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AppleOne Properties is the latest company to recognise flexspace as the next big thing in commercial real estate
Flexspace in the Philippines is set for a fresh injection of quality options thanks to a new franchise partnership between a local developer and Regus’ parent company International Workplace Group (IWG), the world’s largest provider of serviced offices and flexible-workspace solutions. The agreement will see the Cebu-based AppleOne Properties team up with the coworking giant to build flexible workspace in Cebu and elsewhere across the Visayas island group, including Bacolod City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lapu-Lapu City (Mactan) and Mandaue City.
According to Matthew James Kenley, IWG’s Head of Partnership Growth in APAC, the collaboration is set to bring a number of benefits to local communities. “This partnership with such a successful homegrown property developer will help us contribute to suburban economic growth,” he said, adding: “This will benefit the local economy in numerous ways, from creating jobs both inside and outside the centre, stimulating businesses and services in the nearby area, improving productivity and opening new working opportunities for those who live locally.”
Franchising is a key component of an ambitious expansion strategy to increase IWG’s worldwide offering under brands including Regus from the 3,000 workspaces it currently operates to the 30,000 it hopes to be running within a matter of years. The model supports a two-way strategy that pairs the workspace provider’s global scale with the local expertise of franchisees: “In order to achieve the goal of national coverage – every town, city and suburb – it has to be done with partners,” CEO Mark Dixon stated. “For us, those partners are franchise partners, building-owner partners and investor partners.”
As the trend for coworking in the Philippines – and elsewhere – shows no signs of slowing, it made sense for AppleOne Properties to invest in one of commercial real-estate’s most talked-about categories. “The serviced-office market is one of the most exciting growth sectors in real estate, and we are excited to be involved in this next frontier,” CEO and President Ray Manigsaca told the BusinessWorld website. Partnering with an established player in the market offers a back-office infrastructure and full support for franchisees. “Our partnership will enable us to bring the many world-class benefits of flexible working to the professionals and businesses of Visayas,” Manigsaca said.
As part of a global strategy, the franchise model is not restricted to Southeast Asia. “We intend to continue developing the IWG network through strong franchise partnerships, and we are constantly searching for ambitious, experienced, entrepreneurial franchise partners so that we can have workspaces everywhere our customers need us to be,” Kenley said.