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Oxford Properties Sues WeWork For $1.8M In Back Rent At Downtown Location

745 Atlantic Ave. in downtown Boston

Oxford Properties Group is suing WeWork for more than $1.8M in back rent, claiming the coworking giant broke a contract and abandoned its large downtown space.

The lawsuit, filed late last week by attorneys with Dain, Trophy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner P.C., charges WeWork with breach of contract after it abandoned its space at 745 Atlantic Ave. The complaint, first reported by the Boston Business Journal, states WeWork left its 131K SF space in February on a lease that runs through 2029.

Attorneys for Oxford, whose office is also at 745 Atlantic Ave., and WeWork did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

WeWork paid a yearly rent of $7.8M, or $650K per month, according to the suit. The cost of $59 per SF at the steps of South Station falls roughly in line with market-rate rents for the neighborhood, according to Cushman & Wakefield research.

Oxford claims WeWork said in January it would vacate the site by the end of February, informed members to remove their own property and used large moving trucks to remove all WeWork property including its sign outside of the building. 

“Notwithstanding Landlord’s First Default Notice, Tenant abandoned, vacated and surrendered the Premises, and failed to cure its arrearage,” attorneys wrote, referring to WeWork's money owed from March through May when Oxford terminated the lease.

WeWork, at one time cited as Boston’s second-largest office occupier with 1.5M SF, has 15 Boston-area locations after closing three as coworking has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. The shuttered locations are 745 Atlantic Ave., One Milk Street and 51 Melcher St., representing a combined 209K SF. 

A WeWork spokesperson last month said the three closed offices were part of the company's ongoing efforts to "rightsize" its footprint, but the company hasn't ruled out opening new buildings in the future. 

The firm remains in the midst of an effort to go public through BowX Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company.

Related Topics: WeWork, Oxford Property Group