By Meghan Hall
WeWork’s rapid ascension in the commercial real estate world seems to be dissolving as quickly as it came. The New York-based co-working and shared office space firm, which has evolved, in some aspects, into a spin-off of a property management firm, has ended a deal to move into Martin Selig’s 36-story tower at Third and Lenora, Martin Selig Real Estate (MSRE) confirmed Tuesday. WeWork had planned to open its first WeLive community at Third and Lenora, taking up close to 176,000 square feet of space in the mixed-use development.
“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 3rd and Lenora,” said MSRE and WeWork in a joint statement. “WeWork and Martin Selig Real Estate look forward to continuing to work together, including on the forthcoming WeWork location at 15th & Market in Ballard.”
The tower, whose expected delivery is the summer of 2020, totals 307,616 square feet, according to MSRE’s website. The WeLive apartments, had they been completed, would have been a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units that would have been rentable for a single night or several months. WeLive locations typically also offer lounges, workplaces, bars, concierges, etc. Currently, WeLive has communities in New York and Washington D.C.
WeWork is also working with MSRE on building out its space at 15th and Market, where it has leased about 76,000 square feet in the building. The project is expected to be delivered in December.
For Martin Selig Real Estate, the Third and Lenora tower is located at the heart of downtown near Pike Place, and provides potential tenants a rare opportunity to seize a large block of space in Seattle’s highly constrained office market. According to a recent third quarter report released by Broderick Group, 2019 year-to-date net absorption has reached more than one million square feet and is expected to reach more than 1.5 million square feet by the end of the year. During the third quarter, 481,000 square feet of space was signed for by three companies alone: SAP-Qualtrics took 280,000 square feet at Skanska’s 2+U, while Sound Transit expanded its footprint at 705 Union Station to 173,000 square feet. In the second quarter, apple took 645,000 square feet at 333 Dexter in South Lake Union.
There is an estimated two million square feet in active tenant requirements looking for opportunities in the downtown market, states Broderick Group, meaning any contiguous, large blocks of space that become available—including now Third and Lenora— will draw attention from interested parties.