A co-founder of the co-working giant WeWork wants to create a company that will shake up the rental housing industry. Already, Adam Neumann, who parted from WeWork in September 2019, has reportedly purchased more than 4,000 apartments valued at more than $1 billion in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and other cities, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Neumann has said he wants to create a recognizable apartment brand that appeals to the young professionals he targeted in co-working office spaces as chief executive at WeWork.
“Since the spring of 2020, we have been excited about multifamily apartment living in vibrant cities where a new generation of young people increasingly are choosing to live, the kind of cities that are redefining the future of living,” D.J. Mauch, a partner in Neumann’s family office, told The Wall Street Journal. “We’re excited to play a role in that future.”
Neumann also has reportedly been eyeing investments in suburban apartments, where demand has increased due to a rise of remote workers leaving crowded, high-priced cities in search of more space and lower-cost housing.
Neumann co-founded WeWork in 2010, after helping to raise more than $10 billion for the company. He also launched WeLive, intended to be a group of buildings where people would be able to rent rooms in shared, furnished apartments. But WeWork shuttered WeLive after Neumann left the company in 2019. Neumann left WeWork after plans for an IPO stock fell through over concerns about his management style and shrinking profits at the company at the time.
WeWork has since been publicly traded and has a market capitalization of about $7 billion.
Neumann joins many other investors who have been drawn to the rental market over the past year, a surging sector since the pandemic began. Rents have risen in many cities. Read more: Investors Continue Buying Sprees and How Profitable Will Commercial Real Estate Be This Year?