Off Market

What's driving corporate real estate around the world, plus an early look at some off-market assets.

By ryan tucker


Uncertainty, volatility, unrest. Not exactly most people’s idea of an ideal investing climate. But for those who can see the value buried beneath the complexity, this kind of market can hold great opportunities.

One thing I’ve learned since joining WeWork is that rewards come to those who plan far ahead and patiently wait. For growing companies that can be both difficult and risky. So what can you? You can get creative, look for clues and mitigate risk with knowledge…

In today's update:

  • Hong Kong: Be Like Water
  • Off Market Inventory
  • Media Recommendations
  • The Briefs: Trends, News and Big Deals

Have anything you want to say?
Email me directly at



Hong Kong.

How to approach the most unaffordable city in the world.

BMO inked a 15-year lease for the last 215,000 square feet of Conde Nast’s old space at 4 Times Square. (Real Deal)

Zynga​ finds a buyer for their San Francisco building, selling for $600M, but retaining a 150K SF footprint to keep their HQ. Zynga cites the market being at a high-point and the simple fact they aren't a Real Estate company as the primary drivers for selling.

JUUL Labs​ follows the Zynga playbook and acquires a 350K SF building of their own in San Francisco's Soma district.

Credit Karma, signed a new 106K SF Headquarters in Oakland, the second major move from SF to Oakland by a major tech company (Square recently signed a lease in the Uptown Station building). (SF Chronicle)


How Modi’s Victory Could Reshape India

Popular nationalist has opportunity to make nation a bigger player in global economy and Asia’s geopolitics, but could also bring changes to secular politics.

WeWorkWeWork Prepares For IPO With Chase Helping It Acquire A $2.75 Billion Credit Line

Following its submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its IPO, WeWork is now seeking for a $2.75 billion credit with help from JPMorgan Chase.

Global Impact Report

WeWork released their Global Impact report and the results are staggering. The WeWork economy supports $122.3 billion in GDP worldwide through direct, indirect, and induced spending – roughly the size of the economy of cities like Vancouver, Dublin, or Austin.

Forbes - Beyond Coworking: Homegrown Innovation Spaces Are Transforming Second Cities

Forbes writes about co-working's impact on second cities, spotlighting how WeWork has impacted and transformed cities.


Hong Kong: Be Like Water

The fascinating history of Hong Kong. ​
During the 1800’s the British had an insatiable appetite for Tea, which China would trade only for Silver. Tea is easy to supply, silver is not. A trade imbalance grew, leading to a tenuous relationship. The British began to employ international traders, aka smugglers, to trade opium to acquire enough Silver to send to China for tea.

At the epicentre of these convoluted transactions was Hong Kong–a mosquito infested island with poor soil and surly sailors. Hong Kong became a British colony during the Opium Wars until it was transferred to China in 1997. Since then Hong Kong has operated under the “one country, two systems” framework within China, which expires after 50 years.

The recent Hong Kong protests were at least in part against a proposed law that will allow extradition​ to mainland China, but more broadly represent a symbolic stance against China’s consolidation of control over the city.

On top of social unrest, the cost of living and lack of employment for graduates has led to a sense of desperation among younger generations. Hong Kong’s future is both uncertain and volatile.

What about real estate?Hong Kong today is one of the most densely populated and unaffordable places in the world. with the highest real estate prices of any market.

The real estate supply is limited because, like San Francisco, the island has a scarcity of land and a lasting upswing market. Vacancy rates in Hong Kong are at 4%, and the central business district is even lower, close to 2%.

In 2016, China changed its capital control rules making it harder to move money out of the country, which has led to an influx of both capital investment and business occupiers from mainland China in Hong Kong. ​

Further on the horizon there is uncertainty around what will happen in 2047 when the one country, two systems agreement expires. In Hong Kong, all land is owned by the government​ and leased for development; in 2047, tens of thousands of these leases are set to expire.

