Hotel operator enters Beijing co-working space sector amid rising demand
Despite the growth of the sector, co-working space only accounts for a small portion of Beijing’s office space, which industry players say offers business opportunities.
Not only is the prime Guomao area around the China World Hotel packed with these spaces offered by UrWork, Cowork and Soho 3Q, but the growing business of workplace sharing is also drawing the interest of hotel operators.
When Hotel Jen Beijing, owned by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, opened in May, it also launched Prototype, a floor that provides serviced offices to start-ups and freelancers.
Shangri-La said this was the first time that it was incorporating co-working space into its hotels.
The hotel carved out an entire floor at the cost of fewer rooms to embrace the new trend and set itself apart from the traditional “suit and tie” hotel, said Hotel Jen’s communications director, Cindy Liu.
“The idea was hatched a few years ago when the hotel was designed. At that time co-working was in its nascency, but we found that it fitted well with our emphasis on ‘community’,” she said.
Prototype is the latest example of how workplace sharing has rapidly caught on in major Chinese cities such as Beijing, and being increasingly recognised by mainstream landlords not only as a business opportunity, but also a way to show that they are trendy.
Despite the increasing demand for co-working space globally, McCord noted that operators account for just a small fraction of office space in Beijing, while the large tenants remain the market movers. In the central business district, only 2.3 per cent of floor space were occupied co-working space, or about half of the CBD’s 4.7 per cent vacancy rate, according to the Flexible Workspace Outlook Report 2017 by property consultants Colliers International.
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