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Despite company losses, Tampa WeWork openings are still on track

WeWork has 200 planned coworking space openings as leadership tries to manage $1.25 billion in losses.
WeWork is opening Tampa offices at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. despite company struggles, including $1.25 billion in losses over 2019. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 15
Updated Nov. 15

TAMPA — Despite mounting losses, a failed attempt at going public and an ousted CEO, WeWork is continuing expansion plans and readying its new space at 501 E Kennedy Blvd.

The downtown Tampa coworking space took over three floors and 60,000-square-feet of the existing tower, with plans for the 14th and 15th floors to be done and open Dec. 2. Its signage outside is up and the tower itself has been renamed WeWork Place.

WeWork is opening about 200 shared work spaces over the next few months — all while its new leadership figures out how to slash costs and increase revenue as its losses have ballooned to $1.25 billion this year.

The New York company says local agents have seen a “great demand” across several industries for the 1,000 desks that will fill its Tampa location.

Related: Houston’s WorkLodge coworking space coming to St. Petersburg

In addition to the tower space, WeWork plans to open a 50,000-square feet Heights Union location near Armature Works on the Hillsborough River by June 2020. Both spaces will have high-end amenities, from micro-roasted coffee and fresh fruit water to lush conference rooms and living room style common areas.

“We are incredibly excited to open WeWork Place in December as the space will fill an immediate need for physical work space, programming and resources to help bolster Tampa’s growing innovation economy," southeastern general manager Bobby Condon said in a statement.

In the first part of 2019, WeWork opened more than 100 new sites. By the end of its latest round of openings, it will hit about 850 total locations.

WeWork’s estimated value fell from $47 billion to no more than $8 billion after documents filed for its original public offering revealed it lost $900 million in the first half of 2019. Wall Street investors weren’t interested, the public offering was cancelled and founder and CEO Adam Neumann was forced out.

Now the company is trying to make up for a history of high spending that outpaced revenue.

In October, WeWork investor Softbank took control of 80 percent of the company with a $5 billion bailout plan. Its new chairman has told employees to expect layoffs.

Meanwhile in Tampa, the new tower location is hosting hardhat tours for businesses interested in becoming members on Nov. 18.


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