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Roundup 9-6-2019

September 5, 2019

Contents

Transportation

— A Taxing Issue

— Another Taxing Issue

— More Taxing Issues

— Roundtable

— Scooters

Downtown – High Seasons

Westshore-ish – Change

Westshore-ish – Unambitious

Westshore – A Proposal

South Tampa – Starting

Port – Expansion

Economic Development – A Change

St. Pete – About Time

Rays

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the State

— Virgin Trains

— Another Possible Referendum

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the World

___________________________


Transportation


— A Taxing Issue

As the news about the County budget has made clear over the last few weeks (and before, really), after years (or decades) of poor planning and management (like routinely cutting taxes when there are outstanding needs) and kicking the can down the road, the County has many needs related to development and growth.  Among those needs are not just the huge transportation backlog and need for transportation alternatives, but also for proper emergency services to serve the population (things like fire stations). While the AFT referendum would fill a decent part of the transportation hole, it would not fill all the transportation needs, let alone the emergency service needs.  That leaves the present County Commission with a problem: either raise revenue to actually pay for what is needed or continue to be behind the needs.  One revenue suggestion was to increase the gas tax. But

Hillsborough County Commissioners won’t raise the county’s gas tax — at least not yet.

During a meeting Wednesday, the board voted to temporarily approve a 5 cent gas tax, which means the issue is still on the table but won’t go into effect.

The county already levies 6 cents allowable under state law, but has not adopted the 5 cent local option fuel tax. If adopted, the additional tax would create an estimated $20.6 million a year in additional county revenue for transportation projects.

So why did they take this path and not just raise the tax?

First, the issue requires a supermajority vote of the County Commission. As noted by Commissioner Pat Kemp, the votes just were not there.

If the issues had gone to a vote for approval, instead of temporary approval, it would have made it more difficult to bring back to a vote at a later time. The temporary approval allows the issue to come up again without too much bureaucratic hassle.

Second, some commissioners were concerned about timing. Hillsborough County residents are already paying a 1 percent sales surtax for transportation and transit enhancements in Hillsborough County. Several residents showed up at the meeting to lament they were already being taxed enough for transportation.

Setting aside that we do not yet know if the AFT referendum will stand, they may not want to pay more taxes (we do not either), but the revenue does not meet the needs.  Still, raising taxes is always fraught, and the gas tax more so because:

Commissioner Board Chair Les Miller agreed, noting he had received numerous emails opposing the proposed tax increase.

In addition to opposing more taxes in general, others lamented the tax would be regressive, meaning it would disproportionately affect low-income residents who could least afford to absorb the additional tax. 

Gas tax, which is really a form of sales tax, is to a large degree regressive.  On the other hand, it is a user tax and, arguably, if there are more transportation alternatives, people can avoid paying it by using those alternatives (cheaper transportation also goes to making housing more affordable).

In short, we recognize that if you want something, you have to pay for it. We also recognize that for years the County has underinvested while cutting taxes, failing to collect proper impact fees, and wasting money subsidizing the exact pattern of development that has contributed disproportionately to the deficit and needs we now have.  And, to a large degree, we agree with this from URBN Tampa Bay:

We liked Commissioner Overman’s take in support of raising the gas tax sooner rather than later, which was not covered in this article… Generally, her point was that the gas tax and AfT are two independent sources of transportation funding, and that AfT is just another piece of the county’s transportation funding pie, and does not raise enough revenue to cover the county’s backlog of transportation needs on its own. The sooner the gas tax is passed and goes into effect, the sooner work can begin shortly thereafter on the acute roadway needs that are driving commuters nuts in places like south county and elsewhere.

This key point to us is acknowledging that AfT alone is not enough. It will help plenty, there’s no doubt about that, but it is not enough to backfill the huge hole in transportation funding that past irresponsible BOCCs have saddled today’s residents and this new majority on the BOCC with.

On the other hand, we do not really want to raise (and pay) more taxes, and we are concerned with the burden for lower income residents.  Consequently, we are open to raising the gas tax, though we think we should see what happens with the referendum first to see exactly how much new revenue will be needed to meet those needs (and what the effect of that tax burden will be).  In other words, be ready to act but see what the needs are.  Fixing the mistakes of the past will involve some pain, but the Commission should work to minimize the pain while still addressing the problem.


