“WeWork” Paired with Forest City Ratner, Henry Street Settlement at Seward Park

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A few more details in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) this morning regarding a proposal from Forest City Ratner to develop the Seward Park site.  The firm, which is in charge of the controversial Atlantic Yards Project, is one of several development companies vying for the Seward Park contract.

WeWork, a company that provides boutique office space to startups and other businesses, has leased nearly 700,000 square feet in the city over the past three years, according to co-founder Adam Neumann. Now WeWork is part of a bid to develop a swath of the Lower East Side known as Seward Park. Last week, developer Forest City Ratner Cos. included plans for an approximately 400,000-square-foot WeWork headquarters facility in its bid to develop a series of buildings that include retail and below-market rate housing at Seward Park, which is owned by the city, Mr. Neumann said… The Forest City Ratner team also includes the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and the Henry Street Settlement, a Lower East Side-based social service organization, according to a person with knowledge of the bid. If the team wins the bid, the organization would locate its workforce development program in the project.  WeWork makes shared, open, incubator-like office space that it leases out to startups, freelancers and other small companies. The company has enjoyed high demand from startups and tech companies.

The city is expected to select a developer or developers for the nine parcel project near the Williamsburg Bridge by the fall.



Does Forest City Ratner Have an Advantage in Seward Park Bidding?

Development companies have a little over two months left to submit proposals for the Seward Park site, the 1.65 million square foot residential and commercial project at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.  An information session hosted by city planning agencies last week drew more than 300 people, including representatives from some of Manhattan’s biggest development firms.

Today the Atlantic Yards Report focuses on one of the high profile companies in attendance and its close ties to both Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, one of New York’s biggest non-profit organizations.   A story posted earlier today asks whether Forest City Ratner, the developer behind the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, could have an advantage in winning the Seward Park contract due to its Lower East Side political connections.