Paving the way for the future of work at Midtown Bay

By Midtown Bay / BROUGHT TO YOU BY GUOCOLAND | October 15, 2021 10:00 AM SGT
The Network Hub comprises five storeys of leisure and business facilities, offering business lounges, collaborative spaces, conference & training facilities, space for networking and private dining, and a rooftop pool with leisure and fitness amenities (PICTURES: GUOCOLAND)
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The modern workforce is a nimble one. With the onslaught of the pandemic, workers have had to act fast, setting up workstations swiftly in the comfort of their own homes and connecting with their colleagues digitally. But this still begs the question — are homes in Singapore equipped for a work-from-home future?
Situated along Beach Road, the 219-unit Midtown Bay is well designed for such a purpose. From the facade, right down to the granular details of the furnishings, layout and amenities, the development has been designed with the flexibility to accommodate a home office.
Instead of warmer, matte textures, the wardrobe doors provided in Midtown Bay units have a reflective, white finish, which are neutral and can easily pass off as office cabinets. Homes also come with marble flooring that extends into all the bedrooms, offering homeowners flexibility to configure spaces to their needs. In addition, the units come with lofty ceiling heights of 3.2m and in-built load-bearing bars in the bedroom cabinetry that will allow homeowners to set up a platform bed in the room.
Homes also come with marble flooring that extends into all the bedrooms, offering homeowners flexibility to configure spaces to their needs
The strategic location of the development is also key. Set within a commercial setting, Midtown Bay is part of the larger Guoco Midtown development comprising 770,000 sq ft of Grade-A office spaces, an 80,000 sq ft business and lifestyle Network Hub, three retail villages of 50,000 sq ft and more than 400,000 sq ft landscape and public spaces.
The Network Hub comprises five storeys of leisure and business facilities, offering business lounges, collaborative spaces, conference & training facilities, space for networking and private dining, and a rooftop pool with leisure and fitness amenities. Some of the meeting rooms can be converted into dining rooms, so residents can host business lunches there. They can get a private chef to come in and cook for them for an important business meeting, or cater in from the wide range of retail and dining choices at Guoco Midtown.
Instead of warmer, matte textures, the wardrobe doors provided in Midtown Bay units have a reflective, white finish, which are neutral and can easily pass off as office cabinets
The hub facilities would also be open to Guoco Midtown’s corporate tenants, which would encourage potential introductions and collaboration between office tenants and small business owners operating a home office from Midtown Bay.
“Living in Midtown Bay, one gets to enjoy all the amenities available in Guoco Midtown, from the network hub, to the retail and F&B choices, as well as the public gardens, and the convenience that an integrated development offers. Best of all, you can be part of the Guoco Midtown community and witness the transformation of one of Singapore’s most vibrant locale,” says Dora Chng, general manager for residential at GuocoLand Singapore.
The unit mix will also play out well in attracting working professionals, with smaller unit types making up the predominant offering at Midtown Bay. There are 107 one-bedroom units (starting from 409 sq ft); 72 two-bedders (starting from 732 sq ft); 32 two-bedroom duplex units (starting from 990 sq ft); and only 8 three-bedroom duplex options, at 1,324 sq ft.
Perks of setting up a home office
The concept of working from home has been around for years before it was cast into the spotlight by Covid-19. From 2011 to 2013, private residential units that were marketed as Soho (Small Office Home Office) gained popularity, riding on the evolution of tech and its capabilities that allowed remote work.
Today, small business owners keen to set up a home office can do so under URA’s Home Office Scheme. This is a one-time permit that is valid for the duration of the business, and allows a company to run out of a residential home so long as it does not hire more than two non-resident employees. The company also has to fall under the category of permitted businesses — typically knowledge-intensive sectors that will not cause disruption to neighbouring residents.
Directly connected to Bugis MRT Interchange Station, Midtown Bay is also within close proximity to three other MRT stations — City Hall MRT Interchange Station, Promenade MRT Interchange Station, and Esplanade MRT Station — easing travel for those reporting to work in a home office.
“A residential address in the CBD that is well served by amenities and public transport ranks high in the checklist amongst those who wish to operate a home office here. The centralised location makes it easier for both the business owner to fan out to meet clients and for employees to come over for the necessary face-to-face meetings,” notes Alan Cheong, executive director, research and consultancy at Savills.
To that end, Midtown Bay is connected via sheltered walkways to 5.6 million sq ft of office spaces in the vicinity, linking places like Shaw Tower, South Beach, DUO, Suntec City and Marina Square so business owners can easily walk to their clients’ workspaces in the vicinity.
Business owners operating out of a home office in Midtown Bay are also likely to save on costs. “Office rents are generally higher than residential rents in Singapore. In the Downtown Core, on a psf per month (psf pm) basis, it is common for Grade-A and Grade-B office rents to be at least double that of private residential rents,” says Leonard Tay, head of research, Knight Frank.
Within the city centre, rentals for one-bedroom units sized from 500 to 600 sq ft and are directly connected to the MRT range from $3,000 to $4,000 per month, which translates to $5.5-$7 psf pm. Based on select transactions lodged with EdgeProp Singapore, rents for pure office spaces at well-connected buildings, such as Guoco Tower, can fetch $9.8 to $13.89 psf pm.
However, comparing both options, pure office spaces typically come bare, and extra costs and time will have to be spent on furnishing, flooring and cabinetry. Washrooms are also commonly shared between corporate tenants on the same floor. At Midtown Bay, units will come complete with key amenities like a fully equipped kitchen with Swiss premium appliances from VZug, a built-in fridge from Liebherr and washroom fixtures from Axor.
The duplex units would also offer small business owners greater flexibility and privacy to work and live within the same confines. Such offerings at Midtown Bay boast an efficient floor plate, which is rare in the market. Unlike most duplex units in Singapore — where the lower floor has a very high ceiling, and the upper floor is only half the size of the first — the layout of Midtown Bay’s two-bedroom duplex offerings are in fact 2 one-bedroom units stacked on top of one another, expanding the square footage available for its residents. With such a layout, business owners could utilise the lower floor as a small home office, and use the second level as their own private quarters.
Given how the way we work has changed over time, it is likely that our expectations of what home is will change according to more pressing needs. Meticulously designed to pave the way for modern work, Midtown Bay has future-proofed itself, catering to the emerging need of flexible working that will offer unlimited upside to investors, business owners and working professionals alike.
For more information, please visit www.guocomidtown.com/midtownbay
This article appeared in The Edge Singapore Issue 10006 (Oct 18, 2021)

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