Wan Chai’s 8 Queen’s Road East Bldg Turned Into IWG Outlet
HONG KONG – Coworking space provider IWG recently announced the opening of a new outlet under its Spaces brand that occupies all 18 levels at Swire Properties’ newly completed 8 Queen’s Road East office building in Wan Chai, reported Mingtiandi on Sunday evening (4 September, SGT).
The 67,000 sq ft new Spaces branch features 900 workstations, including 188 private offices situated on floors with usually leasable floor areas of 2,744 sq ft to 3,854 sq ft.
IWG is moving forward with the opening of the huge coworking centre even though Hong Kong’s overall office vacancy reached a record 9.8 million sq ft during the first six months of the year. This comes as more firms downsized due to economic headwinds and the city’s stringent quarantine rules.
Still, a number of property experts said there is stronger demand for flexible workspace, as many occupants are now shunning long-term leases and high office fit-out costs. This is enticing for multinational corporations (MNCs) and other major office tenants still waiting for greater clarity on the future of Hong Kong before inking new office leases in a market that’s still considered as the most expensive in the Asia Pacific region.
Colliers’ Director of office services Richie Lau noted that IWG, which is the parent firm of Regus, as well as flexible office brands like Spaces, is well-positioned to market the new coworking centre thanks to its broad network of existing clients.
“IWG has the strongest global network of MNC clientele at all sizes,” said Lau, who added that “demand for flex offices continues to be significant in Hong Kong because MNCs are unable to forecast their future office growth needs due to market uncertainty, ongoing geopolitical tensions, travel restrictions and the closure of international borders.”
Situated opposite 3 Pacific Place and just a short walk from the Wan Chai MTR station, IWG’s lease of 8 Queen’s Road East represents its 5th takeover of a space formerly occupied by WeWork and one of its biggest commitments in Hong Kong.
“We will continue to step up local expansion, in line with our ambitious growth plan of adding 1,000 locations to IWG’s global network this year,” said Paul MacAndrew. He also shared that Spaces at 8 Queen’s Road East marks the 3rd office building it fully leased in the Chinese territory.
IWG will need its marketing prowess to overcome issues plaguing the city’s office market, as the occupancy rate of coworking spaces in Hong Kong declined to an average of between 70 percent and 75 percent this quarter compared to 85 percent in the same period in 2021, based on Colliers data.
Furthermore, the monthly cost of a dedicated desk at Spaces’ Lee Garden 3 flex outlet fell 5 percent to HK$4,880 from the rate seen in August 2020.