SL Green inks lease with WeWork

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SL Green has inked a 135,000-square-foot lease with WeWork, making it one of the few major landlords to strike a large-scale deal with the coworking giant.

WeWork, which is now the biggest office tenant in the city, will take the entire office portion of 609 Fifth Ave., a 13-story building that SL Green recently spent millions renovating.

“This is an iconic location, and when the opportunity to take over the entire office space presented itself, we simply could not say no,” Granit Gjonbalaj, chief development officer at WeWork, said in a statement released today.

SL Green is one of the city’s largest property owners, with more than 20 million square feet in its portfolio. However, as Crain’s reported last month, it is one of the few major landlords here to do business with WeWork. Vornado Realty Trust, Empire State Realty Trust and Silverstein Properties, for example, do not have any leases with the firm. The Durst Organization recently scuttled a lease with the company at 1 World Trade Center. And others, such as Brookfield Office Properties, have limited interactions.

Sources told Crain’s this is because some office landlords see WeWork as a competitor, while others are wary of the company’s long-term financial prospects. However, other big players, such as RXR Realty, have said they are discussing potential arrangements with the flexible-office-space provider. And SL Green’s decision to lease an entire boutique office building to WeWork indicates that it sees an upside in having the coworking company run the property rather than leasing it up itself.



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