WeWork and Knotel are the two biggest flexible office space providers in the city, competing for tenants and offices with relatively few overt acts of aggression, with both brands nabbing large chunks of space in buildings and sometimes even working with the same landlords.
Zandieh likened the deep-pocketed WeWork to Sweetgreen and said landlords like to work with the company because it “Can absorb more square footage than Knotel can.”
A landlord – who requested anonymity – who has leased multiple spaces to Knotel said there was nothing “Out of the ordinary” working with Knotel, and said he has never inked a deal with WeWork.
In May, WeWork signed a deal for 67,858 square feet at Walter & Samuels’ 419 Park Avenue South and will install signage on the front of the 20-story building, as Commercial Observer previously reported.
“A lot of landlords have the perception that WeWork in some sense is being competitive to their business,” Peter Hansen, a vice president in WeWork’s real estate partnership division, previously told CO. “We’re now complementary to their business. They are sharing in the upside of the operation.”
The differences between WeWork and Knotel don’t just begin and end at the deal table with landlords.
While WeWork itself started HQ by WeWork last August to host mid-size tenants, it is still known for its large blocks of glass office spaces occupied by smaller companies, with WeWork branding all over.