— Another Taxing Issue

There is another voice in the AFT suit:

The Florida House of Representatives is joining the fight over the future of Hillsborough’s transportation tax.

A lawyer for the chamber has filed a brief in support of a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the tax and is set to go before the Florida Supreme Court. House General Counsel Adam Tenanbaum asked the court to reverse a lower court ruling and eliminate the tax, along with the charter amendment that authorized it.

The argument, as explained in Florida Politics:

In the House brief siding with challengers, Tanenbaum argued the tax usurps legislative authority to oversee how sales surtax is levied.

“The House has an interest in preserving this legislative prerogative to strictly control non-ad valorem taxation,” Tanenbaum wrote. “Hillsborough County’s effort at levying a sales surtax without strictly complying with the Legislature’s requirements for doing so, and the trial court’s application of the severability doctrine to preserve a portion of an otherwise unconstitutional levy, threatens to diminish the Legislature’s exclusive constitutional power regarding non-ad valorem taxation.”

Tanenbaum also argued the All For Transportation referendum illegally included language directing specific uses for revenue, an authority that should be reserved for the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners or the Florida Legislature.

“In fact, for this particular surtax, the Legislature charges the county commission, and no other person or entity, to decide how the tax proceeds will be spent across several statutorily enumerated categories of transportation projects. The county’s failure to put a “clean” levy question to the voters renders the proposed surtax invalid,” he wrote.

And note:

While the brief is an official Florida House of Representatives action, it does not necessarily represent the opinions of the entire chamber. House Speaker Jose Oliva has the authority to direct staff action without putting such a matter to a vote among members of the House.

Once again, we are not going to get into the legal issues.  However, it is interesting that Broward passed a referendum.  Orange is considering a referendum (see below here).  There are other referendums in large counties.  (Meanwhile, the Legislature is passed the legislation on the roads to nowhere.) One has to wonder why residents of these big counties feel the need to pass local referendums.


— More Taxing Issues

Speaking of the AFT referendum:

Hillsborough County commissioners will do a first reading of an ordinance that would maintain the percentages and uses that the new transportation surtax would be applicable toward.

Commissioners will discuss the ordinance on Sept. 5.

The ordinance will approve percentages that a judge removed, All for Transportation organizer Christina Barker said. The draft ordinance doesn’t present any significant changes to the original charter. The percentages previously ruled out can be reinstated.

If the ordinance moves forward, it would require staff to schedule and advertise a public hearing for Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. to consider enacting an ordinance generally providing for the use, allocation and distribution of the proceeds of the sales surtax, according to county documents.

The Commission moved the ordinance forward, and there will be the public hearing.  That is as it should be.


— Roundtable

The Business Journal had an article regarding the comments of some local officials regarding transportation in this area. (See article here)  We are not going to get into all the comments.  Some are straight-forward enough.  However, some are worthy of comment.

First, the leader of TBARTA:

On ferry service: I’m a huge fan of ferry service. TBARTA’s mission revolves around mobility, reducing congestion, improving air quality. The Cross Bay Ferry service has been a success. [St. Pete Mayor Rick] Kriseman and the private partners in St. Pete have done a fantastic job.

As we have noted many times, including in the last few weeks, the Cross-Bay Ferry is a fun cruise that does not really do anything regarding congestion or providing a real transportation options.  It is fine as far as it goes, but it really is not a major regional issue.  We hope TBARTA is not spending much time on it and see no reason that the Cross-Bay Ferry should be an example for regional transportation planning.

From a Pasco County Commissioner:

On BRT and the region working together: It is important to the entire region. Pasco County is the fastest growing in the region. I’m very thankful Pasco County was invited because at one time that wasn’t the case. Let’s be honest, Pasco was a forgotten county for many years. What people are realizing again is the impact we have on the region. We have the largest skating rink in the southeastern U.S., we have an indoor recreation facility that will be focused on amateur sports. We are getting there. The challenge is there are so many agencies, committees moving this direction, that direction, no one is on the same page. Somehow, some way all these agencies need to get together because we’re not.

