WeWork Nixes Planned Seattle WeLive Location
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The We Company has canceled plans for its long-anticipated Seattle co-living location, it announced Monday.
In what would have been its third WeLive and first West Coast co-living location, WeWork had planned to occupy the entirety of Martin Selig Real Estate's 36-story tower heading for the city's Belltown neighborhood.
Now, it has scrapped its coworking and co-living plans for the nearly complete tower — it announced the development agreement in 2017 — in the latest sign of trouble since it began its doomed initial public offering process over the summer.
“As part of WeWork’s commitment to refocus on its core business, WeWork and Martin Selig Real Estate have mutually agreed to not move forward with the planned WeWork-WeLive Belltown Seattle project at Third and Lenora," a WeWork spokesperson said.
Selig, who is optimistic about most of the coworking company, confirmed The We Company's account and need to slim down.
"They're trying to save as much money as possible to retrench from the fast growth they've had, and this is one of the ideal [assets] for them to reduce," he told Bisnow.
Not impacted thus far are the company's plans elsewhere in Seattle. WeWork's first location in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, in another MRSE project, will open in December, the company said. A WeWork spokesperson told Bisnow the company remains committed to its presence in Belltown and noted its first location there, called WeWork Viewpoint, opened earlier this month.
“WeWork’s core business is strong and we are focused on strategic expansion and profitability," the spokesperson said. "Consistent with this strategy, we will continue to enter new lease agreements but expect the pace to slow in the quarters to come.”
"I think the WeWork thing is on track," Selig said. "The WeLive thing is a question. But they're a great company I think will do very well. We'd work with them again."
The company's other two WeLive locations are in New York City and near Washington, D.C. Recently, regulators in New York have begun investigating whether WeWork's practice of renting out some WeLive rooms for stays as short as one night is against the city's rules pertaining to short-term rentals and illegal hotels, The New York Times reports.
Before WeWork decided to do away with its side businesses — it announced its elementary school, WeGrow, will shut down after this year and plans to sell three of the companies it acquired under former CEO Adam Neumann — Neumann had boldly proclaimed WeLive would be "a bigger business than WeWork."
WeWork never opened another WeLive after that.