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North Shore’s Takapuna is getting a brand-new co-working building – The B:Hive

In yet another example of the rise and rise of co-working spaces in New Zealand, Takapuna is getting a brand-new co-working building: The B:Hive. Smales Farm CEO Paul Gunn says its point of difference is it offers flexibility for all sorts of businesses, ranging from smaller corporates to hot-deskers. 

The building has been designed by BVN and Jasmax. It’s currently still under construction and is slated for opening later this year.

The B:Hive covers 11,000 square metres and spans five levels of office space that is centred around an open, airy atrium.

BVN CEO James Grose says the B:Hive’s creation shows there is a worldwide demand for a “new way of working”.

“The B:Hive engages in the organic, flexible and human centred nature that new technology and people’s lifestyles have allowed in the transformation of providing workplace environments.”

While co-working spaces are often pitched at the creative or start-up types, Smales Farm CEO Paul Gunn says B:Hive’s main point of difference is it’s aimed at attracting companies that might not necessarily associate themselves with being situated in a co-working space, such as smaller corporates.

So far, Gunn says lawyers, software developers, advertising agencies and property companies have signed up to work within its walls.

“A lot of these businesses – North Shore businesses – are based in Albany, Mairangi Bay, and in smaller or older premises, where as we can offer them a quality type of building where you’d usually be an Air New Zealand or a Sovereign to afford. Normally you’d have to sign up for a 12 to 18-year lease, whereas we’re saying, ‘Come in for a year.’”

The amount of space a business requires within the building can be increased or decreased, with the business paying rent according to the exact size of its operations.

“We’re going to be playing Tetris for the years ahead, but we’re excited about that challenge,” Gunn says.

“In addition to the tech start‐ups, creatives, young entrepreneurs etc who have recognised the benefits of co-working already, our model is very much focused on being able to offer this new style of working to corporate tenants as well. B:Hive can accommodate businesses from one through to 200 or more employees.”

Outside of creating a new co-working environment, Gunn says Smales Farm’s ambitions are to “make the Ponsonby Central of the North Shore” when it comes to the building’s hospitality offering.

The precinct has been dubbed ‘The Arbour’ and has been conceptualised by Cheshire Architects and Izzard Design. It will feature around seven boutique F&B operators that will be announced in the coming weeks.

“It’s our intention to make the best food and beverage precinct on the North Shore, so we’re cherry picking, shoulder tapping and we’re trying to stay away from the global chains,” he says.

Attracting people to come dine out at the B:Hive aside, he points to research that shows that happier, more productive employees usually have a variety of places to work from.

“Here, you can have your desk, you have all the shared facilities you can access, but you can also come and work from a beanbag or a café. With the operators here you’ll come down on a Saturday night for dinner, there’ll be farmers markets – we’re really activating the whole community.”

It’s also Smales Farm’s intention to become a destination precinct and blend itself into the wider community in Takapuna. Gunn says Smales Farm has been in talks with North Shore hospital, the Smales Farm bus station and nearby schools such as Westlake on how to allow increase collaboration and integration.

So far, level one of the B:Hive has been fully leased out to businesses already, with level two on its way to becoming fully leased in the coming months.