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A Tale Of 2 WeWork Offices And A £100M-Plus Discount

125 Shaftesbury Avenue

An office formerly leased to WeWork has sold for more than a £100M discount compared to its previous sale price, while the debt secured against another WeWork London location hasn’t found a buyer — even at a cost that also reflects a large discount to its former sale price. 

A joint venture between Dutch developer Edge and Japanese investor Mitsubishi Estate bought the 180K SF 125 Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End for a reported £150M. The previous owners, a joint venture between Korean Vestas Investment Management and Savills Investment Management, paid £267M for the building in 2018.

At the time of the 2018 sale, the building was leased to coworking giant WeWork, which subleased the building in its entirety to Facebook. But Facebook cancelled the sublease, and WeWork subsequently terminated its lease, leaving the building empty and causing the value to drop.

Edge and Mitsubishi said they would redevelop the building, which sits on a 1.2-acre freehold site just south of Tottenham Court Road station. 

“We know that global occupiers still demonstrate strong demand for premium, sustainable and innovative workspaces and that there is pressure on the market to respond with suitable product in order to attract the best businesses,” Mitsubishi Estate London CEO Shinichi Kagitomi said in a statement. 

Elsewhere, The Financial Times reported that bids for the debt secured against a WeWork-leased office in the City came in below what the lender hoped for. 

Bank of Ireland appointed Eastdil Secured to sell a £104M loan secured against One Poultry, a 151K SF office building in the City, which also houses high-end restaurant Coq d’Argent. 

The sale was pitched at £90M, but bids came in closer to £70M, the FT reported. The building is owned by South Korean investor Hana Alternative Asset Management, which bought it in 2018 for £185M. The 110K SF office element of the scheme is leased to WeWork for the next 10 years, and the bankrupt coworking operator is responsible for 85% of the rent. 

Hana said it is still trying to refinance the building.