New Afro-Asia Building secures The Great Room as anchor tenant

The redevelopment of what was once one of the oldest buildings along Robinson Road into a new CBD landmark is taking shape quickly

The new 19-storey Afro-Asia i-Mark is expected to be completed by 2Q2020 (Credit: Robinson Development)
One of the oldest buildings on Robinson Road is getting a new lease of life as the new Afro-Asia i-Mark Building. Located at the corner of Robinson Road and McCallum Street, the new 19-storey, Grade-A office tower at 63 Robinson Road is scheduled for completion in 2Q2020.
At the end of last month, the joint developers of the new Afro-Asia i-Mark Building signed on hospitality-based co-working operator The Great Room as an anchor tenant in a deal brokered by JLL, the exclusive leasing agent for the building.
The Great Room is taking up 37,000 sq ft of office space across the sixth to eighth levels, which translates to 26% of total net lettable area of 140,000 sq ft in the building. “It will be our largest in Singapore to date,” says Jaelle Ang, CEO and co-founder of The Great Room.
Afro-Asia i-Mark Building is jointly developed by the Tan family of Afro-Asia Shipping Co and Shimizu Corp at an estimated cost of $320 million. The Tans hold the majority stake in the joint venture.
Jaelle Ang of The Great Room (left) with joint developers of Afro-Asia i-Mark, Tan Chin Hoon and Tan Cheng Gay of Afro-Asia Shipping Co. and Brian Poon of Shimizu Corp (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Overdue for redevelopment’

Before it was torn down, the former Afro-Asia Building was known by those working in the CBD area as the building with the MPH Bookstore at the corner next to Uncle Sam’s Claypots restaurant. The original Afro-Asia Building was a seven-storey office building that was already 62 years old – with 37 years left on its lease – when it was torn down in 2017.
“It was definitely overdue for redevelopment, judging from the average building lifespan of 50 years,” says Tan Cheng Gay, on behalf of his family members who control Afro-Asia Shipping Co. “We decided to bring in...