New York-based flexible office operator Knotel will give back 20% of its portfolio to landlords, mainly from its Manhattan locations.
As it attempts to alleviate the blow from the coronavirus pandemic, Knotel has been in talks with landlords to return 1 million square feet of its 5 million square foot portfolio. The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many of Knotel’s tenants to work from home, with a small portion of facilities closing altogether, but Sarva expects that number to grow.
“It’s not a welcome conversation with a landlord, but it’s us just being tough-minded,” said Amol Sarva, CEO of Knotel. “There will be change coming soon and I think we are moving to be ahead of that. Here we are doing that, again that does mean some properties are not going to be on the list.”
The locations that Knotel is attempting to give back are ones the company believes will not have demand after the pandemic is over. Additionally, the company recently laid off 30% of its 400 employees and furloughed 20% in order to withstand the health crisis.
Reports also revealed that Knotel told its New York City landlords that it is in discussions with landlords over whether it will pay rent for April.