Cushman & Wakefield Invests in WeWork

WeWork's coworking space inside Denver's Civc Center Plaza (Photo: WeWork).

Cushman & Wakefield made a strategic investment of $150 million on October 20 in WeWork, one of the leading global flexible space providers. As part of its strategic investment, Cushman & Wakefield’s Chief Investment Officer & EVP of Strategic Planning, Nathaniel Robinson, will serve as an observer to WeWork’s Board of Directors.

The two companies recently announced an exclusive strategic partnership intended to provide clients with best-in-class office operations by combining WeWork’s proprietary hospitality and technology-enabled services with Cushman & Wakefield’s industry leading asset and facilities management services. In the time since that announcement, the firms have reported a positive reception from major institutional real estate owners and Fortune 500 occupiers, leading to early pilot program opportunities.

The partnership will also help grow WeWork’s new landlord and tenant-focused offerings through two initiatives. The first initiative will focus on helping building owners and corporate occupiers improve the daily user experience through use of WeWork’s proprietary software that will integrate traditional building features like access control and reservation systems with onsite hospitality and amenity programming. The same technology will also provide access to critical asset usage data, guiding capital investments to support leasing, tenant or employee retention, operational efficiency, ESG/energy goals and, ultimately, return on investment.

The second initiative will allow owners to create new revenue streams by operating flexible workspace centers within their portfolio. Over time, as those tenants grow out of the flex space, Cushman & Wakefield’s leasing and project management teams will be able to convert tenants into more traditional office space, within the same building.

Corporate occupiers have also been very focused on managing the employee experience as workers return to the office. While Cushman & Wakefield has served the tech industry for years, where facilities management has regularly been positioned as a critical link to managing employee engagement, the new partnership with WeWork now creates similar opportunities with Fortune 500 occupiers across all sectors.

“WeWork is recognized as an innovator in our industry because they have demonstrated their ability to build a tenant experience that people are drawn to, and they’ve been a pioneer in using technology to efficiently manage that experience and the office space around it,” said Brett White, executive chairman & CEO of Cushman & Wakefield. “Through this partnership, Cushman & Wakefield will scale WeWork’s technology offerings around tenant experience beyond their own branded spaces into the rest of the office market, giving our clients access to leading data and insights that drive optimal workplace experience and return on investment.”

“More than ever, property owners are looking for a competitive advantage to drive tenant demand for their offices. Meanwhile, today’s office worker has elevated expectations for a workplace experience that is convenient and customizable, while allowing them to build community with other workers. Even in the early days of this partnership, we’re seeing many opportunities to scale the ‘WeWork experience’ much like we scale our traditional building management services,” said Marla Maloney, president of Asset Services at Cushman & Wakefield.

“Cushman & Wakefield is our strategic partner as we expand our ability to provide tenants and landlords with the technology and hospitality expertise to power flexible space solutions within their own portfolios. As flexibility has become a priority for real estate decision makers around the world, we are excited to bring the WeWork product to Cushman & Wakefield’s extensive network,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of WeWork.

There are currently six WeWork office locations in Denver at Financial House, Wells Fargo Center, Tabor Center, The Circa Building, The Lab, and the Triangle Building.

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