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25 October 2017, 01:05 | Lionel James
Lord & Taylor Is Selling Its Century-Old Fifth Avenue Flagship to Freaking WeWork
The Lord and Taylor building will continue to operate though the 2018 holiday season. The rest of the 676,000-square foot building will become WeWork's headquarters and WeWork office space.
HBC expects the transaction to result in an aggregate debt reduction of C$1.6 billion and an increase in total liquidity of about C$1.1 billion.
Hudson's Bay Company has sold the century-old Lord & Taylor flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to a WeWork Companies joint venture for $850 million.
That is 30 per cent above the most recent appraised value, according to a press release from HBC. The company now anticipates minimal impact on the earnings from these locations.
Litt, founder of hedge fund Land & Buildings, has valued HBC's real estate at C$35 a share, and has called for HBC to sell some stores, convert them to alternate uses or go private.
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In particular, Litt had his eye on the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in NY.
In a novelistic detail that handily illustrates the big shifts happening American business, Lord & Taylor's corporate parent is selling the department store's landmark Fifth Avenue flagship-to WeWork.
HBC, which also owns the Saks Fifth Avenue chain, faces pressure to extract more value from its real estate assets at a time when brick-and-mortar retailers lose market share to more nimble online operators. The retail space will be reduced from 650,000 sq. ft.to 150,000 sq. ft. and will be confined to the bottom floors. It could also add 20 WeWork locations in HBC businesses around the world, Baker said.
New York-based WeWork leases office space and rents it out to individuals and small companies, namely startups.
"Added HBC" s Baker: "Our partnership with the WeWork team creates new opportunities for HBC to redefine the traditional department store by extending those communities and drive additional traffic to our stores, particularly as we add co-working and community space to existing, vibrant retail locations". "The trend of urbanization is something we must all recognize and understand", he said.
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