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WeWork Atlanta Lands First Mercedes-Benz Innovation Center in U.S.

German Car Giant to Put Global Center at Co-Working Company's Terminus Location
July 2, 2018
WeWork, the shared- and flexible-space giant, won the contest to land Mercedes-Benz's first global innovation center in the United States

Mercedes-Benz plans to set up its fourth Lab1886 global innovation center at WeWork in Terminus 100 at 3280 Peachtree Road in Atlanta's Buckhead area. The other three Lab1886 locations are in Germany (Stuttgart and Berlin) and Beijing. During the grand opening of Mercedes-Benz USA's headquarters in March in suburban Sandy Springs, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms hinted that the new Lab1886 location would be in the city of Atlanta.

Landing Mercedes-Benz at its Terminus location is a big win for WeWork. The co-working giant, which started by leasing large spaces then re-leasing them to typically smaller startups, now is working to recruit large global companies with more than 1,000 employees to its locations.

WeWork is hiring veteran brokers to lead enterprise business development in each major region.
In the Southeast, WeWork tapped RT Bowden, who left Cresa after near seven years brokering office deals. Bowden will focus solely on recruiting large enterprises to WeWork locations across the Southeast.

"Large enterprises now comprise the fastest-growing segment of WeWork's member base," a WeWork spokeswoman said in an email to CoStar News. Corporate members make up more than 25 percent of WeWork's total membership, and 25 percent of the Fortune 500 firms are WeWork members, the WeWork spokeswoman said.

These companies, such as Facebook, tend to have heathier credit, reducing the risk of defaulting on pricey WeWork leases. Last month, CoStar reported that Facebook signed a deal to occupy WeWork’s single-largest location, a 450,000-square-foot mixed-use development in Mountain View, Calif., that borders Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay.

WeWork and co-working companies such as Spaces and Serendipity Labs offer large companies flexibility, especially when the firms launch new initiatives or enter new cities. In January, when French automaker Groupe PSA announced it selected Atlanta for its North American headquarters, it signed for space at WeWork's location at 1372 Peachtree St. in Midtown, also home to WeWork's regional headquarters. Groupe PSA owns Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall.

Matt Mooney, senior vice president and managing director of Atlanta for Cousins Properties, said adding Mercedes-Benz to its roster at Terminus builds Buckhead's reputation as a burgeoning tech area. "It serves as further validation of the momentum in the Buckhead Tech Corridor and the synergies Terminus enjoys with WeWork, our neighbors at Atlanta Tech Village, and our existing customers like Amazon Web Services and CoStar," Mooney told CoStar News.

CoStar occupies 50,176 square feet at Terminus 200.

In other WeWork news, the company just hired Lawrence Gellerstedt, who had served as leader of the Tech Practice Group at Cushman & Wakefield Atlanta. Gellerstedt is set to start in mid-July as director of real estate for the Southeast.

"Lawrence has served as an extension of our Southeast team in the past, and we couldn't be more excited to bring him on in an official capacity this summer," said Bobby Condon, general manager of WeWork Southeast. "His knowledge of the territory and market has been very beneficial as a partner and we look forward to having him as our director of Real Estate for the Southeast."

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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