WeWork has delayed plans to open shared living spaces in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem after its initial public offering collapsed last month and its co-founder, the Israeli-born Adam Neumann, stepped down as CEO, company sources told Israeli business dailies CTech by Calcalist and Globes on Sunday.
Representatives from WeWork have not commented publicly on the matter.
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WeLive, a shared living space that provides furnished apartments, communal spaces, and shared amenities, was launched by WeWork (recently rebranded as the We Company) in 2016 in two residential buildings in New York and Arlington, Virginia. The concept was developed by Neumann, who lived on an Israeli kibbutz for a time, and co-founder Miguel McKelvey, who also grew up in a commune-like environment in the US. The pair aimed to offer flexible and affordable housing solutions and the concept of collective community to urban areas.
The studio apartments are now offered in New York and Washington, according to Globes, where they go for $3,050 and $1,050 per month, respectively. The projects have shared spaces such as meeting and hosting rooms, a chef’s kitchen, a yoga studio, a laundry, and more. Each building has a guard, cleaning services and Internet.
NoCamels first reported in January 2018 that WeWork was planning to bring its urban co-living community WeLive to Tel Aviv, citing officials in the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Israeli government. Eitan Ben-Ami, director-general of the Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry, then exclusively revealed that plans were underway for a combined WeWork and WeLive high-rise near Tel Aviv’s railway station on Arlozorov street. Orly Erel, head of the central planning department at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, also told NoCamels that WeWork had recently purchased a building near the famous Azrieli towers from the Azrieli Group, one of Israel’s largest real estate companies that develops and manages shopping mall and commercial buildings. The site is between the Savidor station and the Azrieli buildings, she indicated at the time, and is still in the construction phase. The following week, Erel told CTech by Calcalist the company was planning to build a 17-story building near the city’s Azrieli Center and that the complex regulatory process for approving the project was expected to take two to three years. While WeWork declined to comment, its representatives later told NoCamels that the company did not purchase a building.
According to the reports, WeWork Israel has no plans to shut down any of its 11 office locations across the country.
Late last month, Neumann stepped down as the company’s CEO amid allegations of misbehaviors, including self-dealings ahead of an expected IPO (initial public offering).
The move came less than a week after the Wall Street Journal published a report detailing alleged strange behaviors on the part of Neumann and speculations that the company’s biggest investor, SoftBank, was looking to move him out of a leadership role.
Neumann will continue to serve as non-executive chairman of the board.