As Asia’s shared office industry moves into a new phase in 2019, Singapore-based JustCo has added centres in three Asian capitals to its portfolio since January, with more new locations on the way within the next two months.
In April, the company opened new centres in Singapore, Jakarta and Seoul – its first location in South Korea – with company founder and CEO Kong Wan Sing telling Mingtiandi that JustCo will expand into Sydney and Melbourne this May 2019.
Even with this rapid pace of development, the company, which has received financial backing from Singapore’s GIC sovereign wealth fund, as well as from listed developers Frasers Property and Sansiri, is keeping its centres full. “JustCo has average occupancy of 90 percent across its centres, JustCo’s Kong said, “thanks in part to increasing demand from Fortune 500 companies and other large corporations.”
Opening in Seoul and Expanding Its Footprint Across Asia
Having expanded into Bangkok in 2018, JustCo made its South Korea debut in early April with a 2,100 square metre (22,600 square foot) centre at the Ferrum Tower in Seoul’s Myeongdong area.
“Our designers wanted to build a centre which allowed teams to work together across the space, so our project management team created an internal stairway between the two floors of the centre. This is an expensive bit of construction, but we believe the pay off in an open area where members’ movements are not restricted, and they can easily access our event space, breakout areas and meeting rooms, while never being far away from their private suites or hot-desking area for getting some serious work done provides benefit to their businesses,” Kong said.
In addition to the necessary, millennial-friendly games corner, the centre also provides enclosed phone booths for making private calls and a mother’s room to make it easier for everyone to keep their work-life balance.
The company, which Kong founded eight years ago, says it has at least one more Seoul centre on the way in the coming months. In April, JustCo also opened in Jakarta’s Sequis Tower while adding its fifteenth Singapore location at 20 Collyer Quay in the city’s financial district.
Partnerships Help Drive Expansion
One of the key reasons to JustCo’s rapid expansion in the past year has been its ability to forge strategic partnerships with developers as more building owners and operators look for ways to better unlock the value of their existing assets through flexible working strategies.
“At 20 Collyer Quay,our brief from the building’s owner, GuocoLand, was to create something more than just a traditional workspace,” Kong explained. “The goal was to enhance the efficiency of space usage by introducing a unique tenant mix and a multi-faceted co-working community within the building. This new centre looks to attract new types of tenants – especially tech firms and high-end creatives that want good space in a great location, but don’t need a whole floor – while also introducing a facility that would add utility for existing occupiers.”
Tenants throughout the 24-storey building at 20 Collyer Quay are allowed to access shared assets at JustCo, such as meeting rooms, event space, lounge and café. This offers tenants of the same building opportunities to network, and enjoy an agile and unique working environment while creating extra value in one of Asia’s most expensive office markets.
JustCo’s APAC Footprint
More Partnerships on the Way
In the fourth quarter of this year JustCo plans to launch a new type of shared space at China Square Central, a combined retail and office complex owned by one of its key investors – Frasers Property – that will provide not just office space, but also allow members to create their own shared marketplace in the downtown shopping hub.
“At JustCo at China Square Central, we are creating pop-up display corners that will allow members to showcase their products next to an event space with a stage, where innovators can demo their products to a live audience while networking with the community,” Kong noted.
The centre, which will occupy the entire second floor of the shopping centre of the complex on Singapore’s Cross Street, will also include bespoke suites for members which integrate elements of traditional shophouse design native to the Chinatown area.
Taking More Ground in Q2
Having achieved these milestones in Singapore, Seoul and Jakarta during the first four months of the year, Kong is now focusing on keeping up that geographic expansion, including the launch of its first location in Sydney at 175 Pitt Street.
“JustCo has secured a combined four locations across Melbourne and Sydney,” Kong said, adding that “these three other centres are slated to open between June and September of this year.”
The company reports that demand for its flexible working centres including the Australia locations remains strong, with its locations due to open during the current quarter already at more than 45 percent pre-leased.