Little West 12th Street Becomes Boutique Office Community

By Meredith Hoffman on July 25, 2011 6:18pm 

The new WeWork office building on Little West 12th Street started moving in tenants Monday.
The new WeWork office building on Little West 12th Street started moving in tenants Monday.
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WeWork

MEATPACKING DISTRICT — After more than a decade of vacancy, a 36,000-square-foot space next to the Gansevoort Hotel is becoming the next chic office community.

The three adjoining buildings at 1, 3, and 5 Little West 12th Street opened the doors Monday to their new tenants on the second floor — including fashion, marketing, and other creative agencies.

The office company WeWork gut renovated the top five floors of the six-story adjoining buildings and welcomed their first tenants to the second floor on Monday. WeWork is expected to open its third floor office space to tenants on Aug. 1, with other floors to follow.

The first floor of 1 Little West 12th St. already houses the restaurant Bagatelle, which is closed this summer for renovations, according to its website. 

"We provide boutique office space but also a deeper opportunity to network and to be part of the creative community that's really growing," said Megan Mallow, WeWork's operational manager. "We've had to do a lot of work on the building but that's kind of what we like."

Mallow said that mostly businesses with "a creative vibe" were attracted to WeWork's communal model, of glass walls separating each office, social events like biweekly happy hours, and shared spaces like a TV lounge. 

"People are able to connect in a way that's not possible if they were working at home or in another building," she said.

WeWork already has a building in Midtown and one in SoHo, but she said the Meatpacking space is already generating unprecedented interest. Offices in the Meatpacking location range from $800 for a one-person office, to $3900 for a six-person space.

"We have a long waiting list of people wanting to see the building," said Mallow. "It's [because of] the type of creative atmosphere that's surrounding the neighborhood."

On Monday afternoon, several entrepreneurs moved in their boxes and pulled out their laptops, to begin taking advantage of the social workplace.

"It feels innovative," said one new tenant, Andy Mendelson, whose small music company just moved from the WeWork building in Midtown. "It's great for networking...In the last building I was hired by the film distributor on my floor! I didn't expect things to work that directly."

Mendelson said he could see the future promise of WeWork's office model.

"As work in creative fields becomes decentralized, this is for people who don't want to be in their PJ's all day long at home working," he said.

A few spaces down, TTR group event planning (formerly known as the "Blaque List" club promoters) were starting their new company. 

"From what we saw in the other building, there's a lot of meeting and co-mingling with others," said Troy Gordon, one of TTR's partners, who also praised the reasonable rent.

Other companies moving in include Madison House Travel, a planner for band tours, interior designer Vanessa DeLeon, and G-Vac, an Australian franchise. The building's exterior is currently covered in scaffolding, but Mallow said it would be removed by September.

Mallow added that the space, which was formerly home to a gay men's health center before it went vacant a decade ago, was an exciting deal.

"Meatpacking still has a few empty buildings — they're like gold mines," she said.

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