WeWork's NY deal sends waves through Vancouver commercial real estate sector

25 October, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • HBC sells Lord & Taylor flagship to WeWork for 850mn dollars

After that, it will be converted into WeWork's NY headquarters along with WeWork office space and a redesigned Lord & Taylor store of approximately 150,000 square feet (14,000 square meters), according to the companies.

The flagship store is expected to continue to operate in the entire building through the 2018 holiday season, and then rent lower floors after that.

In addition, Rhone Capital will make $500 million equity investment in HBC in the form of eight-year mandatory convertible preferred shares.

Lord & Taylor has wised up to the new economy and will welcome WeWork into its properties, including selling its Fifth Avenue flagship to the collaborative workspace company.

That is 30 per cent above the most recent appraised value, according to a press release from HBC.

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Illustrating the state of these retail locations, the company said it expects "minimal impact on earnings" from the deal.

In total, the transaction will reduce HBC's debt by $1.3 billion (1.6 billion Canadian). The vacancy rate on Fifth Avenue, the heart of the city's high-end shopping district and home to the most expensive retail real estate in the world, reached a record a year ago.

HBC, which also owns the Saks Fifth Avenue chain, faces pressure to extract more value from its real estate assets at a time when brick-and-mortar retailers lose market share to more nimble online operators.

Land & Buildings Investment Management is calling for the removal of HBC's board, arguing the company's shares are worth less than the underlying value of its real estate holdings. The retail space will be reduced from 650,000 sq. ft.to 150,000 sq. ft. and will be confined to the bottom floors.

Adam Neumann, CEO and co-founder of WeWork, says the Lord & Taylor deal underscores his company's commitment to NY and underscores a larger trend in real estate. "Our partnership with the WeWork team creates new opportunities for HBC to redefine the traditional department store by extending those communities and drive additional traffic to our stores".


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