Coworking community The Commons has secured a strategic investment from Melbourne-based property development group Riverlee that will help it scale its operations from three locations to 15 over the next three years.
With spaces currently operating in South Melbourne, Collingwood, and the Sydney CBD, The Commons is soon set to open in Cremorne and the Melbourne CBD. Among its residents are the likes of PayPal, Eventbrite, and VenueMob.
Along with its investment, Riverlee will lend The Commons its expertise within the commercial property space to help the organisation identify real estate opportunities, including within the Riverlee portfolio.
Cliff Ho, cofounder and CEO of The Commons, said that while The Commons wasn’t actively looking for investment, the shared vision and alignment of values between the two organisations meant a partnership made sense.
“Riverlee’s knowledge and proven experience within the Australian property market is unrivalled and made for a well aligned strategic partnership. Our goal is not to be a juggernaut within the industry; we strategically plan each location to ensure we attract a particular type of business to our space and as such, can curate the members we have,” Ho said.
“As the coworking market matures, this approach will create a strong base and push us to the forefront.”
David Lee, development director at Riverlee, said the decision to enter the coworking market came as Riverlee has always sought to be at the forefront of the market as a progressive company.
“We’ve seen a significant shift in the market in recent years, mostly towards flexibility and the importance of community and a sense of belonging,” he said.
“We were attracted to The Commons for a number of reasons, most importantly being that they treat their members like family and across each of their spaces, they provide more to their members than any of their competitors do.”
Founded by Lee’s father Clement, Riverlee is a major player in the Melbourne property development landscape. The company last month won council planning approval for a $450 million hotel and apartment development beside the Yarra River in the Melbourne CBD.
The investment comes as the premium coworking market heats up: global player WeWork is set to open its fourth Melbourne space, while in Sydney it recently secured a 12 year lease to take over three levels in the ANZ tower. It has five locations currently open in Sydney, with the ANZ tower space one of three more in the pipeline.
Image: The Commons and Riverlee teams. Source: Supplied.