America’s WeWork growing co-working market in Bangkok

American startup WeWork will strongly contribute to 50 percent growth in Bangkok’s co-working spaces in the next two years as it battles with JustCo of Singapore for market supremacy, an international real estate consultant said.

“Despite an economic downturn, big co-working space players continue expanding their spaces in Bangkok as Thailand is a new production base for businesses relocating,” said Phattarachai Taweewong, Associate Director of Research at Colliers’ International Thailand.

Bangkok has been able to attract companies in part because its office rental rates are comparatively low. Good deals, however, have resulted in lower availability. Vacancy rates for offices in Bangkok have been lower than 10 percent during the past six years, the lowest in the past decade, Phaattarachai said.

Increasingly, co-working spaces have been filling the gap between supply and demand in the last few years. Colliers’ research has forecast that at least 50,000 square meters of new co-working space supply in the Bangkok office market by 2021.

The consultancy said that 78 percent of that new space would be developed and managed by two companies: WeWork and JustCo. WeWork will open a combined 20,000 square meters at five locations, while JustCo will operate 19,000 square meters in three towers.

Thai operators are also striving for a share of the market. Phattarachai said that some retailers are investing in co-working spaces in their shopping complexes in the central business districts in part to gain more shoppers.

Last year, Central Pattana, the Thai company that has the largest retailer in the country, formed a joint venture with Malaysian co-working space operator Common Ground. They are planning on opening co-working spaces in two locations: CentralWorld with 1,500 square meters, and G Tower near Rama IX subway station with 4,500 square meters.

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