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WeWork Cos., the startup that caters to entrepreneurs and small companies looking for communal office space and short-term commitments, is launching a new business that will put it into direct competition with the established giants in the commercial real-estate services industry, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As a pioneer of the “co-working” office-space trend popular in the technology and startup worlds, WeWork wants to take over the design, development and management of major facilities for some of the world’s top companies. Its executives say they can do this at lower cost and with better workplace results than traditional real-estate firms.
Valued at about $17 billion and with more than 135 locations in 14 countries, WeWork is offering to create personalized centers for big companies that employ hundreds or even thousands of workers. Many of these centers will resemble WeWork facilities, which use food, beverages, events, games and new concepts in design to encourage interaction and creativity.
“We’re trying to be entirely different: It’s the hospitality, it’s the amenities, it’s the data and the analysis and truly understanding how you’re leveraging your real estate,” said David Fano, WeWork’s chief product officer.
Analysts say it will take a few years to determine how much of a threat WeWork poses to traditional real-estate companies. However, executives at those companies don’t think WeWork is a big threat, partly because they offer a wider range of designs and workplace concepts than WeWork does.
“One vibe doesn’t fit all,” said Laura Whelan, senior managing director at Savills Studley, a real-estate services firm. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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