WeWork announces two more Chicago locations

04 April 2019

The co-working giant inked a deal to open one of its biggest spaces in the city just a block from another one in the Fulton Market District.

Danny Ecker, Crain's Chicago Business

WeWork is continuing its Chicago office land grab with two more locations totaling nearly 200,000 square feet, the company announced today.

In one of its biggest downtown leases to date, the co-working giant has inked a deal for 140,000 square feet at an office building under construction at 167 N. Green St. in the Fulton Market District. In a separate deal, WeWork leased 53,000 square feet at 1 S. Dearborn St., where it plans to open in September.

The locations will be New York-based WeWork's 10th and 11th in Chicago, where it has led a leasing frenzy among shared-office providers amid booming demand for such flexible office space. Including the new spaces, WeWork will have more than 930,000 square feet downtown, extending its lead as the largest co-working provider in the city.

The new Green Street location wouldn't open until mid-2021, according to a WeWork statement. The company is the first publicly announced tenant in the 750,000-square-foot building on which developers Shapack Partners and Focus recently broke ground. The 17-story property is slated to open in late 2020.

WeWork has leased the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building, which is just one block from WeWork's other Fulton Market space at 220 N. Green St., in a former meat-processing plant also redeveloped by Shapack.

WeWork has strategically clustered locations near each other in River North and the Loop to create an "ecosystem" of spaces that appeal to different types of companies, a WeWork executive told Crain's last year.

At 1 S. Dearborn, where WeWork has leased the 20th and 21st floors, the company adds to its three other Loop locations at 125 S. Clark St., 1 W. Monroe St. and 332 S. Michigan Ave. The WeWork deal fills one of the few leasing gaps at 1 S. Dearborn, which is anchored by law firm Sidley Austin and is 95 percent leased, according to real estate information company CoStar Group. A venture of Greenwich, Conn.-based private-equity firm Starwood Capital Group bought the building for $360 million last year.

"With the addition of these two new locations, WeWork members have greater access to a campus-like ecosystem linking together innovative workspaces that allow them to cut their commute or meet a client in the area most convenient to them," WeWork Midwest General Manager Megan Dodds said in the statement.

Co-working providers like WeWork and competitors like Spaces and Industrious have been a big leasing driver downtown as entrepreneurs and large corporations alike have been drawn to month-to-month leases for the flexible workspace they offer.

Downtown Chicago is projected to have 2.9 million square feet of co-working space by the end of this year and 3.9 million square feet by the end of 2020, according to data from brokerage Newmark Knight Frank. Downtown had 2.2 million square feet of co-working offices at the end of 2018, according to Newmark.

Read the original article in Crain's Chicago Business.

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