WeWork plans first location in north San Francisco Bay Area

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WeWork, a fast-growing big name in the hot trend of co-working in shared office space, plans to come to the North Bay in a big way.

The New York-based company would be the largest and latest provider in the counties north of the Golden Gate Bridge of workspaces that offer short-term commitments for office space with the vibe of a coffee shop but with the technological and business services of executive suites or dedicated office space.

WeWork is leasing 20,000 square feet at 1 Belvedere Place, one of two sizable office buildings nestled into a Mill Valley hillside overlooking Highway 101. That’s somewhat of a departure from typical locations in dense downtown areas of urban cities, according to Elton Kwok, general manager for Northern California.

“This Mill Valley location will serve as a complimentary outpost to the many entrepreneurs, executives, and small businesses at WeWork, scaled to meet the needs of the dynamic community north of San Francisco,” Kwok said in an email.

Mill Valley would be the farthest north in the region for WeWork, which has 258 locations across 74 cities and 22 countries, according to a spokesman. That includes 17 Bay Area sites in San Francisco, the East Bay and Silicon Valley.

The Marin site is set to have 350 desks and is targeted for opening in December, the spokesman said. Starting prices for hot desks and dedicated workstations in the forthcoming location are quoted at $500 a month, according to the company website. Private offices there start at $1,020 monthly for one seat, or as low as $566 each for 50 seats.

One of the roughly 15,000 WeWork members in the Bay Area is Tucker Barash, who will be basing his Woodbury Financial Services investment adviser business at the Mill Valley location.

“My brother Griff and I own a boutique financial company and jumped at the chance to join WeWork,” he said in an email statement. “We spend a lot of our time on the go meeting with clients, so it’s super helpful to have a fully built-out office environment that’s all set up with everything we need. WeWork supports businesses as they scale and by joining the WeWork community we’ll have exposure to interesting founders and teams at happy hours, meetups and in the common areas. The location is also fantastic with easy access to the freeway, a quick zip into S.F., and of course a quick hop to the Buckeye (Roadhouse restaurant in Mill Valley).

“WeWork provides the things we need, like internet, phone, conference rooms, snacks so that we can focus on our clients and the things that drive our business.”

Companies and professionals who live in southern Marin and are interested in a shared work environment are driving demand for such office space, according to Haden Ongaro, who leads Newmark Knight Frank’s North Bay commercial real estate team and has been part of the WeWork deal at Belvedere Place.

“That tenant profile demand high-quality space with amenities, and Belvedere Place has unique improvements with a great location and walkable amenities,” he said.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s analyzed a WeWork bond offering document in late April. S&P expects large corporations will occupy half of WeWork’s desks within two years, up from a quarter currently, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Belvedere Place is located next to the Strawberry Village Shopping Center, which fronts on Highway 101.

Regus has five North Bay locations with shared offices and executive suites, including San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Recent openings by locally owned co-working providers include VentureHub in San Rafael. Cornerstone Properties plans to open coLAB co-work locations in Santa Rosa and Petaluma later this year.

Brokering the lease deal are Haden Ongaro, Mac Cranford and Mark Carrington of Newmark Knight Frank for property owner SKB. Steve Barker of Savillis Studley is representing WeWork.

Contact Jeff Quackenbush at jquackenbush@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4256.

This story has been updated with a timeframe for opening the WeWork site in Mill Valley.

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