What Does it All Mean? The tight real estate supply coupled with short lease terms has allowed landlords to increase rents at an accelerated pace. Contrary to other tight markets where landlords typically value longer lease terms, Hong Kong landlords appear focussed on increasing the number of transactions and locking in short-term profits.

Despite having access to capital, Hong Kong landlords provide low capital incentives to businesses. For tenants, term flexibility isn’t as valuable in a structurally flexible market like Hong Kong; at three or six years, terms are already fairly short.

Ryan’s Take: Be Like Water.
The Hong Kong real estate market has a volatile future. The social and political unrest brings uncertainty and time is running out for reforms before Hong Kong becomes another Chinese city under one framework in only 30 more years.

As such, savvy companies should follow Bruce Lee, and “be like water.” In an expensive and uncertain real estate market like Hong Kong, businesses should seek terms that offer cost certainty to stabilize expenses, as well as capital flexibility to remain agile​ as business needs shift.



3 or 6 years

Average length of term for leases in the

Hong Kong Market.


0-1 months

Number of months tenants in Hong Kong typically receive at no cost.



Minimal capital incentives are provided to new tenants, meaning businesses must front the capex.



Across all commercial buildings in Hong Kong, with 6% YoY change.



A focus on maximizing Capital Flexibility & Cost Certainty.

New Space

Off Market

Get ahead of growing trends with these off market assets…



925 4th St, two floors

3-D Tour

A click-thru digital tour

What's the deal?

925 4th Street has a variety of Offices to Full Floor options catered to larger enterprise businesses coming on line in August.

Buckhead, Atlanta, GA

What's the deal?

A new floor has opened in the Terminus building.

Hot Markets

Expanding in these markets?


Portland Business Journal - WeWork inks deal for fourth Portland location ​ PBJ reports that WeWork is expanding its Portland footprint with a fourth location at 830 N.E. Holladay St. in the Lloyd District. Also reported by The Oregonian.  

Los Angeles Business Journal - WeWork Signs 30th LA Lease at Wilshire Courtyard WeWork has signed a lease for more than 135,000 square feet across four floors at Wilshire Courtyard in Miracle Mile.


Reuters - WeWork to lease 21-story Singapore office tower after HSBC moves out

WeWork is crowned as the largest private tenant in Mexico
Expansion reports that WeWork has become the largest private office occupant in Mexico with 32,000 members and 17 locations.


Media Selections

A curated selection of Books, Podcasts and Resources.


Want to learn more?


By Scott Kapur

I’m only part way through Scott Kapur’s Secrets of Sand Hill Road and it already lives up to the hype.

Kapur demystifies the current funding climate and breaks down the keys to raising venture capital in layman's terms. If you're at all curious to learn how Silicon Valley startups are formed or how VC's operate, The Secrets of Sand Hill Road is the latest book making it's rounds across Silicon Valley. ​



How to ask for help -- and get a "yes" | Heidi Grant

"Asking for help is tough. But to get through life, you have to do it all the time. So how do you get comfortable asking? In this actionable talk, social psychologist Heidi Grant shares four simple rules for asking for help and getting it -- while making the process more rewarding for your helper, too."


Business Trends

What you need to know...


News in Brief

What’s happening around the world…


  • Fortune has released the 2019 Fortune 500 List. ​ (Fortune
  • Amazon admits that automation will replace many workers’ jobs.​ To prepare for this impending reality, Amazon announced this week that it will spend $700 million to retain and retrain about 100,000 workers in the US by 2025 (NY Times)
  • China has slowed the once steady flow of cash into America, with Chinese investment plummeting by nearly 90 percent since President Trump took office. global financial system based on cryptocurrency. (NY Times)
  • SoftBank Looks to Goldman, Apple for Sequel to $100 Billion Vision Fund. SoftBank’s ability to pony up its share of the second Vision Fund will be greatly enhanced by the T-Mobile-Sprint deal. SoftBank carries nearly $150 billion of total debt, including $40 billion of Sprint debt that would be shifted off of SoftBank’s books if the deal is completed. (WSJ)