First, let us clarify the facts behind growth.  According to the latest Census Bureau figures, since 2010 Pasco County has added 74,927 people for a 16.1% growth rate (between 2017 and 2018 it added 14,609 for a 2.8% growth rate).  Between 2010 and 2018, Hillsborough County added 207,710 for a 16.9% growth rate (Between 2017 and 2018 it added 26,773 for a 1.9% growth rate).   So, in terms of one-year growth rate, Pasco County is the fastest growing county in the area.  By any other measure, including actual people, it is not.

Setting that aside for now, no, this area is not on the same page.  TBARTA is working on a “BRT” plan that events have overtaken (assuming the referendum is ruled valid) and that was never a good plan or even about actually being truly useful.  And Pasco is not on the same page as Hillsborough because Hillsborough is actively working to develop real transportation alternatives that can move people around the area while Pasco is focusing on sprawling development that makes having a useful transportation infrastructure more expensive and difficult.  Pasco is also blocking a needed east-west road in the north of the area, ignoring the needs of Pinellas and Hillsborough (as well as its own needs). That is their choice, but not cooperating then complaining about lack of cooperation, while common in many spheres, is not a road to solutions.

And, as for the “BRT” plan, it really only serves Pasco commuters and does nothing for Hillsborough residents other than using their money for something that does not help them.  As we have said many times, we have no problem with a reasonably priced express bus that would accomplish the same thing for much less cost.

While this area seems to have made some progress in understanding our issues, many of the ideas, and even attitudes, are still inadequate for where we need to be.


— Scooters

As regular readers will know, Tampa is in the middle of year-long pilot program regarding scooters.  One would expect that the safety of the scooters would be an issue of interest in the pilot program.  According to the Times,

As scooter trips grow to more than 250,000 in Tampa, so have concerns over safety.

Earlier this month, City Council members praised the city’s scooter program while at the same time peppering staff for injury data and safety concerns.

“It’s definitely fun when they go fast, but boy, I hit a bump and almost fell and bumped myself,” said City Council member John Dingfelder.

Transportation director Jean Duncan told the council that finding the data isn’t easy: “We don’t always know about those injuries — unless it’s something, of course, unfortunately very horrific.”

Others are finding a way. And data is beginning to trickle in for Tampa.

You can read the article (here) for details, but

Medical journals publish studies, local governments monitor headlines and scooter companies track their own data, but a centralized, comprehensive source of data on scooter injuries remains elusive. Instead, transportation officials are left cobbling together reports from a number of sources.

Unless a scooter accident involves a hospital or law enforcement, it’s difficult to find records.

Yet,

The city’s transportation department hopes to get preliminary accident data around the end of the scooter pilot program in May, from emergency rooms, the police department and the scooter companies themselves, Duncan said.

Tampa is working with the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida and a formal report is expected around July, said center Prof. Yu Zhang.

The center is also evaluating the scooter program overall, assessing the frequency, severity and causes of scooter collisions, as well as the percentage of vehicles illegally parked and the program’s economic and environmental impact.

While that sounds good

Still, the city isn’t taking advantage of information on complaints and injuries from the four competing vendors — Bird, Lime, Jump and Spin — even though its operating agreement allows it to.

City bicycle and pedestrian engineer Calvin Thornton said that level of detail is not necessary.

However, the city does ask for information on usage, performance and ridership.

We are not saying that the accident rate is too high because we do not know the accident rate.  And we are not saying finding that rate is easy to do, but there should be a specific method of collecting safety data. Without accurate information how will the City know if the program is safe and/or if there should be tweaks to it?  Accurate safety numbers should be among the most important part of a pilot program.


Downtown – High Seasons

The Seasons Apartments and Suites proposal on Whiting have received FAA approval.  Per URBN Tampa Bay:

The multi-tower project proposed for 601 and 602 Whiting in Downtown Tampa has received approval from the FAA for its height.

The project features 541 residential units, 10,520 square feet of restaurant space, and 1,137 square feet of retail space.

The yellow tower tops out at 41 floors and 476 feet, meaning it would be the 5th tallest building in Tampa if it was built today. The blue tower tops out at 27 floors and 325 feet.

The project is designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn.

 

From URBN Tampa Bay – click on picture for Facebook post

While we harbor some doubts about this project, it is interesting that it is moving along in the approval process. We will see what happens.


