- Dock 72, a collaboration between WeWork, Rudin Management, Boston Properties and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is slated to open later this year. It was conceived in 2013, back when WeWork hadn’t yet cracked $1 billion in valuation.
- WeWork’s IPO valuation may plunge to less-than-half of its last SoftBank-rolled private round. SoftBank is reportedly urging WeWork to postpone its IPO.
- The Dock 72 building, with 30,000 square feet of amenities, is a symbol of a new generation of offices, built after WeWork began advocating for the “space as a service” model.
- Here’s a roundup of Business Insider’s WeWork coverage.
With WeWork’s valuation under fire, it can be easy to forget how much the coworking company has already changed how offices are being built.
Dock 72, a soon-to-open, 675,000-square-foot office development in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, stands as a beacon of what WeWork thinks the office of the future should look like. The project is a collaboration between WeWork, Rudin Management, Boston Properties and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Originally conceived in 2013, it also stands as a monument to the heady optimism of a time when WeWork hadn’t yet cracked a valuation of $1 billion.
Business Insider toured the project three weeks ago to get a look a what’s happening on the ground there.
The project was originally unveiled in 2015 with a $300 million cost tag and WeWork as the anchor tenant and provider of 30,000 square feet of building amenities. By 2016, the price tag was reported as $380 million, and by 2017, it was reported to have increased to $410 million.
Meanwhile, WeWork’s IPO valuation could be less-than-half its last SoftBank-rolled private round – and that’s if the company goes public any time soon at all. SoftBank has been urging the coworking giant to postpone its public debut, according to an FT report. The most up-to-date media reports say that WeWork is planning to go forward with the IPO.
WeWork plans to move its own corporate employees and flex-office customers into its 222,000 square feet of the project this fall. Earlier media reports showed the company planning to move in later last year, then this spring, and then this summer. And CRETech, a leading commercial real estate technology research group, plans to hold its annual conference in the building this October.
A recent report by JLL estimates that a third of US office space will be flexible by 2030. WeWork’s competitors, some as old as WeWork, others who launched more recently, may be concerned that bad press can hurt the industry, but also see that as a road bump en route to a newly-imagined office.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation has been managing the space since 1981, 15 years after the Navy decommissioned the site and 180 years after the Yard was established. The Development Corporation’s mission has been to bring the number of jobs in the Yard to or above peak levels, when the Yard was developing battleships during World War Two.
The Dock 72 space, an old drydock surrounded by water on three sides, was not an ideal space for the industrial and manufacturing businesses that the Yard usually hosts. WeWork reached out with a proposal for the dock in 2013 through real estate channels.
WeWork, without a track record of developing on its own, brought Rudin Management and Boston Properties to the site as potential partners. Neither firm had ever developed in Brooklyn, and this project, planned to be, would be the first ground-up, class A office building built in the borough in more than two decades.
WeWork and Rudin’s relationship had begun earlier in 2013, with WeWork leasing space in Rudin’s 110 Wall Street building. The building, which Rudin developed and has operated since the 1960s, was substantially damaged by Hurricane Sandy the year prior. WeWork pitched Rudin on placing a WeWork in the building, as well as the first WeLive, WeWork’s co-living brand. Building off of that prior partnership, and the value of working with another experienced development firm like Boston Properties, Rudin decided to join the deal.
“When you’re looking at a deal, you hope to check a few boxes,” Michael Rudin, a senior VP at Rudin, told Business Insider. “We were checking a lot of boxes.”
The project, surrounded on three sides by water, has not been an easy development. The Navy Yard lobbied New York City to build a ferry stop on the site, as the Navy Yard is far from most subway lines. The ferry opened early this year.
Dock 72’s unique shape, easily visible from the ferry, was created by S9 Architecture to connect with the naval history of the Yard. It is one of many features that highlights the location’s history.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard ferry stop, opened early this year, is on the Astoria line and connects the Yard to Queens as well as the financial district and midtown Manhattan.
The Navy Yard has self-driving cars, powered by Optimus Ride, that run a loop through to bring ferry riders throughout the space.
A cannon, found during excavation, is used as a decorative accent in space outside the building.
A mural, painted by apprentices from Creative Art Work, lines one side of the outdoor space. The mural is intended to reflect a Brooklyn aesthetic, situating Dock 72 in a specific place.
The first floor of the building features a large, open staircase leading to a second floor with a balcony. The first floor also includes a cafeteria which will be open to anyone with access to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
There are four murals on the first floor that provide the backdrop for casual sitting space. Each mural connects to the history of the project and the Navy Yard in some way. This New-Deal style mural shows a boat being built.
Dock72 is 16 floors tall. The office space has windows that offer panoramic views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
A view of downtown Brooklyn. WeWork will occupy all of floors seven and eight, as well as the western halves of floors three to six.
The building is only 90 feet wide. No desk will be more than 45 feet away from a window.
Six of the floors have outdoor terraces, with space to catch a breath at the office, or even, on some of the larger terraces, to have a meeting.
From the terraces, you can see the Navy Yard, which houses projects like the New Lab startup hub.
A view of lower Manhattan from a terrace.
A view of midtown Manhattan and the still-functioning parts of the Navy Yard.
There’s a still functioning drydock next to the building.
The building also has a view of Steiner Studios, the largest film studio outside of California and another large tenant of the Navy Yard.
The top floor will a conference space that will be usable by residents of the building. It will be bookable through Rudin’s already-operating Nantum App, which will gain more features when Dock 72 opens.
An unfinished entryway to the building has the name of every ship built in the Navy Yard written onto it.
The building is close to other new businesses in the Navy Yard, like the new Russ & Daughters restaurant housed in Building 77.
A detailed view of the building’s window design.
Dock 72is built above the ground, and supported by V-shaped columns to lift the building one foot above the 100-year flood line. In the case of flooding, the water would flow underneath the building.
The connection between this plan and Rudin and WeWork’s original post-flood partnership at 110 Wall Street is totally coincidental.
Dock 72 standing side-by-side with a boat, blending with the Navy Yard.