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WeWork CEO Buys Mortgage On Chelsea Development Site

The CEO of WeWork has made an intriguing real estate buy in Chelsea.

A company called Chelsea Realty Capital LLC purchased the $65M mortgage Bank of America held on a parcel of properties and air rights owned by Jeffrey Dagowitz's JHG Holdings, The Real Deal reports. The company lists its address as 115 West 18th St. — WeWork's headquarters — and Adam Neumann signed the mortgage document.

Dagowitz assembled the properties, including lots at 123-131 West 23rd St. and 116-120 West 24th St. and 83K SF of air rights, over the past few years at a total price of $79M. Dagowitz was previously associated with WeWork's WeLive location at 110 Wall St., and TRD reported rumors that Dagowitz and WeWork are planning a WeLive location at the Chelsea assemblage. Neither party commented on the story.

The properties, including the Saint Vincent de Paul church at 123 West 23rd that closed in 2013 and was damaged by a bomb in 2016, carry a total of 243K SF in development rights with the inclusion of Dagowitz's air rights purchase. The church building is not historically protected.

Despite the hush-hush nature of the deal, WeWork remains publicly active in its plans to diversify and solidify its position atop the co-working world. In addition to the revival of its WeLive venture and the creation of wellness brand Rise by We, the company has recently announced partnerships with Samsung and news organization Cheddaracquisition of coding academy The Flatiron School, and a deal with Hudson's Bay and Rhone Capital that includes the $850M purchase of a Manhattan Lord & Taylor for WeWork's new headquarters and an agreement to build WeWorks above several department stores around the world.

WeWork's flurry of activity also includes a pilot program for an entrepreneur-style elementary school called WeGrow and controversial competition tactics in New York. Neumann seems hell-bent on justifying his massive startup's well-publicized and debated $20B valuation, and is expanding WeWork's reach in a dizzying number of directions.