Adaptive reuse: defining new purpose for existing buildings
Ever since buildings have been built, they have been repurposed. How can existing building assets remain relevant in a changing world?
WeWork will slash its Birmingham coworking portfolio, but will retain a large Manchester operation and outlets in Cambridge and Edinburgh, as it completes a rethink of its UK regional operations.
Words: David Thame
The move signals a more restrained approach from coworking operators who were big spenders in the UK office property market until the March lockdown. Knight Frank calculate UK serviced office operators have taken up just 30,000 sq ft of new floorspace since.
“As part of our plan to optimise our existing real estate portfolio, we are working with our landlord partners to consolidate our presence in Birmingham to a single flagship location at WeWork 55 Colmore Row, where we will continue to provide our members with first-class, flexible space solutions,” a WeWork spokesperson said.
The firm closed their hub 97,000 sq ft hub at 6 Brindley Place at the end of October, moving members to 55 Colmore Row. They also abandoned plans to convert Louise Ryland House into a third 81,000 sq ft Birmingham outlet.
WeWork performed only a light pruning of their Manchester portfolio, agreeing in the summer not to proceed with plans to develop 50,000 sq ft at Mosley Street, Manchester.
“We have mutually agreed with Boultbee Brooks Real Estate to not proceed with the planned WeWork location at the Hyphen building. Manchester is a great city for us and we remain committed to providing our current and prospective members with flexible workspace solutions and an exceptional experience across our four locations,” a WeWork spokesperson said in July.
WeWork have four locations across Manchester: 1 St Peter’s Square, The Hanover Building, Dalton Place, and No1 Spinningfields; plus a building at 80 George Street in Edinburgh and at 50 Station Road, Cambridge.
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Following the inaugural Virtual Interiors Event in February 2021, which saw approximately 4,000 industry professionals from 83 countries gather online, VI:Insights is a new thought leadership festival taking place 20 – 24 September.