NY-based coworking-space startup expands to Portland

WeWork leases 79,000 square foot building in the Pearl District.

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New York-based WeWork, a startup that provides coworker space, leased a 79,000 square foot building in the Pearl District.

The company is worth $5 billion, Portland Business Journal reports.

Not only is Portland a hotbed for entrepreneurs, creatives and the freelance workers WeWork targets, it also has a connection to [Chief Creative Officer Miguel] McKelvey who co-founded Portland startup Versation in 1999. McKelvey was also part of the founding team of entrepreneurs behind the Starve Ups accelerator program in 2000.

WeWork offers typical coworking benefits such as shared office amenities like a kitchen and conference room, but it also holds regular events and has perks with an array of partner companies. The company, which was valued at $5 billion in December, leases offices and then subleases to other startups and entrepreneurs at a premium. With the company landing in the U.S. Custom House it puts in a tenant in a building that has long been looking for the right fit. In 2012, the building was bought by Eastern Real Estate LLC for $4.74 million.

WeWork has targeted Portland for about a year, PBJ writes in a separate article.

McKelvey described the work to this point as a “labor of love,” but now everything is on track for build out and the group is expected to move in sometime in September or October. The space, which is nearly 80,000 square feet, can likely accommodate 800 members. Members can use the space as their homebase and when traveling between cities with WeWork locations they can drop in and work in open areas.

McKelvey has already heard from members in other cities that are interested in using the Portland space as they move through the West Coast or migrate permanently to Portland. WeWork is already in places like New York, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, and Portland fits in well with the overall national interest in startups and entrepreneurship.


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