Large-scale shared office complex opens in Hastings

Hastings first large scale co-working space is expected to attract a new wave of start up and fast growing businesses.

Rob and Jenny Gill bought the former Hastings Farmers store on the corner of Queen Street and Market Street in 2018. Its anchor tenant Kiwibank uses two thirds of the renovated and strengthened building as its national operations centre.

The new business branded an i-space occupies the remaining 1138m2 and has the potential to support over 50 businesses and over 150 people.

Mr Gill said they identified an opportunity in Hastings for high quality, co-working spaces. The complex called Hastings HIVE, is based on the shared work place concept pioneered in international trading centres like London, New York and Toronto.

“We wanted to offer a new-age approach to renting office space that provides corporate level facilities for small companies.

“Small businesses can now enjoy the trappings of a swish corporate office such as high end offices, super-fast internet connectivity, hi-tech meeting and board rooms, a relaxed lounge area and café,” he said.

Mr Gill says the shared working space movement has been spreading globally, fueled by a need for adaptable workspaces and a desire for better quality, but shared resources.

“It’s about modern agile work practices supported by adaptable spaces,  intelligent design and the latest information technologies.

The Gill’s have set up Hastings Hive to provide an alternative to the long term commitment required under the traditional tenancy model which had a big impact on their business, a nationwide IP networking company.

“We owned an ICT business that was locked into a 10 year lease, ratcheting up 3 percent a year. This at a time when rents around us fell by up to 30 percent after the 2008 global financial crisis. We had to lay off staff, as this lack of flexibility with one of our biggest fixed costs was really hurting us, it was a very stressful time to own a small business”.

“So we were determined our customers at Hastings Hive would have some of the best working conditions and professional support available anywhere in New Zealand. They can then can concentrate on their core business and leave the contextual stuff to us and our professional partners.

The i-space offers a range of flexible workspaces to suit most uses and budgets, starting from a one person i-desk, up to larger i-offices, sized from 26 to 78m2 and suitable for 6 to 20 people.

Mr Gill says i-space enjoys economies from scale and sharing and users will save between 30 and 40 percent in total occupancy costs, compared with leasing offices. That is a significant business saving on top of having no fixed term lease, bank guarantee or personal guarantee normally required by landlords.

Hastings based ICT company Glenn Cook Technologies have installed the best and most resilient networking and internet environment, which is included in the monthly rental plans which start at $330 for an i-desk or $2664 for an 6-8 person i-office. Smaller 4 person offices will be available for i-desk customers moving up in stage 2, from $1700 per month.

Interior designer Amy Henderson said the fit out which she created alongside Hawkes Bay architects Fat Parrot is “truly next level”. The design brief was to create a sophisticated work place as fundamentally, people work better when they love where they work.

“What sets this i-space apart from co-working spaces I have seen here and overseas, is the quality of the fit out, the high end products we specified and the craftsmanship on display. MCL Construction, based in Hastings, have done a world class job,” she said.

The Gill’s say they are looking forward to seeing start up businesses grow and become potentially world leaders from Hastings.

“Success for us will be seeing our first i-desk customer move to an i-office and then in time, fly the coup and that’s the incubator opportunity, which we hope will boost the local economy. It’s about supporting people, growing business and creating jobs.