The national coworking company WeWork has been sued for millions of dollars by a landlord in LoHi that accuses it of abandoning its lease 13 years too soon.
BlackRock, a Wall Street giant, filed its lawsuit in Denver District Court on Tuesday afternoon, within a week of WeWork confirming it had moved out of the two stories it leased at 2420 17th St. and is in the process of leaving three floors in the Wells Fargo Center.
The lawsuit concerns its lease at 2420 17th St., known as The Lab, just off Platte Street.
In 2015, WeWork agreed to lease 49,500 square feet in The Lab from 2016 to 2036, according to BlackRock. It closed that location in early 2021 but reopened a few months later. Its amended lease included a $2.8 million guaranty that it would not leave early, BlackRock said.
On June 20, WeWork moved out of The Lab and breached that lease, according to the lawsuit, which said the company last paid rent in April.
“WeWork declines to comment,” Emily Place, a company spokeswoman, said Wednesday.
BlackRock, which bought the building in 2018 for $45.5 million, said it hasn’t been able to replace WeWork, leaving the space vacant. The Lab’s “size and location” are “making it difficult to locate a new tenant,” it claims.
The landlord is represented by lawyers Frank Visciano and Uriel Martinez with the Senn Visciano Canges law firm in Denver.
This is not WeWork’s first legal dispute with a Denver landlord. In early 2021, it sued the owner of 2323 Delgany St., where it was leasing 86,000 square feet, for allegedly breaching their lease by not telling WeWork about building defects. That case was settled in early 2022.
WeWork is now left with five locations in Denver — including in the Circa building at 1615 Platte St., next door to The Lab — and one location in Boulder.