WeWork, the New York-based shared work space company, plans to open its first Baltimore location in 2020 in a new office building at Harbor Point, a redeveloping former industrial site jutting into the Inner Harbor.
WeWork will take two floors in a 12-story, 330,000-square-foot mixed-use building that Beatty Development, the company behind Harbor Point, announced in June it will break ground on soon.
The building, dubbed Wills Wharf, will be about two-thirds offices with the top four floors a Canopy by Hilton hotel. Last week, Beatty Development announced that the digital marketing agency Jellyfish will lease a floor of the building, moving from offices on South President Street.
WeWork’s planned space will be able to fit up to 1,100 workers, including entrepreneurs, freelancers or those who work for small and medium-sized firms. Some desks will be located in community spaces and others in more traditional offices with conference rooms and other amenities.
WeWork operates shared offices, and nearly 200,000 desks, around the country, and officials said they wanted to come to Baltimore to serve the city’s technology sector, which studies show has been growing. It recently announced it would open a space at the University of Maryland, College Park, its first offices on a college campus.
In Baltimore, WeWork joins other shared-space offices including Spark, opened downtown by The Cordish Cos., and City Garage, opened in Port Covington by Betamore. Operators say such so-called co-working spaces appeal to start-ups that can lower their rents by sharing spaces and amenities and to larger companies that don’t want to be locked into multi-year leases.
Nicole Mozeliak, general manager of WeWork’s Mid-Atlantic territory, said the company’s spaces also appeal to people who thrive in a collaborative environment or often work with other firms. WeWork chose Harbor Point because it believes it will be a desirable location in the Inner Harbor for new and existing firms. Rents, both month-to-month and long-term, have not been determined.
The mixed-use Harbor Point is anchored by the regional headquarters for Exelon Corp. and offices for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. It features an open-air waterfront venue called SandLot and a 17-story apartment tower opened there last fall.
“It will attract a lot of talent,” Mozeliak said. “They will be new businesses to Baltimore and existing businesses. People naturally want to be in Baltimore, especially in the thriving technology sector.”