Melbourne prides itself on punching above its weight when it comes to coffee, culture and generally being cool, so it’s no shock the Victorian capital has embraced co-working.
Australia’s second-largest and fastest-growing city is also the nation’s co-working capital, accounting for nearly half the total number of co-working sites nationwide.
There’s 170 co-working hubs in the Melbourne CBD and surrounding areas, offering thousands of flexible spaces from desks to private offices.
But where exactly is co-working gaining traction? Which suburbs are becoming co-working hot spots?
LaunchVic’s most recent Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping Report found that while the CBD and Collingwood – the spiritual home of co-working in Melbourne – continue to dominate, other suburbs are hot on their tails.
Top 10 co-working locations in Melbourne
- St Kilda
- South Melbourne
Source: 2018 Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping Report, LaunchVic
CBD, Southbank & Docklands
Many spaces in the CBD, along the Yarra River in Southbank and in the newly-created Docklands region, cater to corporate clients, which often take up entire floors of refurbished heritage buildings.
Some of the biggest names in world co-working, like Regus and Spaces, have set up shop in the city to cater for an ever-increasing customer base.
Collingwood, Fitzroy & Carlton
Still home to The Commons, one of the most popular spaces in the entire city, the hipster inner-north gave birth to Melbourne’s now-vibrant co-working scene and is still the place to be for creatives.
There’s a proliferation of spaces targeted at entrepreneurs and businesses, large and small, as well as niche spaces catering to specific industries.
Richmond not only has a high concentration of fashion, technology and media businesses, but also amazing places to eat and drink, so many of the big players have set up here too, along with smaller operators.
Neighbouring Cremorne has been dubbed “Silicon Yarra” because of the growing number of start-ups calling it home.
South Melbourne, Prahran & St Kilda
The newer kids on the block, the suburbs of South Melbourne, Prahran and St Kilda are making up for lost time with spaces within scooting distance to the beach popping up in the bayside suburbs with increasing regularity.
A stone’s throw from the CBD and the sand, CoWork Me in St Kilda is one of the big names providing space to start-ups, freelancers and small businesses.
The Commons also has a site in the professional pocket of South Melbourne.
The big picture
Cliff Ho, the founder and CEO of The Commons – which has spaces in Collingwood and South Melbourne and will soon have one in Cremorne – says the gentrified inner-north, along with the CBD look set to remain the key co-working hubs.
“When we started out three years ago, we wanted to really push towards tech and creative businesses and even back then, Collingwood was the place to be; with companies like T2 and Thankyou water making noise internationally. We knew it was where we wanted to be,” he says.
Ho says South Melbourne is a more “professionally-focused” space and he won’t discount a CBD site in the future. But the next focus is Cremorne, where the company will open a space soon.
In the heart of Melbourne’s tech start-up hub, the new space has an indoor basketball court, café and an indoor garden dedicated to rest.
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