  • Airbnb Debuts Work Travel Search Tool, and focusing on enterprise growth ahead of the IPO.(PYMTS)
  • Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company has secured a $600M investment from Toyota Motor Corp.​ A continuing trend of Toyota moving beyond auto manufacturing into the world of micro mobility.
  • Substack has raised $15M​ to let people like myself build an audience around a newsletter. (Fortune)
  • Sonder, a San Francisco-based company, raised $210 million​ to provide apartments with hotel like service. (Venture Beat)
  • Compass raised another $370M​ in funding, to bring the total to $1.5B, as they begin the process for an IPO. The investors were primarily prior investors, including Softbank. (Tech Crunch)

Real Estate in Brief

What’s happening around the world…


  • Big-name tenants are competing for space in San Francisco,​ that simply doesn't exist. "The biggest unknown is the city’s office cap: There’s about 2.1 million square feet available, with about 8 million square feet worth of projects looking for approvals. Each October, the cap increases by just 950,000 square feet. Long term, that creates uncertainty about how landlords can accommodate companies’ growth in the city." (Biz Journals
  • WeWork announced it would team up with Alibaba to roll out a program targeting international companies "looking to enter and succeed in China." Typically companies struggle entering China for business, political or cultural reasons... however, sometimes companies are simply overwhelmed with paperwork. (China Daily)


  • Google pays $1 billion for Yahoo Sunnyvale sites and plans to create a series of mix-use neighborhoods around the bay area.​ (Mercury News)
  • Fifth Wall, a real estate-focused venture capital firm has a secured over $500m​ in commitments to invest in “proptech” companies. This might be the largest investment
  • WeWork's investment platform has acquired 600 California​ for a reported $330m, "The We Company announced the creation of the ARK venture to acquire and renovate commercial real estate around the world." (RA)
  • Levi's Plaza in San Francisco sells for $825m​ in one of the city's biggest deals ever. The Campus is about 850K SF, with Levi's still occupying 354K SF. Levi's may have sold the office as a result of their IPO earlier this year. WeWork is also opening the Waterfront Plaza in the North Waterfront area this summer. (SF Chronicle) ​


How will India's election shape Global Opportunity? (WSJ)

  • Popular nationalist has opportunity to make nation a bigger player in global economy and Asia’s geopolitics, but could also bring changes to secular politics.

What is our value proposition globally?

  • Flexible space provider for corporate M&A.

How did we develop this account?

  • WW M&A team had a key relationship with Disney CFO that was instrumental in connecting us with their RE team in early 2018.

What do we have in progress?

  • $xxxK in TCV / 150 desk deal in NYC and xxx desk deal in Coral Gables.

What is the current footprint with us?

  • $xxxM in TCV and 100 desks in Shanghai.

How did we develop this account in China?

  • Ping-An is a Chinese insurance and financial services corporation.
  • BD in HK sat next to the CEO, at a social event. Afterwards, we invited the CEO to the WW table at The Economist' AI Breakfast and the account unlocked from there.

What do we have in progress?

  • This account has 13+ subsidiaries that we're individually developing with time.
  • WW China management team to meet with their senior executive team.
  • There is a $XX million TCV / XXXX desk deal in early stages of discussion.

What is the current footprint with us?

  • $XXX million in TCV / XXXX desks across US, UK, France, Japan, Netherlands, and Australia.

What is our value proposition globally?

  • Speed to operate, flexibility, and ability to drive end to end delivery in progress.

What do we have in progress?

  • High Growth Startup has expanded to 5 different countries with WeWork in 2019.
  • Currently partnering to find a new EMEA HQ in 2019.
  • Executive meeting scheduled this month to discuss broader partnership plans.

Ryan Tucker joined WeWork from the software space and is based in San Francisco. He helps high-growth organizations manage their Real Estate portfolio at a global level. Previously, he held leadership roles in several venture backed startups and cofounded Brandcast.

Off Market is a monthly newsletter on the global trends shaping the real estate industry and future of work, but is not reflect the We Company.

Brandcast is a web publishing platform that helps enterprise companies build and manage newsletters, proposals and microsites at scale.