Westshore-ish – Change

There were some Midtown changes this week.  From UBRN Tampa Bay:

Here’s an update on Block H of Midtown Tampa. Originally proposed as a movie theater, it will now be an office and retail building called The Loft at Midtown.

The building will include 51,982 square feet of office space and 23,521 square feet of retail space.

 

From URBN Tampa Bay – click on picture for Facebook post

From URBN Tampa Bay – click on picture for Facebook post

From URBN Tampa Bay – click on picture for Facebook post

We are not really surprised that the movie theaters got eliminated.  As for the building itself, it seems OK.  At least there is nice sidewalk, protection for pedestrians, and activity area on Himes. We are not really sure about putting the trash/loading dock right next to the building lobby, but it will have to go somewhere.  If the entire bottom floor is retail, it is going to be around something (but maybe it should not be the lobby).

It is hard to get really excited about a 3-story building.  As we said, we like the treatment of the connection with the outside world.  Hopefully this change is a sign that the developer will be working to make better connections at other parts of the project.  It has always been a weak spot.


Westshore-ish – Unambitious

Sticking with the Westshore area, when we noticed Jerry Ulm Dodge building a new facility next to the present facility at Columbus and Dale Mabry, we were hoping for something substantial going in at that very busy corner.  We did not know what was planned, but the potential for redevelopment of the old lot was very high.  Well,

Rooms to Go could be leaving its location at Walters Crossing in Tampa to move less than a mile down the street to a prime corner of North Dale Mabry Highway.

A major redevelopment of the Jerry Ulm car dealership property, on the southwest corner of Columbus Drive and Dale Mabry, would build a 52,191-square-feet Rooms to Go close to the hard corner of those two roads, according to rezoning plans filed with the city.

 

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

Needless to say, that is not what we had in mind.  While the building would sort of go to the street (at least there would be no parking lot in the front), that is not the kind of development that could really activate that lot. Sure, there is a shopping center across Dale Mabry and it will be right next to a car dealership (or two), but we were really hoping for something a bit more substantial at one of the gateways to Westshore.


Westshore – A Proposal

There is a new proposal for an office building in Westshore.  From URBN Tampa Bay:

A large mixed-use project has been proposed for the Westshore District. Highwood Properties is proposing a mixed-use project at 4600 West Cypress called Westshore Square. The project would tear down the existing 5-story Bank of Tampa office building.

The project is 10 stories and is primarily an office building with 230,000 square feet. The project also includes 15,000 square feet of restaurant space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, a 5,000 square foot bank, 5,000 square feet of adult education, and 926 parking spaces.

There is 50,000 square feet of “mixed-use space” on the top of parking garage, facing i-275.

 

From Florida Future at SkyscraperCity – click on picture for post

From Florida Future at SkyscraperCity – click on picture for post

From Florida Future at SkyscraperCity – click on picture for post

From Florida Future at SkyscraperCity – click on picture for post

 

First, the good.  The building is built to the street and seems to want to activate the sidewalk. Moreover, there are a mix of uses (though we are not sure adult education is really that different from office), and we are not sure about the mixed-use space over the garage.  It also appears that there may be retail space at the base of the garage along the Trask side.

On the other hand, we are not sure they really need a bank drive-through going through the garage, and we are not sure that helps with circulation of either people or vehicles.  Moreover, while they seem to be planning fewer spaces than required (site plan indicated 1029 required – a huge amount – and 926 provided), the garage also seems a bit bland, especially given how it appears to hulk over the interstate, which is not the most attractive feature.

From what we have seen so far, at least how it deals with the street, the building is not bad.  At least it recognizes the theoretical possibility that someone might walk, and that is an improvement over many prior Westshore buildings.  They just need to do some work on the parking garage.


South Tampa – Starting

Work has started on the first condo building at the Westshore Marina District:

Site work is underway on Marina Pointe, the piece of land that juts out into the land that will eventually be home to three condo towers within the Westshore Marina District. BTI Partners, the master developer of the district, is also developing the three condo towers.

The deepwater marina, a key selling point for the condo towers, is also under construction. The first tower is slated for completion in early 2021.

* * *

The first tower, with 120 units in 16 stories, is about a third pre-sold, said Brian Van Slyke, executive vice president overseeing Florida’s West Coast for Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners.

