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WeWork Chills On The Pace Of London Expansion


New space taken by WeWork dropped sharply in 2018 — but it still signed leases totalling more than 650K SF.

WeWork leased 651K SF in London in 2018, compared to 1.2M SF in 2017, The Financial Times reported, using data from JLL.

JLL said that increasing competition and a lack of new office development in the capital slowed the company down, and after leasing more than 1M SF in 2017, the pace was always likely to drop.

There was a flurry of activity in the last weeks of the year. Just before Christmas WeWork completed a deal to take 160K SF at 5 Merchant Square in Paddington. It is subleasing the space from M&S.

Over the holiday period WeWork completed two deals that likely weren’t in JLL’s 2018 stats. The company has agreed to lease a combined 74K SF at 21 Soho Square in the West End and 77 Leadenhall St. in the City, according to Estates Gazette. The two locations will have space for more than 1,300 desks.

Overall the volume of space leased to flexible office companies in London dropped from 2M SF in 2017 to 1.8M SF in 2018, JLL said. While WeWork slowed down, all other firms in the sector increased their pace of acquisitions from a total of 858K SF in 2017 to 1.2M SF in 2018. The Office Group leased 236K SF and IWG took 210K SF this year.

WeWork is the largest private sector office occupier in London, New York and Washington, D.C., with more than 3M SF open or under construction in London. Company accounts show it has committed to pay more than £3B on London office leases.