it plans to shed $4 billion in debt and get $450 million in new financing, most of which will stem from tech company Yardi Systems. 

To date, WeWork has assumed leases at 77 locations and established “a path forward” for 95 percent of its wholly-owned lease portfolio. The company’s new business plan aims to reduce total rent commitments by over $11 billion.

As WeWork restructures, other coworking firms are expanding. For instance, Fuse Workspace is set to open a new 33,000-square-foot location in East Austin, bringing its total footprint in the city to over 100,000 square feet.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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