The deal, for most of Almacantar’s Shaftesbury Avenue block, will involve WeWork undertaking a complete refurbishment of the Soho building, which Almacantar bought in 2013.
WeWork’s Shaftesbury Avenue location is the 21st WeWork opening to be announced in the UK. At the beginning of this month, the company signed to open a 280,000 sq ft co-working space at Almacantar’s Two Southbank Place, SE1, exposing Almacantar to a total of 420,000 sq ft of WeWork’s occupancy. The New York-based company is currently valued at $17bn (£13.2bn).
The red brick 125 Shaftesbury Avenue is a familiar West End landmark, built in 1982. It provides 190,000 sq ft of office and shopping space across ground floor and nine upper levels, and was expected to be redeveloped by Almacantar as part of the company’s ambitious West End development programme, which includes the residential conversion of Centre Point, WC1, and the redevelopment of Marble Arch Tower, W1.
The property was acquired on a freehold basis and multi-let to a variety of tenants including Gucci, Yahoo! Europe and Lloyds TSB Bank.
WeWork has 15,000 members in London across 14 buildings and accounts for 7.13% of total central London take-up in the last 12 months. It ranks third across central London occupiers on take-up over the last 10 years.
Chief executive Hussey said: “WeWork’s creative offering will fit perfectly in this part of Soho as Crossrail shifts the centre of gravity for the West End further east towards Charing Cross Road.
The co-working model is set to dominate the office leasing market for companies looking for more than just space. This transaction is in perfect harmony: it allows WeWork to satisfy the changing demands from occupiers and supports investment value for Almacantar through a long-term lease across the whole building.”