WeLive closes in on first London scheme

WeWork is edging closer to launching its residential brand WeLive in London and is eyeing a number of office blocks in the capital with the potential to be converted to co-living units, Property Week understands.

Well-placed sources said the company was assessing various sites in central London to take long leases and convert space into flats for young professionals. It had not yet bid for any properties but was able to move quickly if it found the right site, they said. One source said the company was likely to adopt the same model in London as it had with its two existing WeLive schemes, which were launched in the US last year. The schemes - in New York City and Arlington County, Virginia - combine co-living units with the sort of flexible office space the company provides in London. They offer a range of units from studios to three-bedroom flats and residents can choose to stay for as little as one night or for several months. Amenities include bars, event spaces and communal kitchens. WeWork’s determination to launch a co-living site in London will be seen as a vote of confidence in the burgeoning sector, which received another boost this week when new operator Fifth State announced plans for 5,000 units within the next six years. Last month, The Collective put its 323-flat scheme in Old Oak, west London, up for sale - in what would be the first sale of its kind - hoping to attract bids of more than £100m. A WeWork spokesperson said: “We’re always on the lookout for potential locations for a WeLive community in the major markets where we operate.”