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Denver’s biggest office user, WeWork looks to more growth

Junction 23
Junction 23 at Denargo Market will be WeWork’s second location in River North. It will be geared to larger companies.

WeWork experienced head-spinning growth in Denver last year to become the city’s largest occupier of office space.

This year could be even bigger.

With nearly 700,000 square feet of office space in Denver, the coworking company says it’s on track to grow even more across the region in 2019. It’s already leased 85,000 sf for a second River North location.

“The start of 2019 has been a rapid one for WeWork in Denver, but also a meaningful one,” said Tanya Nygaard, WeWork community director. “When I joined WeWork, we only had two buildings, a lean team and few playbooks. Today, as we look to grow significantly in 2019, we have the benefit of many iterations on the playbook and with the collaboration of a deep cross-functional team.”

While WeWork’s roots are in providing spaces for small companies and start-ups, “enterprise members,” including Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Facebook and Citi, also are fueling the company’s growth. Enterprise members account for more than 30 percent of WeWork’s membership base and comprise its fastest-growing segment; 30 percent of Fortune 500 companies are members.

In Denver, WeWork grew from 2,040 to 4,100 desks from January 2018 to January 2019, a more than 100 percent increase in a single calendar year. Another 1,200 desks have been added since then. The first RiNo location, a 45,000-sf space on the fifth floor of The Hub at 3601 Walnut St., will have 900 desks when it opens in the third quarter.

WeWork’s newest location at Junction 23 at Denargo Market, 2323 Delgany St., will accommodate 2,000 desks over the 85,000-sf building’s two floors, opening in the fourth quarter.

Tanya Nygaard

Tanya Nygaard

“Throughout any city, WeWork aims to provide members with a constellation of building types, from AAA to buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and in different areas, including RiNo,” said Nygaard. “We are tailoring Junction 23, an absolutely incredible space, to larger companies. With easy access from the highway, a stone’s throw from Coors Field and popular Larimer Street, it will be an amazing place people want to come to every day.”

EverWest Real Estate Investors redeveloped and owns the 1975-built building, with its indoor-outdoor environment featuring a central atrium and outdoor meeting spaces, large glass entry, 16-foot-high windows, 25-foot exposed ceilings, more than two dozen skylights, flexible breakout areas, an on-site fitness center and bike storage.

“EverWest has a well-earned track record for successful redevelopment projects in key growth markets across the U.S.,” said EverWest Executive Vice President of Development Services Larry Lance. “It’s a pleasure to bring that expertise to our home market with a project like Junction 23, which will give WeWork a creative, highly modern environment from which they can work and grow.”

Newmark Knight Frank’s Jamie Gard and Laura Sperry represented the owner in the lease.

According to Nygaard, “2019 is a year of growth, but it’s also a year of impact and increasing our value proposition to members and the city.” WeWork’s social impact focus locally will include creating the new “Town Hall of the 21stcentury” for conversations about climate change, elections and other important issues; partnering with Flatiron School, which trains students in industry-leading software engineering, UX/UI design, and data science; and WeWork’s Veterans in Residence Program aimed at helping veterans and military spouses become entrepreneurs.

Globally, WeWork has more than 400,000 members and 425 physical locations in 27 countries. The company opens, on average, 1.5 million sf of space every month.

Featured in CREJ’s April 17-30, 2019, issue

Jill Jamieson-Nichols has been an Editor with the Colorado Real Estate Journal for more than 15 years, providing coverage of office, industrial, hospitality and mixed-use development news in the Denver metro area, plus all property types in Northern Colorado, Boulder County and along the Highway 36 corridor. Prior to joining CREJ, Jill was Editor of…