Prestige 40 Under 40: Junny Lee, founder and CEO of The Work Project
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Junny Lee

36, FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE WORK PROJECT

Junny Lee has loved creating spaces for as long as he can remember. “As a child,” he shares, “I spent countless hours building Lego villages, with homes, shops, offices, theme parks and more.”

Still, he never had aspirations of being a developer or architect. After a brief stint in investment banking, he switched jobs to become an investment analyst with Pacific Star Group, where he learned real estate methodologies from his boss Glen Chan. “It was a turning point, as I realised people were playing those games for a living, with some doing it with great success. I was hooked.”

He and his father started a real estate and development business, acquiring a portfolio of over a dozen assets in California, including hotels and strip malls, as well as the condominium 111 Emerald Hill in Singapore.

He ventured into the co‐working realm with The Work Project three years ago, offering what he calls beautiful offices that people are inspired to be in. Its spaces in prime areas such as Singapore’s Robinson Road, Marina View and North Bridge Road, and Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay have garnered their fair share of design awards.

“We spend most of our waking lives in the office. Our mission was to make that time spent inspiring and productive,” he says. “My guiding principle – the same one I’ve had since childhood, when I was playing with Lego pieces – is to create spaces that maximise the quality of our lives.”

CapitaLand has a 50 percent stake in The Work Project, which is the fourth‐largest co‐working space operator in Singapore. Lee says that while there is high demand for its office spaces, he believes in cautious expansion, relying on data to predict demand before investing in a new space. He has plans to enter key gateway cities in Asia-Pacific such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney. “Hospitality professionals are people‐pleasers,” says Lee. “I derive meaning from making my customers happy.”

 

Lee is wearing the Panerai Submersible — 42mm (PAM00959)