Gather: Redefining co-working with wellness

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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November 1, 2019 8:00 AM SGT
Occupying some 12,000 sq ft over three floors at 22 Martin Road, the pet-friendly space is Cathay Organisation’s first shot at the co-working business (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
Occupying some 12,000 sq ft over three floors at 22 Martin Road, the pet-friendly space is Cathay Organisation’s first shot at the co-working business (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Although co-working spaces mainly target corporate clients, one of the first guests at Gather was, in fact, a French bulldog. Occupying some 12,000 sq ft over three floors at 22 Martin Road, the pet-friendly space is Cathay Organisation’s first shot at the co-working business.
Unlike other co-working operators that rent their spaces from landlords, Gather occupies Levels 3–5 of 22 Martin Road. Cathay owns the building, which it acquired in June 2011.
In 2017, the company sold off its eponymous Cathay movie theatre chain to mm2 Asia, the backer of local titles such as “Ah Boys To Men”, for $230 million. This cleared out two floors formerly used for its theatre operations, which Gather now occupies. “After the sale of our cinema operations in 2017, we wanted to consolidate our efforts into focusing on our property and investment portfolio,” explains Lena Tan, general manager at Gather.
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Full-length windows were installed to allow natural light in and open up views to the greenery in the Robertson Quay enclave (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
Full-length windows were installed to allow natural light in and open up views to the greenery in the Robertson Quay enclave (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
“We considered a few options, whether to lease it out as a normal office space, or to get an external operator, but we found that this is a sector that complements our existing portfolio and is something that we are very interested to work out,” she adds.
Founded in 1935, Cathay started out in the entertainment industry. It has since expanded to the property arena, with six developments in Singapore, including retail malls, commercial buildings, and a residential development, according to the firm’s website. It also has a residential development in KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a “condo-hotel” in Hirafu, Hokkaido, in Japan.
Since operations started in July, Gather is now 50% leased, at a rate of $900 per head.
Gather’s offerings include fully-furnished offices, bespoke suites and event spaces (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
Gather’s offerings include fully-furnished offices, bespoke suites and event spaces (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)

Focus on privacy

The co-working space attempts to differentiate itself by offering only private offices; hot-desking options are not available. Based on feedback from people who were operating out of co-working spaces, the Gather team “found out that some of them really prefer a quieter space to work in”, says Tan.
Gather’s space offerings are therefore curated around privacy, and range from fully-furnished offices, to bespoke suites and event spaces that allow for workshops, networking sessions and social activities. There are 12 offices, which can fit six to 40 people. On Level 3, all work spaces are fully furnished, with private offices that fit up to eight employees. Levels 4 and 5 offer customisable office layouts that can accommodate businesses of up to 40 workers.
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 Phone booths at the co-working space (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)
Phone booths at the co-working space (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ EdgeProp Singapore)

Designed for wellness

Another of Gather’s focus is wellness. There are shower facilities for those who need to freshen up during their work day. To help members avoid burn-out, the operator has partnered with lifestyle companies to offer membership perks and discounts to its office-occupiers. To that end, Gather has roped in 20 establishments, located in and around the Robertson Quay area. Partners range from fitness choices like F45 and Orange Theory Fitness; F&B such as An Acai Affair and Three Buns; to health practitioners like AEGLE TCM Clinique and Chiropractic Focus Group.
Tan sums up Gather’s motto: “We will give you a space to work… but after that, please remember to take care of yourself.”
Even its interiors are aimed at a “softer” workplace. Designed by design firm Takenouchi Webb, the workspaces feature a palette of earthy pinks, whites and light wood that complement the use of marble and terrazzo surfaces for a “relaxed atmosphere”, says the co-working operator. The design of its workspaces was deliberately kept simple, while key communal areas boast stronger design touches of brass fittings.
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Designed by Takenouchi Webb, Gather is decked out in a palette of earthy pinks, whites and light wood (Credit: Gather)
Designed by Takenouchi Webb, Gather is decked out in a palette of earthy pinks, whites and light wood (Credit: Gather)
Open spaces were also prioritised, and ceiling heights maximised, with full-length windows installed to allow natural light in and open up views to the greenery in the Robertson Quay enclave.
Ultimately, Gather aims to attract workers who are already in the neighbourhood, looking for the ease of setting up a workplace without the hassle of designing and fitting the space.
Looking forward, Tan believes that with the growth of entrepreneurship, co-working spaces will continue to grow. “There are still opportunities for us to reach out to [more customers], especially when we are focusing on private offices only,” she says. “Our members don’t have to worry that we will be kicked out of this space, because we own this building and we are here to stay.”
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