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WeWork Considering Giving Up On WeLive

WeLive in Crystal City

Four years after opening its first two locations of its housing concept, WeLive, WeWork is now reportedly considering ending the co-living brand. 

WeWork is working with an adviser to explore handing over operation of the WeLive space in Crystal City, Virginia, and it is exploring options for its New York City location, Bloomberg reports

The company opened the two WeLive locations in early 2016. It signed a lease in a building in Crystal City owned by Vornado/Charles E. Smith, now JBG Smith, and in a Rudin-owned building on Wall Street. WeWork had initially projected a rapid expansion for the brand, aiming to surpass 30,000 residents in its co-living portfolio. 

In October 2016, WeWork East Coast General Manager Dave McLaughlin indicated the planned expansion had been put on pause. He said at a Bisnow event that WeWork did not plan to open more WeLive locations until the brand was 10 times better. 

In August 2017, WeWork announced plans for a third location in Seattle. It scrapped its Seattle plans in October as WeWork shifted its focus to its core coworking business following its failed IPO. 

Now, in addition to dealing with the aftermath of the failed IPO, WeWork is also contending with the effects of the coronavirus. The pandemic has challenged the co-living industry at large, as residents shy away from the concept that focuses on large communal spaces and small private living areas.