By Vincent Mariel P. Galang, Reporter
MALAYSIA-BASED co-working space operator Common Ground is targeting to open at least 8 more hubs in the Philippines by the end of 2019.
“We want to go as aggressive as Malaysia… Hopefully this year we can open at least eight more venues,” Ana Lucia Aguila, expansion manager of Common Ground, said during the launch of its second hub located at IBP Tower in Ortigas Center, Pasig City on Feb. 7.
For the additional hubs, she said Common Ground is looking at locations in Ortigas, Alabang and Makati City. Ms. Aguila said there are plans to expand outside of Metro Manila, particularly in Cebu.
“It’s pretty much up to the market… Right now Malaysia is a little bit more established, but here in the Philippines, we are open to any new options, any suggestions, so if there is good demand in Cebu, why not,” she said.
“I think it’s always a vision to go outside Metro Manila because there are also many opportunities. There is Davao. There is even Iloilo… definitely its part of the vision,” Tina N. Fernando, head of operations for Common Ground Philippines, added during the launch.
The Ortigas hub is Common Ground’s second location after the one in Arthaland Century Pacific Tower, Bonifacio Global City. The hub at 8 Rockwell in Makati City is also expected to open soon.
With the aggressive expansion, Common Ground targets to have about 3,000 seats in the Philippines by end-2019. To compare, Common Ground currently has 12 locations or about 3,500 seats in Malaysia.
Common Ground is also planning to expand in Bangkok, Thailand this year.
“Philippines is the first country that we decided to… expand on, but this year, we are also opening [in] Thailand [in] Bangkok,” Ms. Aguila said.
For the Ortigas hub, Common Ground and Ortigas & Company, the developer of the IBP Tower, entered into a joint venture for the co-working space.
“This is our second space. We love this space. When you look at the vibe and the energy of Common Ground in the KL (Kuala Lumpur) sites, we get the same feeling here in IBP Tower. This site is a partnership with the Ortigas real estate group, so we are very happy with the relationship we have with them,” Enrique Y. Gonzales, director for Common Ground Philippines, said during the launch.
The Ortigas hub has 70 square meters (sq.m.) of common space called the Grounds, where community events such as workshops and fitness events are held.
The 1,700 sq.m. Ortigas co-working space also has hot desks, fixed desks, private offices, meeting rooms, call booths, WiFi, printers, and café partner St. Louis.
Common Ground Ortigas is currently offering an early bird rate, which ranges from P7,000 to P16,000 per seat depending on the service that the occupier will avail, and will run for three months.
The hub is currently 40% occupied since its soft opening back in December.
For the soon-to-be launched 1,800 sq.m. hub in 8 Rockwell, it has already 30% occupancy.
“BGC opened November. It only took them three months to reach 70%, so we are expecting the same turnover for Ortigas,” Jamie Santiago, community manager, said during the launch.