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WeWork Closing Lakeshore Towers Location

The owners of the Lakeshore Towers mixed-use campus may face an additional hurdle in a potential sale of the 902,000-square-foot property near John Wayne Airport, with the departure of a notable tenant.

WeWork Inc., a New York-based coworking company, shuttered its roughly 75,000-square-foot location at 18191 Von Karman Ave., one of three offices at the Lakeshore Towers campus, earlier this month.

It’s the first reported local retrenchment for the operator since 2020, when WeWork backed out of a deal to take a full building at the new Spectrum Terrace campus in the city.

At its height, WeWork’s collection of 10 open and soon-to-open locations in OC totaled close to 600,000 square feet, according to Cushman & Wakefield data.

Today, it counts six open OC locations totaling some 315,000 square feet.

Tenants of the Lakeshore Towers WeWork location were given less than a month’s notice of the closure, sources tell the Business Journal, and were given the option to relocate to a nearby location at 2211 Michelson, where it counts roughly 71,000 square feet of office space.

The Lakeshore office is no longer listed on WeWork’s website. Brokerage data indicates the lease was expected to run through 2034.

The Lakeshore campus is being marketed for sale at a price near $200 million; for more see the May 8 print edition at the Business Journal.

Consolidation

Spaces given back by WeWork prior to opening include the 116,000-square-foot spot at Spectrum Terrace, while other closures include a 39,348-square-foot office at 3200 Park Center Drive in Costa Mesa and a 53,478-square-foot office at 100 Bayview.

The company faced mounting problems prior to the onset of the pandemic, including a scuttled IPO whose regulatory disclosures of steep losses raised numerous financial alarm bells that ultimately caused a major cash injection by its largest investor, Softbank.

Issues for the company and many of its peers in the shared space sector were exacerbated during the pandemic, a time when coworking had fallen out of vogue due to social distancing-related safety concerns and work-from-home edicts.

WeWork (NYSE: WE) subsequntly went public in 2021 via a SPAC deal. Shares in the SPAC initially traded at $10; the company’s stock was trading around 20 cents as of last week.

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