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WeWork Files to Keep OC Locations, to Exit Bankruptcy

WeWork Inc. plans to exit a stint in bankruptcy with a portfolio of three locations in Orange County, according to court records.

The New York-based coworking firm (OTC: WEWKQ), which sported a reported $47 billion valuation at its peak as a private company­, this month filed to assume two Irvine locations and one Newport Beach office, along with about 87 more leases in the U.S. and Canada.

Those locations include 200 and 400 Spectrum Center Drive in Irvine, where WeWork is leasing a combined total of 80,364 square feet, and 4041 MacArthur Blvd. in Newport Beach, where the company has a 51,716-square-foot lease.

All three locations are currently listed on WeWork’s website, in addition to its Park Tower location in Costa Mesa and 2211 Michelson Drive in Irvine.

Other sites the company is aiming to keep span across Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, New York and Boston, among many other cities.

The filing follows WeWork’s pursuit to exit bankruptcy, which is supported by the $450 million in financing it secured last month and a restructuring deal that allows the company to drop its $4 billion debt.

At press time, shares in the company were 12 cents apiece, giving it a $6.3 million market cap. The company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange last year after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

WeWork currently counts over 320 locations across the world, including sites in Mexico, the U.K., Spain, the Philippines and China.

OC Footprint

WeWork’s base of OC properties, already slimmed down from several years ago, have thus far been largely untouched by the company’s bankruptcy filing last November.

The company planned to cancel leases for nearly 70 of its underperforming properties in the U.S. and Canada, according to regulatory filings.

Just one of those sites was in OC: a 75,000-square-foot location at 18191 Von Karman Ave. in Irvine’s Lakeshore Towers, which WeWork had already closed.

The Lakeshore closure marked the first reported local retrenchment for WeWork since 2020, when the company backed out of a deal to take a full building at Irvine’s Spectrum Terrace and shuttered other locations as part of ongoing portfolio struggles.

Following the closing of its Lakeshore Towers location last spring, WeWork that summer closed its 60,000-square-foot location at The Boardwalk office campus in Irvine.

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, its five open OC locations total less than 300,000 square feet.

Fall From Grace

WeWork’s plans to exit bankruptcy come after its brief term as the most valuable startup in the U.S.

The company, which sported a $47 billion valuation four years ago, began its downfall after filings for its 2019 IPO exposed hefty losses. In 2018, for instance, the company lost $1.9 billion on $1.8 billion in revenue, according to national reports.

WeWork subsequently nixed its plans for a traditional IPO.

Two years later, WeWork went public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, BowX Acquisition Corp. The SPAC deal initially valued WeWork at $9 billion.

WeWork still has significant revenue—$844 million for the second quarter a year ago, according to its latest filing. The company hasn’t filed updated reports since it declared bankruptcy.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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