The Great Room on track for regional expansion

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/ EdgeProp
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March 5, 2018 10:09 PM SGT
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Hospitality-inspired co-working operator The Great Room opened its second location in Singapore in February at Centennial Tower. The 36,000 sq ft space on the 17th and 18th floors can cater for more than 600 members. The 18th floor is designed as the reception and leads to the drawing room, which can accommodate 120 people and offers views the Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay and the sea. “Centennial Tower sits outside the congestion of Raffles Place, which is a pull factor of the location,” says Jaelle Ang, co-founder and CEO of The Great Room. “But people want to look back and see the energy of the city, and we have geared our drawing room view towards that.”
Besides the drawing room, the 18th floor also has an event space that can seat about 80, with views of Turns 1 to 3 of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and a space called The Verandah for networking. There are shared amenities, open areas, hot desking spaces and dedicated offices across the two floors.
Enterprises operating out of The Great Room Centennial Tower include a finance company of 100 persons and a media company of 70 persons, according to Ang. The first members to move into the Centennial Tower location were teams that had outgrown the space at The Great Room’s first location at One George Street, where it occupies the entire 25,000 sq ft floor plate on the 10th floor.
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The Verendah at The Great Room Centennial Tower
The Verandah at the Centennial Tower space, designed for interaction between members of The Great Room’s The Business Club membership programme, and for speakers to prepare before events (Credit: The Great Room)
As at end-February, The Great Room had more than 1,000 individual members. “People think there is a lot of supply in the co-working space in Asia-Pacific, but the acceleration of demand is even faster,” says Ang.
While The Great Room is actively expanding, it is not in a race to roll out as many locations as possible. “We are very clear about our demographics and audience and which cities they need to grow their business in. So, we grow with more intention,” she adds.
The Great Room is slated to open in five other locations this year, including one in Ngee Ann City, which will span 15,000 sq ft and open in May. There are also two upcoming locations in Hong Kong, one in Bangkok and one in Jakarta. “We are still expanding and very bullish. For key cities like Singapore and Hong Kong, we can have a few more locations,” says Ang.
Dedicated offices and hot-desking space on the 17th floor of Centennial Tower
Dedicated offices and hot-desking space on the 17th floor of Centennial Tower (Credit: The Great Room)
Slated for opening in April, The Great Room Gaysorn Tower is the co-working operator’s first overseas venture. Located at the THB3 billion ($126 million) Gaysorn Tower in downtown Ratchaprasong Square near Siam Paragon, the 30,000 sq ft co-working space will have a capacity of more than 600. Gaysorn Tower is part of the Gaysorn Village development, developed by Hong Kongbased real estate firm Hongkong Land and Thai real estate developer and management service provider Gaysorn Group in a 51:49 joint venture.
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Gaysorn Village comprises a four-storey retail podium named Gaysorn Shopping Centre as well as an office component Gaysorn Tower. Located near the Chit Lom BTS Skytrain station, the mixed-use deve lopment has a total gross floor area of 180,500 sq m.
Jaelle Ang, co-founder and CEO of The Great Room, at The Great Room Centennial Tower
Ang says the upcoming 30,000 sq ft co-working location in Bangkok will be at Gaysorn Tower in downtown Ratchaprasong Square, which has tenants such as Facebook and LINE (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
“Some of the other tenants at Gaysorn Tower are tech companies Facebook and LINE,” says Ang. Gaysorn Village is close to hotels such as Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and InterContinental Bangkok. She adds: “It’s part of a highly connected ecosystem, and we are building on that."
The Great Room’s Bangkok location will host global tech companies, adding to the existing mix of traditional MNCs, lifestyle players and tech companies at the 30-storey Gaysorn Tower, which boasts 244,881 sq ft of office space. “The tech companies coming into our space are those doing joint ventures with Thai companies,” says Ang, adding that MNCs keen to operate from The Great Room in both Singapore and Bangkok include Thailand-based fintech startup Omise.
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“Gaysorn Tower is among the most expensive commercial real estate in Bangkok,” says Ang. “Nevertheless, Bangkok’s rental rates are still below those in Hong Kong and Singapore. But we see that they are building global businesses and looking to attract talent, and that is where we come in. We will take the co-working offerings in Bangkok to the next level.”
This article appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 820 (March 5, 2018)