WeWork execs go silent on local expansion plans

WeWork Companies Inc., the co-working space operator eager to promote its opening of a downtown office in February, has gone mute amid speculation that it’s planning a major expansion in Austin.

Executives at other tech companies looking for office space said they have learned that WeWork is planning a major expansion of its downtown office space just blocks from the Capitol and in the heart of downtown.

The New York company isn’t providing any details about a possible expansion and its local manager couldn’t be reached on Friday. A front-desk worker at the Congress Avenue WeWork office said the manager was too busy to take questions from a reporter.

WeWork spokeswoman Karen Germ hasn’t answered any questions about the possibility of local expansion. Sarah Allen, the company’s community engagement manager, referred questions to other WeWork officials.

In February, WeWork opened a space taking up the 14th floor of 600 Congress Ave. that was projected to serve about 500 members. Use of a dedicated desk was expected to cost $400 per month, a company executive said at the time.

WeWork, which was founded in 2010 by CEO Adam Neumann, enables members to lease common area spaces, labs or offices. The cost of leases depend on locations.

The company employs 300 workers. Fidelity Management & Research Co. and others have invested $400 million in WeWork and it is now reportedly worth $10 billion.

Neumann has told the Wall Street Journal he plans to expand WeWork to 60 locations.

About 15 co-working spaces already operate in Austin. Most are independently owned businesses that partner with other service providers on a smaller scale.