Things are getting worse for the 'darling' of co-working space

by Steve Randall15 Oct 2019

The one-time darling of the co-working sector continues to face challenges following its recent decision not to list on the stock market.

WeWork is removing 2,300 phone booths from its locations across Canada and the US after they were found to contain formaldehyde. The chemical was discovered after users complained about a smell and eye irritation, prompting an independent consultant’s tests.

The chemical, a known carcinogen, was apparently used in the manufacturing process of the booths.

Meanwhile, WeWork is also scrapping a plan to lease a 36-storey tower in Seattle which would have combined co-working and co-living space.

Bloomberg reports that the firm, along with landlord Martin Selig Real Estate, issued a joint statement Monday announcing the pull-back. The ambitious project was announced in 2017 and would have included 23 floors for the firm’s WeLive co-living off-shoot.

“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 statement said.

Job losses?
In a further report over the past few days, WeWork is reportedly laying off several thousand workers and there could be more to come.

The Guardian says that the firm is axing around 13% of its staff, 2,000 people, and could lay off more of its 15,000 employees.

According to the report, the cuts could be made as soon as this week.

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