BTI has yet to finalize a deal with a general contractor for the vertical construction, Van Slyke said.

 

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

As far as we are concerned, the condo buildings are the heart and by far the more interesting part of the Westshore Marina District. We are glad they started work and hope the construction moves forward smoothly.  We will also have to see about this:

All three towers are of similar size and architecture, Van Slyke said, though the final unit count for the second and third towers has yet to be finalized. The towers will be sold sequentially, and the second will break ground after the first is near completion.

“Ideally, the construction crews would never leave,” he said. “The towers have roughly a two-year construction cycle, and ideally we’d top out on the first tower and be poised to start tower two.”

That would be nice.


Port – Expansion

There was interesting news from the Port:

Port Tampa Bay has plans to build a new container and berth terminal at its Hooker’s Point property.

Currently, the property consists of Berths 212 and 213, which are used by COSCO, one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM. Berth 214 would be to the south of those berths, Port Tampa Bay Vice President of Business Development Wade Elliott told the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

“The container business is very strong and the response from it has been seeing three new shipping services. We want to make sure we have the capacity to handle those services,” Elliott said.

He said it may take roughly two years to build out and cost $4.5 million. The end result would allow three ships to be docked simultaneously.

The port submitted a request for a grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation for the new berth.

Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director Beth Alden penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in support of funding the project, referred to as Project 214.

The Aug. 16 letter states that the MPO board supports Port Tampa Bay’s application for the port infrastructure development program grant for Project 214.

We are all for expanding container capacity and business.  The price in the report seems a little low, but if they can do it for that much, great.  We are also not sure if the expansion is contingent on Federal money.  We are all for having the Federal government pay for a portion (or all) of the work, but if the expansion is needed, it should be done, especially if that is all it costs.

In other, a little more ambiguous, Port news:

In three months this spring, Port Tampa Bay saw four members of its leadership team resign: two vice presidents (operations and finance) and two directors (information technology and public relations).

Normal turnover, port officials say.

But on their way out, two of those departing employees hinted or said outright they felt not all was well.

You can read the whole article here.

We do not know exactly what is going on.  It could be completely innocuous.  Nevertheless, it sounds a bit odd.  We are not going to draw any conclusions, but, if there are improper things going on, they need to be cleaned up.


Economic Development – A Change

Speaking of economic development, there was news in Tampa:

Bob McDonaugh, who had his hands on virtually every big project in town under former Mayor Bob Buckhorn, will retire Friday as Tampa’s top economic development official.

McDonaugh, who joined the city in 2008 under then-Mayor Pam Iorio, became the city’s economic development administrator under Buckhorn. In that position, he played key roles in the $3 billion Water Street Tampa project, the renovation of the Armature Works, the expansion of the Riverwalk and talks about bringing the Tampa Bay Rays to the state’s third-largest city.

Change happens (especially with new administrations), and we are not going to get into the personnel issue.  What really caught our eye in the all the articles was this from the Business Journal:

“The city wouldn’t be what it is today without his expertise. There isn’t a project he hasn’t touched. No one had a bigger impact on brick and mortar in the city,” former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told the Tampa Bay Business Journal on Wednesday morning.

The Times had a similar quote.  And to be honest, it very well may be accurate because, in the City for a number of administrations, it often appears as though economic development is focused on real estate development.  There are a number of reasons for that, including that is how the City gets much of its revenue.  And real estate is important (we talk about it a lot for economic as well as urban development and quality of life reasons – including attracting talent), but one would hope that economic development would go beyond that.  Of course, City economic development employees’ remit is given to them by their bosses, so what they touch and focus on is not necessarily within their control.

We hope going forward that the economic development director, while dealing with real estate, also goes beyond to all the other economic development issues (including lifting those people and areas at the lower end of the income spectrum).  We are all for building nice buildings (really, we are all for it), but we still maintain that, if you build business and the economy, the buildings will come (but the converse is not necessarily true).


St. Pete – About Time

St Pete is planning on honoring a little bit of history:

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council has approved the site for the Benoist Centennial Plaza planned for the new Pier District.

The plaza, which will include a monument to the world’s first airline, will be in the southwest corner of the Pelican parking lot. It is where the hangar for what was to be the inaugural flight of the world’s first commercial airline was located.

