WeWork Moves to New HQ Along With Recently Acquired Consultancy
Lauren Elkies Schram Aug. 5, 2015, 11 a.m.
WeWork has moved into its permanent Chelsea headquarters along with the New York City employees of CASE, a company the giant co-working and shared office space provider acquired a month ago to expand and enhance its physical and digital platform.
Looking to bolster its design credentials and inner workings, WeWork purchased the 63-person building information consultancy, which had been working with WeWork for several years, according to David Fano, a co-founder of CASE and now WeWork’s chief technology officer, who declined to cite the acquisition price.
The New York City-based CASE employees moved along with the WeWork staff to the new WeWork headquarters at 115 West 18th Street on Monday. WeWork has had a 115,600-square-foot lease at the building between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue for over a year, according to CoStar, and it extends until April 30, 2030.
The CASE team joins the existing design team and other departments at WeWork.
“We are more staff working on the design and development and construction of more WeWork offices,” Mr. Fano told Commercial Observer. Once WeWork’s real estate team negotiates a deal, “then we take over for design.”
With the CASE team on board, the design team will be thinking about “process improvement, how we can be smarter about what we’re doing and looking to innovate, and pushing the kind of things we could be doing with the spaces, the blend of the physical and digital,” Mr. Fano noted.
For example, the design team will be mulling such questions as whether WeWork members should be able to access their building and control the temperature via their mobile devices.
WeWork has more than 1 million square feet of existing shared office space in New York City, as CO previously reported, with more on the way as the shared co-working sector grows.
CASE was a technology consultancy for architects, engineers, consultants and owners that Mr. Fano and his two co-founders started seven years ago after working together at SHoP Architects. WeWork became one of the firm’s “owner” clients about three years ago. CASE studied WeWork’s internal processes and how the company was designing and implementing technology. CASE implemented 3D scanning and building information modeling (BIM), or the generation of digital representations of spaces, as well as customized software for internal process management and assisted the designers with leveraging technology.
Now CASE’s three co-founders, and its employees, have gone in-house again.
“We were really excited about being on the decision-making side…and having a direct hand in designing the construction we are going to do,” Mr. Fano said. “The product is entirely centered around community and we can impact the community as it relates to space and how it’s used. That was super exciting to us.”