MUMBAI: New York-headquartered collaborative workspace major WeWork’s India arm has picked up 0.5 million sq ft office space in one of the largest deals by a co-working company. The space was leased across four locations in two major property markets of Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Bangalore pushing its total portfolio to nearly 2 million sq ft.
Of this, the largest lease is for nearly 2 lakh sq ft in Navi Mumbai, followed by nearly 1.5 lakh sq ft in Bangalore. Interestingly, these leases have tenure of total 20 years including initial term of 10 years with an option extend it by 10 years unlike usual tenures of three, five or nine years.
“As the shared workspace industry evolves rapidly, we have observed that more and more people want to work out of spaces that inspire them and help them connect and network with people,” Karan Virwani, CEO, We-Work India, told ET.
The company has been picking up properties aggressively in a bid to expand number of facilities to over 20 centres across key markets by December 2018. Last month, it picked up an entire commercial building, Zenia, spread over 12 floors, on lease in Hiranandani Estate, Thane.
Zenia was the second transaction involving an entire building by WeWork. In May, the company had leased Raheja Platinum spread over ten floors in Andheri suburb of Mumbai.
“We plan to continue expanding across the country and this will further add to our growth in India. Keeping in mind the growth and expansion of new business hubs in Mumbai and Bengaluru, these locations were a natural fit and choice for us,” Virwani said.
The company had earlier leased a 1.9 lakh sq ft standalone building owned by Enam Securities Group in Mumbai’s commercial business district of Bandra-Kurla Complex. In addition to this, it has also leased two buildings in Worli and 1lakh sq ft office space in Navi Mumbai.
Since its inception in India in July 2017, WeWork has expanded to total 11 centres across three key cities — Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore — with over 15,000 desks across 1.4 million sq ft leased office space.
WeWork India will add around 7,225 desks to its existing capacity with these four new centres.
Co-working, or collaborative offices, is a relatively new concept in India. It involves various individuals, or start-ups, sharing a common workplace environment and is steadily gaining momentum across prime Indian property markets due to relatively cheaper costs and flexibility. According to several estimates, co-working spaces witnessed nearly a million sq ft absorption last year across the country.
Latest data from CBRE South Asia showed the agile workspace sector continued to see strong growth momentum with global and Indian majors expanding their footprint in tier-1 and tier-2 cities. Co-working and business operators leased about 3.3 million sq ft space in the first three quarters of 2018, almost doubling their take-up reported in the first three quarters of 2017.