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WeWork In Manchester: More Expansion Looms

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The entrance of WeWork's White House location, its largest in D.C.

WeWork has appointed a Manchester-based director of real estate as its ambitions for office space in the city grow.

Emma Corcoran, who was development manager for the St Michael's Partnership responsible for the £200M Gary Neville-fronted mixed development in central Manchester, has been appointed.

The new WeWorker takes up her role as the coworking giant contemplates a fifth Manchester outlet after 12 months in which it has grown rapidly in the city, Place North West reported.

It currently occupies 307K SF in central Manchester.

WeWork is in the midst of an initial public offering which has raised questions about its ownership structure, financial projections and long-term plans.

The company lost $1.9B in 2018 and its first half losses in 2019 were $690M, a rise on the first half of 2018.

The lack of profitability is yoked to falling revenue per member. The company also has a complex ownership structure.

"Shareholders in the IPO invest in a company that itself holds an interest in a limited liability company that owns another LLC that holds the WeWork operating assets," Barons reported.

WeWork is attempting to mitigate the recessionary risk of buying floorspace long, and selling it short, by agreeing partnership deals with landlords such as Aviva Investors. Aviva have agreed a revenue sharing deal with WeWork for around 40K SF at the 1.5M SF CB1 office scheme in Cambridge.

“We have them in our Cambridge offices, and we agreed a revenue-sharing deal with them, because this is a great location and it gives us confidence,” Aviva Investors Senior Research Analyst Jonathan Bayfield said.

“Operators like WeWork bring more life and vibrancy to an office building, and we’ve heard occupiers in London say they will only take floorspace in office buildings with coworking as a tenant, so they can shrink or expand their own footprint.”

Aviva and other landlords increasingly regard coworking as an amenity, in the same way as they provide gyms and bike stores.