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Coworking giant WeWork leases 70K square feet in SunTrust Center

Coworking giant WeWork leases 70K square feet in SunTrust Center
Global co-working leader WeWork announced it has leased 70,000 square feet in downtown Orlando's SunTrust Center. Shown here is the New York-based company's facility in Chelsea. (Katelyn Perry)

Co-working giant WeWork made its Orlando entry official Monday, announcing it has signed a lease for over 70,000 square feet in the SunTrust Center.

WeWork will occupy three entire floors of the prominent tower at 200 S. Orange Ave. with workspace for more than 1,000 members. WeWork members will also have access to the on-site state-of-the-art fitness center and conference center.

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Bobby Condon, Southeast General Manager for WeWork, said the facility is scheduled to open in early 2020. The launch will coincide with a host of renovations by the building owner, Piedmont Office Realty Trust.

The timing couldn't be better for one of downtown Orlando's signature office towers, which will be losing its anchor tenant when SunTrust relocates to the new tower at Church Street Plaza. Piedmont bought the 35-story tower in 2015 for $170.8 million.

WeWork operates 425 coworking spaces in 100 cities worldwide. This office is in Houston.
WeWork operates 425 coworking spaces in 100 cities worldwide. This office is in Houston. (Handout)

Piedmont, one of the largest owners of Class A office space in metropolitan Orlando, recently unveiled plans for major upgrades at the project including a full lobby renovation, redesign and activation program for the property's distinctive park, a new rooftop terrace, and a food hall offering multiple cuisines.

"The project's pending upgrades will provide a truly unique experience for our tenants and for WeWork's members," said George Wells, Piedmont's Executive Vice President of the Southeast Region.

With a global network of 425 offices in over 100 cities, WeWork is the largest co-working company to locate in Orlando. It joins an array of local and national firms in the space.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said the addition of WeWork to the Central Business District is evidence of Orlando's thriving, diversifying economy.

"WeWork is a welcome addition to our city, not only providing new opportunities and experiences for the community, but also encouraging strong co-working relationships where entrepreneurs and large companies can work together to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals," he said in a release.

WeWork will be expected to scale its local footprint in the future. The company has multiple locations in South Florida and Tampa-St. Petersburg, with lease sizes ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 square feet.

"WeWork's welcoming and collaborative space fits right into what our region is all about," said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. "After leading the nation in job growth for four consecutive years, it's easy to see why Orlando is a natural fit for WeWork. Their presence in downtown Orlando will significantly enhance co-working options in our booming region, which means more location opportunities for our business community to create great jobs."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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