The Work Project moves towards flexible workspaces with business club amenities

/ EdgeProp |
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Co-working operator The Work Project (TWP) has opened a new, 44,132 sq ft exclusive business club on the 20th floor of Capital Tower on March 4, named MARK. It accompanies a 11,000 sq ft Innovation Hub on the 24th level of the tower, with venues for workshops, training and conferences of up to 120 people.
On top of demand for conventional office space and a growing requirement for sizeable flexible workspaces, corporate tenants want amenity spaces like MARK, says Junny Lee, founder and CEO of TWP. “Through discussion and survey of our customers, we found that there is an unmet need from senior executives to have an exclusive and private gathering space,” he adds.
Created in collaboration with award-winning design studio HASSELL, MARK offers a variety of luxury spaces that TWP envisions senior corporate executives may need throughout their workday. There are a selection of private rooms with custom-designed furniture that can be used to host business meetings, exclusive events or celebrations.
“We're very fortunate to have partnered with CapitaLand, because we found a partner where our strategic goals are completely aligned," says Lee. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
TWP has also partnered with Proof & Co to offer a complementary F&B menu at MARK. “This is a club exclusively to the C-suites and senior execs of CapitaLand’s customers in Capital Tower,” says Lee.
In Capital Tower, monthly hot desk membership rates will start from $395, while private offices from $800 per desk. In Asia Square 2, hot desks start from $495, with private office from $800 per desk.
C-Suite tenants within The Work Project and CapitaLand commercial properties will also enjoy a one-year complimentary access to MARK, based on an application process.
Joint venture with CapitaLand
In October last year, CapitaLand invested $27 million for a 50% stake in TWP, which at the time ran two co-working spaces in Singapore and another in Hong Kong. TWP still manages those spaces: in Singapore, they are the flagship 24,000 sq ft space in OUE Downtown and a 15,000 sq ft space in Park View Square; and in Hong Kong, a 36,000 sq ft space at Causeway Bay.
The Work Project in Park View Square (TWP)
Since the collaboration, TWP has opened a 41,000 sq ft co-working space at Asia Square Tower 2 in Marina View in addition to the new space at Capital Tower. “We're very fortunate to have partnered with CapitaLand, because we found a partner where our strategic goals are completely aligned,” says Lee.
According to CapitaLand, Capital Tower and Asia Square 2 would be the first two of its commercial properties in Singapore to offer its “office of the future” ecosystem. This entails going beyond traditional property management to providing more value-add solutions and community experiences for its office tenants, says Lynette Leong, CEO of CapitaLand Commercial.
The partnership with TWP will support CapitaLand in achieving this transformation. “The business club and the shared working spaces by The Work Project enhance CapitaLand’s core offerings and provide our tenants with excellent additional options,” adds Leong.
Corporate clients in Capital Tower want amenity spaces like MARK, where senior executives can have a private gathering space, says Lee (Albert Chua)
The joint-venture partners also acquired the co-working platform of local co-working operator Collective Works, which had entered into a joint venture with CapitaLand to open a 22,000 sq ft co-working space at Capital Tower in 2012.
Singapore expansion
With the opening of the new spaces at Asia Square 2 and Capital Tower, and the acquisition of Collective Works, TWP’s footprint in Singapore has expanded to 90,000 sq ft, says Lee.
In May, TWP will open a 12,000 sq ft co-working space at Great World City in partnership with Allgreen Properties, which owns the mixed-use commercial development that includes a shopping mall, office tower and serviced residences.
The Work Project will open a new co-working space at Great World City in May (Picture: The Edge Singapore)
According to Lee, the tenants in the office tower at Great World City comprise a wide mix of companies from shipping, to oil & gas and pharmaceuticals industries. “The community there is very different from Asia Square and Capital Tower, and their needs will be very different,” he observes. Just as it has done at Capital Tower, TWP intends to conduct “character studies” to help elevate the eventual user experience of the office-occupiers at Great World City.
The new space in Great World City will have 240 desks, and 40% of the total workspace has already been pre-committed.
Today, TWP has 180,000 sq ft of flexible workspace under its portfolio in Hong Kong and Singapore. Lee reckons the company is the fourth largest co-working operator in Singapore. A majority of the clients are companies engaged in professional services, asset and hedge fund managers as well as law firms. In Capital Tower, some tenants who have already moved in include: specialist communication agency Spurwing Communications, fintech investment firm Forum Capital, as well as digital asset exchange Bibox Singapore.
Most corporate clients that will move into the new space in Capital Tower are financial and professional services firms (Albert Chua)
The company is looking to expand into other key gateway cities in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically Tokyo, Sydney, and Melbourne where most of its key corporate clients are based, says Lee. Other major cities in Southeast Asia such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur are “not currently under serious consideration as most of our major corporate clients do not have a meaningful presence there yet”, he explains.
Core-flex model
While growth of the co-working industry was initially spurred by demand from start-ups, most corporates have embraced it as part of their flexible workspace strategy. Unlike startups, corporates are less focused on the networking opportunities offered by co-working spaces. “One of the things about our customer group is that privacy is very important to them,” observes Lee. “The [opportunity] to network is good, but too much is considered bad sometimes.”
According to him, corporates are keen to move into flexible workspaces mainly due to cost savings. “Technology has also enabled work to be more mobile and there is no reason why offices have to occupy as much space as before. Corporate businesses have become sensitive to how much footprint they really need.”
The new Innovation Hub at Capital Tower has venues for workshops, training and conferences (TWP)
To this end, a typical corporate may still sign a long-term lease for 100,000 sq ft but combine this with a lease for 50,000 sq ft of flexible space that they can adjust according to their business needs, he states.
This scenario would usually require the tenant to approach two different providers; the landlord would offer the “core” conventional lease, while a co-working operator provides the flexible space.
As such, the partnership between TWP and CapitaLand that operates under such a “coreflex” model for CapitaLand’s commercial properties will be a “one-stop shop” that also offers amenity spaces, says Lee.
“Capital Tower and Asia Square Tower 2 are the first two office buildings in Singapore to embrace core-flex offerings under this strategy, [and] more exciting offerings are in the pipeline,” says Leong of Capita- Land Commercial.

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