May 8, 2024

WeWork aims to maintain Boulder presence as it emerges from bankruptcy

BOULDER — Co-working giant WeWork Inc. (NYSE: WE), once a darling of investors that promised to approach commercial real estate through the lens of a technology company, intends to maintain its Boulder co-working space at 2755 Canyon Blvd. as it emerges from bankruptcy.

This week, in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing in New Jersey, WeWork included the Boulder location in a list of 16 properties across the country where it plans to assume — a legal term that in essence means to keep — its lease, potentially under restructured terms. A space in the Triangle Building in Denver is also on that list. 

“These assumptions, which are subject to court approval, showcase WeWork’s progress in creating a more sustainable real estate portfolio to better invest in its offerings for the future,” the company said in a news release. 

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According to court documents filed this week, WeWork is seeking a “reduce(d) term, reduce(d) rent, (and an) add(ed) profit share” from 2755 Canyon Boulevard LLC, its Boulder landlord, representatives of which could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

The lease-assumption request, which must be approved by a judge and WeWork’s numerous landlords in commercial spaces coast to coast, comes just weeks before a May 30 bankruptcy court hearing, after which the co-working company plans to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Last week WeWork, according to media reports, struck a $450 million restructuring settlement with the courts and its main financial backer SoftBank that is expected to allow it to shed its bankruptcy protections and fend off an attempt by co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann to regain control of the company. 

“WeWork has charted a strong path forward for its future operations through its strategic restructuring,” the company said this week. 

New York-based WeWork entered the Boulder market in 2019 when it leased the bottom three floors — more than 30,000 square feet — of the four-story Canyon 28 office building at 2755 Canyon Blvd., developed in 2017 by Lou DellaCava of Boulder-based LJD Enterprises Inc. Boulder-based commercial real estate firm Gibbons-White served as the broker of the 12-year lease in 2019.

“Boulder is known globally as a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. From the University of Colorado, to startups, to major global companies, the mix of talent combined with an amazing lifestyle means Boulder is a place that people want to be,” Nathan Lenahan, WeWork’s Mountain West general manager, said in a prepared statement when the lease deal was announced five years ago.

WeWork telegraphed its intent to maintain its Boulder presence in November 2023 when it included 2755 Canyon Blvd WW Tenant LLC, a holding company created by the company to oversee its Boulder co-working space at 2755 Canyon Blvd., among the entities for which it sought bankruptcy protection, but not on list of leases it asked the court to give it permission to reject.  

WeWork’s collapse was one of many dominoes to fall in the shaky commercial real estate playing field that emerged after the COVID-19 pandemic led to an marked increase in work-from-home preferences among traditional office workers.

Co-working giant WeWork Inc. intends to maintain its Boulder co-working space at 2755 Canyon Blvd. as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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