WeWork's NY deal sends waves through Vancouver commercial real estate sector

25 October, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Franklin Nunez
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The sale of the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building by Canada-based Hudson's Bay to newly created WeWork Property Advisors entity, by itself, was valued at $850 million US.

Lord & Taylor will remain in the entire building until after the 2018 holiday season under the terms of the deal, Nasdaq reported. The 650,000-square-foot building will be downsized into office space for all but a remaining 150,000 square feet for the store by 2019.

Hudson's Bay estimated that the overall deal would result in $1.6 billion in cash on its balance sheet and reduced debt.

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The Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building is slated to continue operations in the entire building through the 2018 holiday season before it is redesigned to include WeWork's NY headquarters, WeWork office space and a smaller Lord & Taylor store. The company now anticipates minimal impact on the earnings from these locations.

Real estate activist investor Jonathan Litt has asked Hudson's Bay to consider going private and sell its vast real estate holdings and had previously threatened to launch a proxy fight if management did not act.

In particular, Litt had his eye on the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in NY. (HBC.TO) said Tuesday that it has agreed to sell the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building in NY to WeWork Property Advisors in a deal valued at $850 million, or C$1.075 billion.

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As a co-working company, WeWork leases relatively small work spaces to freelancers, start-ups and other individuals and firms for shorter periods of time than traditional commercial landlords.

As the retail industry tries to cope with falling foot traffic and the e-commerce surge, retailers are attempting to reimagine their physical spaces through redevelopments that shrink their footprints as Kohl's is doing, selling floors in key locations as Macy's has done and redesigning customer traffic flow to accommodate in-store and online shoppers better, as Target is in the midst of. "The trend of urbanization is something we must all recognize and understand", he said.

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