[THE INVESTOR] Local co-working space firm Fastfive that is snapping at industry front-runner WeWork’s heels announced on Sept. 5 that it plans to launch Life, a community-based residential service, early next year.
“Few co-working space businesses in the global market have been able to scale the co-living business successfully so far,” said Park Ji-woong, CEO of Fast Track Asia, the parent firm of Fastfive, during a press conference in Seoul.
“It is because they could not cater to the needs of millennials, who have unique tastes, among others, lifestyles and interior designs,” he noted.
Park Ji-woong, CEO of Fast Track Asia.
What seem to be trivial issues in the current co-working space business, such as design of the kitchen and bathroom, can makes a big difference in appealing to those in their 20s and 30s, he observed.
Fastfive CEO Kim Dae-il, who also attended the press conference, noted that the company has planned Life with the anticipation that residential business could become much larger than the existing co-working segment.
The building that will be utilized as Fastfive’s first residential space for 130 residents is currently under construction in Seonjeongneung, a southern Seoul district near the Gangnam business district.
The co-working firm has been participating in the construction project from the beginning to add “some style” to residential spaces, Park said.
Co-living services have recently been sprouting up in metropolitan areas where rental fees and house prices have been skyrocketing. Among them is WeWork, the US$20-billion co-working businesses based in New York.
Rumor has it that WeWork is planning to launch a co-living space in Yongsan, located in central Seoul. WeWork Korea, however, previously told The Investor that it has no plans to open a co-living space in the city.
Fastfive opened its first WeWork-like co-working office in 2015 in Seoul. Since then, the number of its shared offices has increased to 14. It plans to open two more in the city this year. The Korean firm plans to more than double the number of shared offices to 30 next year.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)