Co-Working, Co-Living Continue to Expand
With a modest portfolio of just 15,000 units, co-living operator Harbour Apartment’s goal of hitting 80,000 units by 2019 is a clear sign of the company’s rapid expansion in the rental management sector.
Harbour Apartments has been in the business of renting, renovating, and subleasing out units in key cities since 2015. But now, the company is shifting gears and increasing its docket of assets.
Taking advantage of the government’s recent push to expand the rental sector, Harbour Apartments is looking to secure wholesale land parcels at bargain prices. Already, Harbour has narrowed in on two parcels of prime real estate, which they plan to develop into high-end housing units.
Late last year, private equity firm Gaw Capital and other unnamed investors invested approximately ¥400 million in Harbour. Now, Harbour and Gaw Capital are partnering in a bid to invest $1 billion (~¥6.3 billion) in Harbour’s property conversion efforts. In addition, state-owned Sinochem Group’s Far East Horizon Ltd. is setting up a ¥10 billion buyout fund with Harbour to purchase land plots.
While many of Harbour’s business activities target fresh graduates and young professionals, the company also has high-end housing projects in the works. The company also intends to venture into the Hong Kong housing market, though specific details have yet to be released.
Over the past year, co-working and co-living operators across China’s key cities have seen significant growth and further expansion plans have continued to hit the news. But although the market sector has so far been centered on young professionals and start-up companies, signs are emerging that the concept is beginning to appeal to larger institutions with more extensive requirements.
The American Chamber of Commerce announced recently that it would be moving its headquarters in Beijing from a more traditional office into naked Hub. As AmCham China holds nearly 250 events annually, their agreement with naked Hub also covers access to shared venue spaces.
“Our move to Sanlitun is immensely significant for the chamber, allowing us to embrace the spirit of innovation and collaboration that the naked Hub space provides,” said Alan Beebe, President of AmCham China. “We’re not just moving offices, we’re redefining the environment in which the organization operates.”