Waterman Business Centres is growing its network with the announcement of its fourth business hub, opening at QICGRE-owned Eastland in 2021.
The premium flexible workspaces will cover almost 3500sqm of floor space on level three of Eastland where occupants will be able to enjoy the unrivalled convenience and connectivity of being located within a premier retail, civic, entertainment and hospitality destination – all adjacent to the Ringwood bus and train interchange. Product offerings will include private offices suitable for SMEs, flexible coworking areas designed for start-ups; all with access to conference centres, interactive board rooms and creative break out spaces.
Waterman currently has three locations in the South East of Melbourne; Narre Warren, Scoresby and their flagship centre at Chadstone, The Fashion Capital. “The shopping centre model has proven to be a success with pre-COVID-19 occupancy levels sitting at 100% for two consecutive years. Our annual coworking survey also reported that 82% of our members value easy access to shopping centre amenities such as parking, retail, dining, banking and postal centres,” Waterman Marketing Manager, Chris Jbeily, said.
Growth plans for Waterman Business Centres remain on track despite the impacts of COVID-19. “Whilst we are still unclear on what the future looks like post COVID-19, what we do know is that companies are rethinking their priorities and are beginning to value flexibility and convenient locations for their employees more than ever,” Waterman Business Centres Leasing Executive, Lauren Schwab, said.
“Since COVID-19, we have received new levels of enquiries from larger corporations looking to dismantle their pre-COVID workplace. Large ASX-listed companies are talking to us and exploring flexible workspace options that are closer to home for their teams.”
Schwab also said that there had been many discussions taking place about a future ‘work from home blend’, which will see a split between working from a Waterman Business Centre and working from home.
This still allows professionals to collaborate in person whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance and offers a reduction in rent for businesses.
With all of the Waterman centres strategically located in the outskirts of Melbourne, the reduced commute times have been a significant drawcard for Waterman members. “Enough data is confirming that the length of your commute negatively impacts productivity, satisfaction and overall mental wellbeing. Part of our brand mission is to create a healthier Australian workforce by bringing the office closer to our members’ homes,” said Chris Jbeily.
QIC Global Real Estate’s (QICGRE) Director of Australian Investment Management, Daryl Stubbings, said that they were thrilled to partner with Waterman Business Centres and thereby welcome innovative Victorian businesses and entrepreneurs into Eastland’s rapidly growing professional community, which will next year include a sizeable workforce from both local and state government.
“At a time when mobile-enabled work and neighbourhood retail figure so highly in the national conversation, we are proud to add flexible workspace solutions of the highest calibre to the celebrated retail, hospitality and wellness offering at Eastland,” Stubbings said.
“We consider this long-term partnership a key step in our vision to create a thriving metropolitan business district for Melbourne’s east. Our collaboration with Waterman Business Centres not only supports our mission to grow the local economy by enabling more individuals to work, shop and socialise where they live, it will also enhance the daytime vibrancy and corporate amenity that we have been nurturing at Eastland through developments such as Sage Hotel Ringwood; Maroondah City Council’s new office accommodation on Town Square; and the EastCo commercial tower currently under construction. Together, we shall make everyday life easier for the families of Melbourne’s east while developing the reputation of Ringwood as an attractive place to visit and conduct business.”
Waterman will continue to focus on the needs of its members by building centres designed for innovation, collaboration and connection whilst incorporating COVID-19-safe workplace practices into its designs.