Multi-function co-working space being created in Kowloon
The site within Harbourfront Landmark luxury residential development will house a kindergarten, learning centre, flexible office accommodation and a restaurant, and is expected to open early next year
A Hong Kong start-up previously focusing on developing co-working spaces is opening its first development integrating other types of use.
Campfire Collaborative Spaces has rented 80,000 square feet of commercial space within The Harbourfront Landmark luxury residential development in Kowloon from Pamfleet Real Estate Fund, which bought it from Global Ventures Asia (H.K.) for HK$1.1 billion (US$127 million) in July this year.
It will house a kindergarten, learning centre, flexible office accommodation and restaurants, and is expected to open early next year.
The space will include the Avendale International Kindergarten, which can look after 300 children at a time, and a learning centre which will host “more modern” educational activities such as kid architecture (classes in basic architecture concepts), empowerment, and interactive role-play classes, said Wang Tse Yiu-sing, Campfire’s 34-year-old chief executive.
He decided to integrate more services into the because of the growing competition for sites dedicated to just co-working.
“The co-working, restaurant and hotel sectors are all facing intense competition. The integration of education will provide more value to the site,” he said.
Property agents agree competition in Hong Kong’s co-working sector is becoming increasingly keen as the sector matures.
“We have seen an influx of overseas operators enter the market over the past few years,” said Philip Pang, associate director at Colliers International.
“We also predict more consolidation after the merger earlier this year, for example, of WeWork and nakedHub.”
The amount of co-working space available in Hong Kong grew by a fifth to 1.2 million square feet in the five months to May. According to figures from CBRE, 48 per cent of that is considered grade-A office space.
Tse says his dedication to helping working parents has been the other important driver in his integration plans for The Harbourfront.
“We hope to provide them with a solution. Hung Hom has a high concentration of working families, which makes [the space] a very good location. They can commute to work and take their children to the kindergarten and learning centre [at the same time].
“There will be no one else operating out of the site – our own management team will curate and integrate all the services being created.”
Tse said the trigger of his thinking was his own family. He has a six-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and a newborn daughter.
“I’m a working parent. A lot of our friends and staff are also parents. Working in Hong Kong is so busy, which leaves little time for children,” said Tse. “We hope to create a space to solve that problem for many.”
To avoid the children disturbing anyone working nearby, Tse said the space has been planned carefully to segregate the two.
“Every section is clearly separated. If there were a lot of children nearby, it could be distracting.”
The landlord Pamfleet applauded the creativity being shown by Tse in integrating education, a food outlet and flexible workspace at the one location.
“Hong Kong’s commercial property is not necessarily only for offices, but can also accommodate a lot of different commercial activities,” said Allan Lee, Pamfleet’s managing director.
The company controls 15 major properties in Hong Kong, three in Singapore and one in China.
“To add value to any property, you have to be innovative,” he added.