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Since it opened its doors in the early part of November 2022, the 47,000 square feet of office space located at 6 Battery Road managed by The Work Project has bustled with activity as new tenants have moved in and the final details of the remodel are put in. After two years, the building is approximately 50% lease and is on track to be fully occupied by mid-year of the year.
The Work Project (TWP) is an in-house co-working space and flexible workspace provider that was founded in the year 2016 and has steadily increased its markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
In Singapore The locations of the company are OUE Downtown, Parkview Square, Capital Tower, Great World City CapitaGreen, Great World City, and CapitaSpring. It is located in Hong Kong, its co-working facility is located situated in Causeway Bay, and it has opened its first Australian branch in the Quay Quarter Tower located in Sydney, Australia, last year.
Design pays tribute to the mercantile roots
The new location of the Work Project located at 6 Battery Road occupies the third, sixth seven floors in the 42-story Grade A office building located in Raffles Place. It has around 1,000 private and co-working desks for offices along with meetings rooms, boardrooms as well as a function space, as well as a number of hot desks.
Work Project Work Project collaborated with design firm Matthew Shang Design Office (MSDO) to transform three floors of offices into a lively co-working area. The narrative of the aesthetic pays tribute to the mercantile and historical tradition of the adjacent Singapore River. “We are seeing these themes colliding in this building located at Battery Road, a red granite structure that is an important symbol of culture and commerce of Singapore,” says MSDO. “We have created, carved and created an interesting and fascinating environment inside the building”.
The palette of colours that cover all three floors emphasizes the deep red-brown granite found on outside of the structure. It also highlights textures like concrete pillars that have been roughhewn, and lighter colours like timber screens and ochres.
The third floor is home to the main entrance and reception space, and is the area where the majority of the huge meeting rooms are situated on. The entire floor was the trading floor of Standard Charted Bank, an anchor tenant for over 30 years, until it was shifted out in the year 2000.
The seventh floor gives an unbeatable view of this section that is part of Singapore River. The landmark commercial buildings of Raffles Place rise over the historic shophouses along Boat Quay, while the opposite bank provides a beautiful view of the structures in the Civic and Cultural District, which include The Asian Civilisations Museum, the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, Parliament House, and the National Gallery Singapore.
Instead of locking this view behind a desk in an office suite it is more of an open lounge and a casual work area One of the many are found among the groups of offices that are private, private telephone cabins and tables spread on the seventh and sixth floors.
“We decided to design an inspiring and beautiful space from the vast floorplate that we have,” says Noeleen Goh The the global head of real estate of The Work Project. “What was born out of this is a cosy business center for this space that is comfortable and large”.
In contrast to some of its bigger places like CapitaSpring the centre located at 6 Battery Road is not classified as a business-focused location, according to Goh. TWP defines enterprises as those that comprise greater than 25 seat and categorizes its medium-sized customers from 10-25 seats as well as small clients with less than 10 seats.
The space is accessible to corporate clients should they wish to do so, the company is targeting smaller or medium-sized clients, and has designed the layout and offices to cater to. “Most of the tenants in 6 Battery Road are relatively small-sized and therefore we’re trying to capitalize on the strengths of the structure,” says Goh.
Headwinds to the economy in 2023
TWP was seeking to expand into the Raffles Place submarket in Singapore. “Six Battery Road, which is located in Singapore, is an famous building and is a stunning Grade A office building in the middle of Raffles Place, and we were incredibly interested when the chance presented itself our way,” Goh says. Goh.
In Singapore the office market was good year in 2022, as the pandemic restrictions on the island were lifted and more workers began returning to work according to Goh. “I believe 2022 was a very great year for all co-working gamers,” she says.
“We noticed that in 2022 the there was a demand for offices Singapore was high across all industries and at the beginning of the year, it was driven by a strong demand from tech firms,” says Goh. She says it’s important to announce that TWP opens its office located at the 6 Battery Road now because it will allow the company to show its latest product to the public.
But, the current economic conditions and uncertainty this year mean that she anticipates slowing down of prime office demand from MNCs as well as companies in Singapore. She claims that TWP has been “careful” in following the inquiries received this year, particularly those with those from enterprises.
While some companies are battling uncertainty and a few have changed their approach to work. For instance, Twitter reassigned its Singapore-based employees to remote working starting Jan 12and has since vacated most of its staff in their CapitaGreen office.
While this hybrid working arrangement has become more widespread however the degree of its roll out varies from sector segment, says Goh. For instance, firms that deal with finance, investment and asset management are still the foundation of office demand Goh says.
“In the future the demand of office spaces will decrease however it won’t be restricted to an office chair and a desk for employees. There will be more co-operative workspaces for employees, as well as meeting rooms and function spaces,” says Goh.
Partnerships with landlords
The flexible workspace operator runs this office in 6 Battery Road under a management agreement with the asset’s owner, CapitaLand, through its Reit CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust Management.
This is the second place in Singapore in which TWP has signed a management contract with CapitaLand the first was TWP’s 69,100 square feet center in CapitaSping which was fully occupied within 10 months after its opening.
“We consider that operating with landlords to create flexible spaces will be the next step for our (co-working) business. Partnerships like this can provide greater value for the landlords of buildings by increasing the facilities,” says Goh.
CapitaLand and TWP are closely linked since CapitaLand made a $27 million investment to acquire the purchase of a fifty% part of the operator’s workspace in. The partnership has assisted TWP expand its inventory consisting of Singapore properties by adding workspaces to its Bridge+ brand, which was originally an offering of Ascendas-Singbridge. CapitaLand purchased Ascendas-Singbridge at a price of $11 billion in the year 2019.
With regards to the expansion plans for TWP, TWP has been quite careful in growing organically , and has focused on ensuring that occupancy levels in all of its centers is stable and profitable prior to planning for the future according to Goh.
The list of requirements for an operator when considering a new site is threefold. The building has a demand for office space within an area, an willing landlord to work with the building, and join at the right rent amount.
The TWP’s goals for 2023 is to maintain the high occupancy rates throughout its centers and to continue its cautious approach to expansion across Australia particularly in the commercial areas that are key to its growth located in Melbourne as well as Sydney. TWP is also on looking for partnerships that will yield positive results with landlords.
Then, in Singapore, Goh expects prime office leases decreasing later this year. The company is also expected to take advantage of opportunities such as leasing renewal negotiations in the early stages being mindful of possible negative economic impacts to come, she adds. “We are taking care with our expansion plans, and making sure we are opening in locations that are favourable and which are beneficial”.