WeWork expanding in S'pore despite parent firm's woes

WeWork's newest space, which was launched yesterday, is located at MYP Centre in Battery Road, in the heart of the Central Business District. It occupies around 14 floors spanning 114,000 sq ft. The two upcoming offices are at UE Square in Clemenceau
WeWork's newest space, which was launched yesterday, is located at MYP Centre in Battery Road, in the heart of the Central Business District. It occupies around 14 floors spanning 114,000 sq ft. The two upcoming offices are at UE Square in Clemenceau Avenue and at NTUC Income Prinsep House in Prinsep Street.PHOTO: WEWORK

It opens co-working space in CBD and will add 2 more by Dec

Co-working space operator WeWork has launched a new space in the Central Business District (CBD) and will add two more locations in Singapore by the end of the year.

It will have a total of 12 locations here by December, which will mark its two-year anniversary in the Republic.

The announcement yesterday came despite recent reports that WeWork parent The We Company is considering thousands of layoffs as part of cost-cutting measures, and that it is withdrawing its initial public offering filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission amid difficulties in fund-raising.

When contacted by The Straits Times, a WeWork spokesman declined to comment on staff numbers here and the amount of investment that has been made in its Singapore locations.

WeWork's latest addition is located at MYP Centre in Battery Road in the heart of the CBD and is the firm's first Singapore location to feature a mini-golf play zone.

The Straits Times understands that WeWork occupies around 14 floors across 114,000 sq ft at MYP Centre.

The two upcoming offices will be situated outside the CBD at UE Square in Clemenceau Avenue and at NTUC Income Prinsep House in Prinsep Street.

The UE Square office is understood to be around 50,000 sq ft and spread over three floors, while the Prinsep Street location spans close to 29,000 sq ft across six floors.

WeWork said the upcoming locations outside the CBD follow the success of its current space at ARC 380 in Jalan Besar, which has demonstrated "strong demand for such neighbourhoods".

In a statement yesterday, WeWork said: "With Singapore as a key hub in South-east Asia that has gained optimal performance, the addition of these three new locations in (the) core CBD and beyond adds to (WeWork's) portfolio of vibrant, strategically located collaborative spaces in Singapore that offer enterprises and businesses an integrated environment which blends community, design, culture and technology."

WeWork expanded into South-east Asia through the acquisition of Singapore-based co-working start-up Spacemob, which was part of its US$500 million (S$689 million) investment in South-east Asia and South Korea at that time.

WeWork currently has 25 locations across its South-east Asian markets, which include Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

But the start-up's woes have mounted since investors' push-back on its US$47 billion valuation, leading to the ousting of its co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann last month.

Despite WeWork's recent troubles, its landlords in Singapore said they have not heard about any potential disruptions to their agreed leases.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT), which has a binding lease agreement with WeWork at 21 Collyer Quay for seven years starting in 2021, said there is no change to the lease status.

A CCT spokesman said it is "confident there will be leasing interest should the space become available", given the building's prime location and recent upgrading.

Mr Anthony Yip, deputy chairman of APM Property Management, which manages Suntec City, told The Straits Times that it has not been notified of any changes in WeWork's leasing requirements or operations at Suntec Tower 5.

WeWork signed a 10-year lease for the 36,500 sq ft premises at Suntec Tower 5 last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2019, with the headline 'WeWork expanding in S'pore despite parent firm's woes'. Print Edition | Subscribe