Rapidly Growing Tech Incubator Could Hit Seward Park

Forest City Ratner has included plans for a 400,000-square-foot WeWork headquarters as part of its bid for a mixed-use development project at Seward Park in the Lower East Side, the Wall Street Journal reported.

WeWork Office Interior

WeWork Office Interior

WeWork, a rapidly-growing communal office space provider for startups, already has offices in Soho, Midtown and the Meatpacking District, and most recently created an outpost at 222 Broadway, inking a deal for more than 120,000 square feet in mid-March.

That move was reflective of a shift that’s making Downtown a feasible – or even attractive – alternative to Midtown South for creative companies, as reported in The Commercial Observer.

WeWork has leased nearly 700,000 square feet in the city over the past three years, co-founder Adam Neumann told the Journal.

The Economic Development Corporation issued an RFP for the development project in January after a decades-long stall in the plans.

The city is seeking a developer (or developers) to build and operate what will eventually become an approximately 1.65-million-square-foot, mixed-use development that will take shape on the largest contiguous parcel of city-owned land in Manhattan south of 96th Street.

Other developers reportedly in the running for the city-owned site include Related Companies, a L&M Development Partners and BFC Partners partnership, and one between AvalonBay Communities and Jonathan Rose.  The Forest City Ratner team includes the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and social service organization Henry Street Settlement, sources told the Journal.

The city is expected to choose a winning bidder by the end of the year.

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