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WeWork scraps deal to lease 36-storey Seattle tower

Seattle

WEWORK has backed out of an ambitious project to outfit a 36-storey tower in Seattle with co-working space and its co-living offshoot, as the company looks to shore up its finances.

WeWork will not lease the building from Martin Selig Real Estate, according to a joint statement from the companies. The decision leaves one of Seattle's biggest office landlords without a tenant just as a major new project is nearing completion.

"As part of WeWork's commitment to refocus on its core business, WeWork and Martin Selig Real Estate have mutually agreed to not move forward with the planned WeWork-WeLive Belltown Seattle project," the companies said.

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The building was once a symbol of the ambition of WeWork's parent We Co. When the deal was announced in 2017, it was the largest deal WeWork had done by square footage and also an early effort to expand its communal-living business. A total of 23 floors were slated to be occupied by WeLive.

As recently as September, WeWork appeared to be headed towards a rich valuation in its public debut before investors balked over concerns about the venture's governance and mounting losses.

The firm ended up ousting its chief executive officer and postponing the offering. The delay has left it scrambling to raise new funds.

WeWork is still planning to open a location in another Martin Selig Real Estate building in Seattle's Ballard neighbourhood. BLOOMBERG