Flexible workspace operators KMC, Regus to expand in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Two flexible workspace providers, KMC Solutions and Regus, announced their plans to expand in the Philippines amid the growing demand for the office subcategory.

KMC said in a statement that it will be opening new sites in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Cebu, Clark, and Ortigas in a bid to expand its office space portfolio in the Philippines to 11,157 seats.

Cebu will house the "largest and most ambitious expansion" with 970 seats at the 16th and 17th floors of Skyrise 4B in the Cebu IT Park. Aside from breakout areas and open event spaces, the site will offer 24/7 onsite IT support.

KMC cofounder Michael McCullough said their Cebu expansion seeks to help cement Cebu as an international business hub. (READ: Manila flexible workspaces to grow by 10% yearly – Colliers)

"We are very happy to be part of the economic growth of Cebu City. With this location, we expect many local and foreign companies, along with investors, to take advantage of the distinct facilities that KMC has to offer," McCullough added.

The BGC site, which will be the third largest office space in the area, will be located at the Net Quad Building. KMC said this is to address the high customer demand from companies looking to locate in BGC. Some 55% of the space is already pre-leased. 

KMC will also add another floor at Robinsons Cyberscape Gamma in the Ortigas central business district. The new space, catering to creative and multimedia specialists, will house KMC's first design studio and soundproofed podcast rooms.

KMC will also provide the first flexible workspace in Clark, Pampanga, ahead of the expected business boom due to continued infrastructure projects in the province. The office will be set up at West AeroPark Tower 1 in Clark Global City. (READ: Coworking, flexible workspace: An emerging driver of property demand)

Regus opts for franchising

While KMC will be setting up its own sites, Regus said it will be offering franchising to Philippine operators to raise fresh investment opportunities after its 20-year stint in the country.

International Workplace Group (IWG) head of partnership growth Matthew James Kenley said the Philippines is their third largest but most mature market in Southeast Asia.

"We have an unprecedented opportunity to fill gaps in the market and secure top development locations by beginning to establish franchise partnerships in the country," he added.

The company will be holding a franchise roadshow to look for potential partners and educate operators on the opportunities in the industry. Regus will extend aid to franchisees, from looking for a site to helping them with operations and marketing.

"These partnerships are an opportunity to develop our brand and new locations in the Philippines as well as create vast opportunities for the country's investment community," Kenley said.

Lars Wittig, who serves as IWG vice president for sales in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and South Korea, said they are also eyeing expansion "outside the metro areas in other parts of the Philippines."

"There is great demand for flexible workspaces, and at the moment, the serviced office sector has a huge potential to grow outside of well-established and mature major cities into regional and provincial markets," he said. – Rappler.com