>> A New York City retail landmark from the 1800s bought out by a 7 year old startup. WeWork scooping up Lord and Taylor's flagship 5th Avenue building for $850 million. The 150,000 square foot store stays. But WeWork will convert the rest of the building into its global headquarters as it expands.
The company valued at an estimated $16 billion is known for revolutionizing the shared working space industry, leasing trendy office spaces and renting them out to freelancers and small businesses across 19 countries. WeWork's rapid growth has drawn major backers like Japanese giant SoftBank, which invested a whopping $4.4 million earlier this year.
The deal comes as the retail industry's struggling to make the move away from brick and mortar to online. That has pressured department stores like Lord and Taylor, which is owned by Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay, into closing down physical locations, saving on real estate. Macy's, JCPenney, and Gap have all been forced to close down dozens of department stores this year.
This midtown Manhattan landmark will be converted in 2018, after the end of the holiday season.