The plaza will feature a monument honoring the historic 1914 event, which drew more than 3,000 spectators to the downtown waterfront. Pilot Tony Jannus flew the Benoist Airboat on the St. Petersburg-Tampa roundtrip. His passenger was former Mayor Abe Pheil.

While being in the corner of a parking lot is not optimal, we get the location and hope the final product is better than that description.  And we are happy that there will be a physical monument to Jannus. We should honor our innovations.


Rays

Your Rays news is here.


Meanwhile, In the Rest of the State


— Virgin Trains

Work is progressing on the Miami to Orlando section of the Virgin Trains line:

Drivers on the BeachLine Expressway between Orlando’s airport and Cocoa have begun to witness both a moment in history and one of the more unusual scenes in the nation – construction of an entirely new rail line.

The higher-speed Brightline passenger system, now transitioning to the name of Virgin Trains USA, is clearing shrub, forest and muck from a corridor just south of the BeachLine.

The more than 35 miles of new dual track – running east and west across Orange and Brevard counties – will require six, 10-hour workdays a week for nearly three years.

You can read more here. We are still waiting to hear if Virgin Trains will get an agreement with the state regarding the Orlando to Tampa segment.


— Another Possible Referendum

From Florida Politics:

Early in his new administration, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is gambling big, putting together a tax-and-spend proposal and asking residents two questions: Do you want to raise the sales tax by a penny to improve transportation? And what transportation projects need to be done?

The first question could sink the whole proposal. The second question could lead to broad community discussion about fundamental roads, buses, trains, bikeways, and trails plans that already have daunting challenges and could be radically changed, regardless of what happens with the tax.

We will be interested to see how this idea develops in Orange County, especially in light of whatever happens with the AFT case. We will also be interested to see what happens to the Broward transportation surtax (see here) that passed last year and, as far as we know, has not been subjected to lawsuits . . . yet.


Meanwhile, In the Rest of the Country

Speaking of referendums, Phoenix has been studied in this area quite a bit regarding how they got their initial light rail system built.  Recently, their expansion plan was put to the test.

For years, Phoenix’s public transportation plans have included a network of light rail lines connecting downtown to the suburbs, cutting air pollution and carbon emissions in a city dubbed the least sustainable in the US.

But as the city prepares to vote Tuesday on an expansion of its light rail system into a poorer, and more black and Hispanic, part of the city, the train is facing opposition from a group of business owners who fear they will lose customers. And they are receiving help from some eye-catching backers: activists affiliated with the Koch conservative network.

According to the language of the referendum, which the director of a Koch-funded political organization helped draft, not only will a vote against the expansion result in the cancellation of this particular line. It will also prohibit all future light rail construction in the city.

Moreover,

A broad coalition of companies, nonprofit organizations, individuals and political action committees has invested nearly one million dollars in the effort to preserve Phoenix’s long-planned light rail expansion, a sharp contrast with the small group of about 10 well-heeled individuals who have financed the effort to stop any future light rail projects.

You can read more about the effort here and here. The effort failed:

Voters in Phoenix have soundly rejected a proposal that would have halted the expansion of the city’s light rail system — a proposition that had the backing of dark money linked to the notorious anti-transit Koch brothers.

In a 62-to-38 percent vote, residents turned aside Proposition 105, which would have redirected a previously passed tax away from light rail towards other transportation improvements. It would also have required “terminating all construction, development, extension, and expansion of” light rail.

Do with it what you will.


Meanwhile, In the Rest of the World

Earlier this year, there was a lot of local news about We Work entering the market.  Just an update on the company from Bloomberg:

WeWork’s initial public offering won’t be quite the celebration the office-rental unicorn once foresaw.

The New York-based startup is considering seeking a valuation of about $20 billion to $30 billion in the IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said. The range could end up closer to $20 billion, said one of the people, which would be less than half the valuation it secured from its biggest backer just a few months ago.

The outlook for the public debut of WeWork, which has racked up billions of dollars in losses in recent years as the company funds grand ambitions, is cooling after the disappointments of other major IPOs this year such as Lyft Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. That could put pressure on WeWork, which has a mammoth credit line tied to the success of the IPO, as well as SoftBank Group Corp., which invested at a $47 billion valuation earlier this year.

You can read the article here.

 

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