WeWork goes bankrupt, files to abandon 7 Bay Area leases

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FILE: A sign is posted on the exterior of a WeWork office on Oct. 7, 2019, in San Francisco.

FILE: A sign is posted on the exterior of a WeWork office on Oct. 7, 2019, in San Francisco.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

WeWork, the company that rents temporary office space to the laptop class, declared bankruptcy Monday in another blow to the Bay Area office market.

The move caps off a tumultuous saga that saw the company land a sky-high valuation in 2019, fail a public listing on the stock market, take on billions of dollars in debt, oust its high-profile founder, finally go public and then drop into insolvency. WeWork, according to its website Monday, offers co-working spaces in 17 Bay Area locations; the firm also had leases in other buildings.

The firm even had a photo from its Salesforce Tower location atop its Monday press release on the company’s site announcing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. WeWork wrote that it intends to keep co-working spaces “open and operational,” but added that it is “requesting the ability to reject the leases of certain locations, which are largely non-operational.” In bankruptcy, the move to reject a lease means the a firms’ debtors are opting to terminate, or end, a lease rather than “assume” it.

WeWork’s lease rejections will likely impact the already struggling Bay Area office market. In a motion filed alongside the bankruptcy documents in New Jersey’s Bankruptcy Court, the firm and its debtors laid out a plan to immediately reject dozens of unexpired leases, including six in San Francisco and one in Oakland, as well as several in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Irvine, California. They also sought to abandon furniture and other equipment at the locations.


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The debtors asked the court to reject WeWork’s current leases in San Francisco at 180 Geary St., 222 Kearny St., 25 Taylor St., 430 California St., 1455 Market St. and 800 Market St. — as well as the Oakland location at 1814 Franklin St. 

None of those leases are currently listed among WeWork’s co-working options, so the pullout shouldn’t yet affect the firm’s Bay Area customers. Along with the one on the 36th, 37th, and 38th floors of Salesforce Tower, the firm runs six co-working spaces in San Francisco and two each in San Jose, Oakland and San Mateo. There are also WeWorks in Berkeley, San Ramon, Palo Alto and Marin County.

Hear of anything happening at a Bay Area tech company? Contact tech reporter Stephen Council securely at [email protected] or on Signal at 628-204-5452.


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