Two years ago, coworking colossus WeWork leased more than 100,000 square feet of a landmark downtown Atlanta building to house a small army of 1,300 paid members—a deal large enough to put WeWork’s name in lighted signage atop the 36-story tower.

In a signal of how much the industry has changed, WeWork closed those operations at 101 Marietta, its largest in metro Atlanta, last month. And the company has now enlisted help to lease the remainder of its huge footprint at eight locations across the region.

WeWork has picked JLL, a professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management, to lease out 440,679 square feet of office space spread from Halcyon in Forsyth County to Midtown’s CODA and most of WeWork's three-floor commitment at 120 West Trinity Place in downtown Decatur.

The company's name in lights atop the refurbished 1970s tower in downtown Atlanta. Photo by Rolen Image, via 101 Marietta Street

Spaces range from individual suites to full, private floors and entire buildings, according to JLL.

WeWork still operates 859 locations in 151 cities, counting 542,000 members worldwide, per the company.

Since the onset of COVID-19, WeWork has been updating their portfolio of more than 700 buildings to oblige safety measures such as social distancing protocol.

According to JLL reps, the company’s flexible lease terms, onsite staff, stocked kitchens, move-in-ready spaces with meeting rooms, and amenities like bike rooms and printers are what today’s office tenants seek.  

JLL vice president Will Tyler believes the metro Atlanta spaces are well-suited for companies considering decentralizing and opting for a “hub-and-spoke” workplace model.

WeWork’s array of locations and amenities “make them the ideal solution for both single-office users needing to ‘work near home’ and Fortune 500 companies looking for scalable, dedicated, and branded space for 400-plus employees,” Tyler said in a prepared statement.  

Specifically, in metro Atlanta, WeWork is looking to fill space at 1155 Perimeter Center in Sandy Springs (41,896 square feet); The Interlock in West Midtown (40,000); the Boundary redevelopment in Midtown (28,000); CODA near Georgia Tech (25,835); Terminus 100 in Buckhead (23,835); 725 Ponce in Old Fourth Ward, on the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail (23,468); 120 West Trinity Place in Decatur (22,000); and at Alpharetta’s Halcyon (19,300).

watermark WeWork's 36,000-square-foot space at 120 West Trinity Place in Decatur, where 22,000 square feet is available. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Dismal 2020 did produce some bright spots in terms of metro Atlanta office leasing, highlighted by Microsoft’s full-building lease of Atlantic Yards’ 523,000 square feet at Atlantic Station. That deal's expected to generate 1,500 new jobs.

Still, overall office vacancy rates had ballooned to nearly 20 percent across the metro by year’s end, though industry experts seem confident Atlanta’s momentum with company relocations and relatively stable employment will translate into a quick, post-pandemic rebound.    

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