WeWork sticking around Philadelphia
WeWork tells Axios that it plans to continue running its two remaining Philadelphia coworking spaces despite filing for bankruptcy.
Why it matters: WeWork once had a large footprint in the city but as fewer people sought coworking space during the pandemic and hybrid work became a norm, it steadily shrunk.
Driving the news: The coworking giant, once valued at $47 billion, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday as part of a "comprehensive reorganization" that it hopes eliminates more than $4 billion in debt.
Flashback: WeWork expanded into Philadelphia in 2016 with a location in Northern Liberties.
- At its peak, the company operated five locations here but shuttered its 1430 Walnut St. space in 2020 and 1601 Market St. last year.
- Last month, it ceased operations at 1010 N. Hancock St., company spokesperson Emily Place tells Axios.
What they're saying: The company tells Axios it'll keep open its two Center City locations at 1900 Market St. and 1100 Ludlow St., calling Philadelphia a "key market."
- "Our commitment to the city is unwavering as we continue to work collaboratively with our landlord partners, aiming to craft solutions that set all parties up for sustainable success," Place says.
The big picture: WeWork reported more than 770 locations in 39 counties, including 229 in the U.S., as of a June disclosure.
- Reuters said it saved nearly $13 billion in future rent payments by renegotiating 590 leases before filing for bankruptcy.
Zoom in: Philadelphia had more than 1.1 million square feet of total coworking space as of 2019, according to Technical.ly.
Yes, but: Some spaces closed or went remote during the pandemic.
- Philly's office occupancy rates struggled to rebound post-pandemic.
The bottom line: Nicollette Stephens of Pipeline Philly, a Florida-based coworking company that opened a Center City location in 2014, says local memberships have rebounded to about 75% of what they were in 2019.
- She expects the local coworking industry to continue seeing an "upswing" now that more people are required to return to downtown offices.
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