WeWork this week opened its latest Seattle co-working office this week, a sign the company continues to expand amid the fallout from an IPO process that led to the exit of its CEO and the specter of significant layoffs.
The new location is in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood at 2401 Elliott Ave. The co-working giant occupies two floors, totaling 42,000 square feet in the four-story Viewpoint building formerly known as World Trade Center North.
That makes 22 locations either open or announced in the Seattle area for WeWork. That figure is up from 12 locations at the end of 2018 and 19 six months ago.
WeWork’s expansion in Seattle has fueled a boom in co-working and other types of shared office space in the region. A recent report from CBRE found that Seattle had the second-fastest growth of so-called “flexible” office space in the U.S. in 2018, trailing only Salt Lake City.
WeWork came out of a quiet period related to its IPO this week, acknowledging plans to delay going public while it gets its house in order. WeWork was one of the most anticipated IPOs in recent years, but the plan turned sour due to investor concerns about the company’s governance structure, payments made to its CEO and more.
The cold reception from investors has led to a reckoning at the company. CEO Adam Neumann resigned last month amid concerns about his leadership. The company appointed its vice chairman and ex-Amazon executive Sebastian Gunningham and WeWork CFO and former Time Warner Cable President Artie Minson as interim co-CEOs, and they are making serious changes to try and right the ship.
The company has reportedly told staff to brace for significant job cuts that could affect upwards of 10 to 25 percent of WeWork’s 12,500 employees. WeWork is also looking to sell off some of its recent acquisitions.
These measures are meant to bring WeWork closer to profitability after the company’s financials showed staggering losses. WeWork acknowledged it will slow the pace of its co-working office growth. Worldwide, the company has 528 locations in 111 cities with a total of 527,000 members.
“WeWork continues to sign new lease agreements with our landlord partners,” the company said in a statement. “We expect the pace of entering new lease agreements to slow over the next several quarters as we pursue more strategic growth and focus on accelerating our path to profitability.”