In Hong Kong, as well as in mainland China, there is strong demand for co-working space; it is a global trend in future office operation. Amsterdam-based co-working office firm Spaces grasped the opportunity and launched its first location in Hong Kong. Soon, the company will be able to offer five top spots in Central HK, says co-founder and Managing Director Martijn Roordink.
The Hong Kong co-working office space market seems to be maturing. According to CBRE estimates, the total footprint of the co-working sector in Hong Kong increased from 500,000 sq ft in 2013 to 700,000 in 2016 to well over 1 million sq ft last year.
Spaces saw the opportunity. It is a creative workspace provider that offers “dynamic, inspirational, and lifestyle-driven workplaces” for entrepreneurs. In its office spaces, the company offers strong qualities that matter in business cities all over the world: a European design and atmosphere, combined with a mixed community that welcomes business in all shapes and sizes.
A unique vibe
According to Martijn Roordink, co-founder and MD, Spaces is able to create a unique vibe where people are comfortable no matter if they come to work in sneakers or in a suit. The concept is a success in 140 co-working spaces in over 80 cities around the work. The company has expanded to many major cities in the world, such as Melbourne, New York and London.
Hong Kong and mainland China are growth areas for Spaces. And: Roordink and his staff keep a high pace. Last year, Spaces signed the largest rental deal this year in Hong Kong Central. The company rented an entire office block in Hong Kong’s Central. It also rented the 77,000 sq ft Sun House at 90 Connaught Road, that has now been renovated and open for business.
First location in Hong Kong
Last summer, Spaces opened its first location in Hong Kong Causeway Bay, an important commercial and shopping area. Housed in the new Lee Garden Three, the five-floor workspace offers 65,600 square feet with over 830 desks. Spaces launched a business club for members to meet and network, as well as fully-equipped meeting rooms and private offices. Spaces invest money, time and energy to keep the vibe going and to build the community inside its offices. For example, a community team hosts engagement events such as business talks and leisure community activities for members.
Answering questions from Club China, Roordink said he was pleased with progress in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong has always been a gateway of trade and entrepreneurship. “Being in Hong Kong will help us attract like-minded customers and audiences.”
What makes Hong Kong an attractive market for Spaces?
“Co-working is becoming more and more popular in Hong Kong. High real estate prices make co-working an interesting alternative for companies. Also, Hong Kong is a good stepping stone for companies to the rest of Asia via the ‘Greater Bay Area’. Our five Locations are well-spread over important areas. We have locations in Causeway Bay, Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Kwun Tong and Wong Chuk Hang.”
There is a lot of competition for your business in Hong Kong. What makes Spaces stand out?
“Spaces is not only an Amsterdam-based company that brings European design to other countries, it is also a lifestyle. Our community consists of professionals and companies with an international vision, an open mind and they are focused on making connections with each other. With ten years of experience as the best 'hotel for companies', we know what our customers want and need: as a community member of Spaces you really come home, wherever you work in the world.”
What trend in the market creates breeding ground for your product and services?
“Globe hopping, digital nomads, work-life balance and location-independent working; these are all trends that fit in with how current generations are thinking about work.”
What is the future of Spaces in China?
“We are expanding our network, so China is not specifically our focus. Nevertheless: China is a country where the possibilities for us are endless.”