WeWork closing four Denver locations to ‘rightsize’ its footprint

WeWork is closing four Denver locations, including one in The Lab building at 2420 17th St. Tenants were told to move out by Feb. 26. (BusinessDen file)

WeWork is contracting its local presence in a big way.

A spokeswoman said Tuesday that the New York-based coworking firm is closing four existing locations in Denver: The Vault, at 821 17th St.; The Hub, at 3601 Walnut St.; The Lab, at 2420 17th St.; and Civic Center Plaza, at 1560 N. Broadway.

WeWork leased approximately 230,000 square feet across the four locations, according to data on CoStar.

“Over the last 12 months, WeWork has continued to rationalize its global real estate portfolio as a part of the company’s plan to achieve profitability,” the company said in a statement. “With an abundance of supply in the market, we have made the decision to rightsize our footprint across Denver where we will continue to provide our members with unmatched space, service, and flexibility.”

WeWork has previously backed out of two signed leases in Denver, and it recently sued a landlord in hopes of getting out of a third. But this marks the first time that the firm will shutter locations that were already home to various companies and their employees.

WeWork told its tenants in the four locations that they need to move out by Feb. 26. The company offered to pay the cost of moving to its other locations locally.

The shrinkage will leave WeWork with five locations in Denver: Financial House at 205 Detroit St., Wells Fargo Center at 1700 Lincoln St., Tabor Center at 1200 17th St., Circa at 1615 Platte St. and Triangle Building at 1550 Wewatta St.

WeWork signed its first two leases in Denver in mid-2015. After getting those locations up and running, the company went on a tear in 2018 and early 2019, taking space in numerous additional buildings.

But WeWork has been in a state of turmoil, to some degree, since August 2019, when it filed paperwork in an effort to go public. Analysts questioned how the company could become profitable, and co-founder Adam Neumann resigned as CEO. The IPO was canceled, and backers wrote down the value of their investment in the firm.

WeWork has also announced it is closing locations in other markets in recent weeks, including Manhattan, Washington D.C. and the Bay Area.

The shuttering will leave the largest hole in The Vault building, where WeWork leased 73,000 square feet, according to CoStar data. It welcomed tenants to part of the space, but never got around to building out multiple floors.

Platte Street building The Lab, meanwhile, was one of the first leases the company signed in Denver. WeWork has operated in 51,000 square feet there.

At The Hub, WeWork has the fifth floor, about 45,000 square feet. Its Civic Center Plaza location, meanwhile, is 61,000 square feet.

The addition of hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space that landlords will need to fill comes at a time when Denver already has more than usual available. Since the coronavirus pandemic has set in, many companies have been reluctant to commit to a new lease, and some are trying to sublease the space they already have.

Here’s a timeline of WeWork’s major moves in Denver:

August 2015: WeWork announces it has signed leases at the Triangle Building and The Lab.

January 2018: WeWork says it has signed a lease at the Tabor Center.

April 2018: WeWork says it has leased additional space at the Tabor Center.

November 2018: BusinessDen reports WeWork has signed leases at Circa and Rev360, a building at 3600 Brighton Blvd. that at that point had not yet broken ground. Later in the month, WeWork says it has signed a lease at The Vault.

December 2018: WeWork says it has signed a lease at the Financial House in Cherry Creek.

January 2019: WeWork says it has signed a lease at Civic Center Plaza.

February 2019: WeWork opens in the Wells Fargo Center.

March 2019: WeWork says it has leased the entire 85,000-square-foot building at 2323 Delgany St.

October 2019: Denver Business Journal reports WeWork has signed a lease at 1660 Lincoln St.

December 2019: WeWork confirms to BusinessDen that it has backed out of its lease at 1660 Lincoln St.

May 2020: WeWork removes a reference to the planned 2323 Delgany St. location from its website.

October 2020: BusinessDen reports that WeWork won’t open its location at Rev360 at 3600 Brighton Blvd.

January 2021: WeWork sues its landlord at 2323 Delgany St., claiming the landlord failed to deliver the building to the company in the proper condition.

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