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WeWork Sells Another Office It Bought In Its Hypergrowth Period

Film House in Soho has been bought by Hines.

WeWork has sold to Hines a London office building it bought before its aborted 2019 initial public offering attempt.

Hines said in a statement that it had bought the 103K SF Film House in the Soho district of London’s West End, but it didn't name the seller. CoStar data showed that the building was owned by WeWork, which bought it in 2019 for its WeWork Property Investors investment division. It was bought in a joint venture with investment manager Vengrove.

Hines did not state a price for the deal, though React News had the price pegged at about £140M. WeWork and Vengrove bought the building for £95M, CoStar data showed, and it underwent a £30M refurbishment. It has 94K SF of office space and 9K SF of restaurant space. 

Hines said that the building was bought by its Hines European Value Fund 3 and would be further refurbished to create high-quality workspace with strong environmental, social and corporate governance credentials. It said the building was vacant, with WeWork having moved out of the flexible office space it previously ran in the building. 

Film House seeks to target BREEAM Excellent, WELL Platinum, EPC A and a net-zero carbon operational strategy, Hines said. HEVF 3’s objective is to acquire a value-add portfolio in all major real estate sectors across primary European markets.

Film House was previously the UK headquarters of Nike. Built in 1929, it takes its name from the period between 1930 and 1950 when its Wardour Street location was at the centre of the British film industry. It has also served as the headquarters of film company Pathé.

WeWork had big ambitions to set up a real estate fund management arm. In 2019, it said it was going to invest as much as $3B in office assets, with a major plank of the strategy to involve refurbishing assets and then increasing value by WeWork occupying and managing them.

But as Bisnow revealed in May, very few assets were bought as part of the strategy, and as with Film House, many are in the process of being sold. Others are facing debt default issues. 

Savills advised Hines on the transaction.