With coworking spaces gaining traction in the AU, Express Fitouts and other companies might soon be called in to work on such spaces, especially if Next Story Group’s plans come to fruition.
The Singapore-based company recently opened Kafnu, the AU’s first coworking space with integrated hotel accommodation. The club occupies two levels in the Dexus-owned 1.9 hectare business estate, The Mill. The club houses 16 hotel rooms, coworking spaces, as well as seven meeting rooms and private office spaces.
Other amenities in the club include a gin and local craft beer bar, a virtual fitness studio, a media production studio, meditation spaces, kitchen areas, phone booths, as well as event spaces in the atrium.
Kafnu opened up at the time when competition in coworking spaces was escalating, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, with Express Fitouts and other office furniture companies handling both coworking spaces and hospitality accommodations, as providers see greater value in setting themselves apart from competitors by introducing hospitality elements to their offerings.
According to Sydney council records, the fitout had a budget of approximately $5 million.
Kafnu Alexandria’s General Manager, Simon Hall, stated that they wanted to target a different demographic compared to other coworking companies; saying that Kafnu is more than just a coworking space, it’s also a private members’ club where people can work, socialise and collaborate with other members. He says that Kafnu will target different people from the type that’ll usually join a coworking space; it’ll have a different structure as people can’t just drop in and work as it’s just a members’ club.
Memberships in the space will come with a $750 monthly fee, with an option to bump up the fee to $900 in exchange for a dedicated desk. There are two types of club spaces available, all of which include coworking and accommodation: “hubs” which are between 5,000-10,000m2, and “spokes”, which are between 2,000-5,000m2.
According to Next Story, they’re aiming for 50 Kafnu sites across Asia Pacific by 2021, with three venues currently operating alongside the Alexandria site; Hong Kong, Taipei and Bengaluru. Hall says that the group’s also looking at setting up more Kafnu sites in key cities in the land down under, to accompany the 25 hospitality properties they have operating across the country.