Hong Kong: Creating a co-working community

Co-working is the cool kid on the block. With research showing that co-workers are more productive and creative, employees are increasingly asking for more from their workspaces.

From 2011 to 2014 Black Pearl purchased six floors across five separate buildings in the heart of Hong Kong’s fashion district – Lai Chi Kok – all in need of refurbishment. Rather than creating more of the same, we wanted to create an office space that responded to companies’ demands for flexibility and encouraged innovation. Our vision was to create an incubator for start-ups, bringing them together and clustering them around communal spaces. The floors were divided into 80 units and marketed to early stage businesses with break out areas and kitchens, giving tenants a space to collaborate, meet for coffee with other occupiers and hold meetings with clients.

This was one of the first co-working spaces in Asia and local entrepreneurs have bought into the idea; since its launch the space has had a 97% occupancy rate.  The offices are ideally located to facilitate trade between China, Hong-Kong and beyond with many of the businesses exporting all over Europe.

At Black Pearl, whether it is a new working space or a housing development, we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. To be successful we believe you need to respond to local needs and develop spaces that are bespoke. That is why we employed a local operations manager who has lived nearby for most of his life to run our facilities. This gives us the ability to foresee and respond to any issues which may arise.