WeWork, a shared-office service for budding entrepreneurs, has agreed to open its first Southern California outpost, in Hollywood.
The New York company leased 35,681 square feet, almost half the space in the former Stephen J. Cannell building at 7083 Hollywood Blvd., in a deal valued at $15 million.
WeWork plans to open offices for 350 to 400 entrepreneurs and small-business freelancers by mid-February, co-founder Adam Neumann said. Tenants will be screened by WeWork to ensure a wide range of business specialties. They will be encouraged to do business with one another.
“What we are creating is a networking community,” Neumann said. “We are the world’s first physical social network.”
The Los Angeles office will be WeWork’s sixth, joining a recently opened outpost in San Francisco and four in New York. The offices are an updated version of executive suites, Neumann said, in which tenants share workstations and such amenities as kitchens, conference rooms, coffee bars, private phone booths, a meditation room and an Xbox gaming lounge.
Building managers observe tenants’ business skills and make introductions and recommendations for work with other tenants, he said.
“If you are a member of the WeWork community, we can get your lawyer, accounting services, PR, IT person and brander all for less than $10,000,” Neumann said.
In other cities, WeWork offices are in historic-looking buildings that predate World War II. The Los Angeles offices will be in a six-story mirrored glass structure near La Brea Avenue that was completed in 1985 and is owned by CIM Group, Hollywood’s largest commercial landlord.
“Los Angeles was a little bit of an enigma,” Neumann said. “It’s not easy to understand where the right location is, not like New York,” where offices are in fashionable neighborhoods, including SoHo and the Meatpacking district.
Hollywood, he decided, is up and coming and had the added blessing of his wife, actress Rebekah Paltrow. The cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow “lived in Los Angeles for a few years, and from her experience this was the right place,” he said.
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-- Roger Vincent
Photo: Inside a WeWork shared office in New York. Credit: WeWork