The world’s most valuable co-working provider launched its WeWork LKF Tower on Tuesday in Hong Kong’s famed nightlife district, Lan Kwai Fong.
The $42 billion shared space startup’s latest centre is housed in the former Hotel LKF at 33 Wyndham Street, Central and has over 1,000 desks across 17 floors.
The property marks the New York-based shared office provider’s eighth location in the city, and the first outpost in Central, which is home to the world’s highest office rents.
Latest Location Occupies Central
The opening of the LKF Tower, just up the hill from the Center on Queen’s Road, followed the launch of WeWork Taikoo in Quarry Bay and WeWork Two Harbor Square in Kwun Tong earlier this year.
WeWork LKF Tower is already home to members from diverse fields including advertising and marketing, finance and professional services. The location also houses a number of tech firms including global SaaS provider Merrill Corporation, New York-listed cloud platform Workiva, mobile services company CM Telecom Hong Kong Ltd and China influencer marketing agency PARKLU.
The 29-storey property has 12 floors dedicated to food and beverage outlets and 17 floors converted from the former LKF Hotel into office space, which WeWork leased entirely from its owner, Peterson Group last year.
Peterson Group, which serves as the private investment vehicle of local billionaires the Yeung family, also owns a building in Dublin, Ireland, which it already has handed over to WeWork and transformed into a shared office space. WeWork originally was reported to have taken the LKF Tower space in July of last year.
The new WeWork center has created a pet-friendly interior that includes a lounge on the 29th and 30th floors which is adorned with arts and graphics as well as books reflecting Hong Kong’s culture, and can be used for social gatherings or events.
WeWork Reaches 69 Greater China Centres
As part of the announcement on Tuesday, WeWork, with a freshly injected $3 billion from Japan’s venture funding titan Softbank this November, highlighted the progress that it has made in building a China presence.
To date, WeWork has 69 operating locations in six cities in Greater China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hangzhou.
In 2019, the company plans to expand to Guangzhou, Wuhan, Xi’an, Nanjing and Suzhou.
Office Space as a Service
In addition to its branded centres, WeWork next year will open a customized, private office floor in Hong Kong’s International Commerce Center for a global financial institution and a second Powered by We partnership in Hong Kong in The Quayside in Kowloon, said Christian Lee, vice chairman of WeWork Asia.
Powered By We is essentially office space as a service — WeWork’s white label product. It includes helping clients find the right building and then designing, fitting out and decorating the office. The company also supports its corporate tenants with software to manage building operations, back-end data on the efficiency of the office space, and even WeWork employees physically on-site to help with community programs.
In Hong Kong, WeWork has already designed and operated a floor, dubbed “eXellerator” for Standard Chartered in its Hong Kong offices in an effort to foster innovative thinking among the bank’s staff.
Flipping From Startups to Corporates
The collaborative space provider has been seeking to diversify its offerings beyond individuals and small businesses, moving into working with corporates. Enterprises now make up more than 30 percent of WeWork’s total membership worldwide, and in Greater China that percentage climbs to around 34 percent.
“Amidst the Greater Bay Area, enterprise members will be increasingly active in seeking cross-border cooperation, knowledge sharing and cultural exchange to seize the opportunities,” the company said in the statement. “Consecutively, more mainland Chinese enterprises will also leverage the unique strength of WeWork in Hong Kong as a springboard to extend their reach to Asia and beyond.”