Demand for prime office space lifts off

By Cecilia Chow & Timothy Tay / EdgeProp | January 22, 2018 9:00 AM SGT
Brighter economic prospects have led to increased demand for premium office space, with giant schemes such as Marina One, DUO, Paya Lebar Quarter and Frasers Tower benefiting from a pickup in activity
Marina One’s light-up during its official opening ceremony on Jan 15 (Picture: M+S)
It could have been sheer coincidence, but Jan 15 turned out to be an auspicious date for marking significant milestones at landmark developments.
It was the day Marina One and DUO — two newly completed integrated developments with a combined value of $11 billion — were officially opened by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. It was also the day Australian property group Lendlease held its topping-out ceremony for the first office tower at the $3.2 billion integrated development, Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), with Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong as guest of honour.
Singapore-listed property group Frasers Centrepoint celebrated the topping-out of its 38-storey Frasers Tower on Cecil Street on Jan 15 too.
‘Phenomenal take-up’
“The take-up rate of these new projects has been phenomenal,” says Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, with Marina One and DUO achieving close to 80% occupancy rates, while Frasers Tower is more than 70% taken up and PLQ is 50% pre-committed. “These projects are likely to reach almost full occupancy by the end of 2018,” she adds.
The events tell a bigger story about Singapore’s strong fundamentals and its growth as a major international business destination, notes Moray Armstrong, CBRE managing director — advisory & transactions. “All indicators are pointing to stronger leasing activity, as both existing and pipeline projects are recording notable increases in commitment levels, as evidenced by the swift take-up of space in Frasers Tower and Paya Lebar Quarter,” he says. “There is increasing realisation that the market could be turning faster than expected.”
Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, at the official opening of Marina One and DUO by M+S
The Marina One integrated development...