Lendlease staff to experience co-working space

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AS a precursor to introducing innovative and productive workspaces in Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), Lendlease is going to experience first-hand how it is like to be a co-working space user.

Ahead of a planned relocation of its Asia headquarters in Singapore to PLQ next year, Lendlease will be moving its staff to a co-working space at The Work Project at Downtown Gallery, OUE Downtown from the end of June. It will be vacating its current office spanning 2,000 sq m at Mapletree Anson at 60 Anson Road come mid-2017.

This pilot exercise, which will enable Lendlease employees to experience working in a co-working space, will see about 100 of its 150 Singapore-headquartered staff using the co-working space. In so doing, these employees will rub shoulders with the startups there to better understand their future space needs.

The rest of the staff will be moving to the Paya Lebar Quarter site office; the group also have staff located at the centre management office of its retail malls Parkway Parade, Jem and 313@Somerset and project construction sites.

"We are excited to explore co-working and looking forward to collaborating with a variety of co-working providers to explore offering such workplace concepts at our upcoming Paya Lebar Quarter development," said Tony Lombardo, Lendlease's chief executive officer for Asia.

The group has not decided on whether to engage third-party operators or operate the co-working space at PLQ on its own, although there was earlier market talk that it was in discussion to collaborate with American firm WeWork in its urban renewal projects around the world.

Mr Lombardo conceded that the Singapore office market is seeing a challenging leasing environment as more supply comes onstream.

"We believe the market will remain challenging in 2018. On the other hand, there is pent-up demand for quality housing in Singapore's residential sector, and we expect to see an uptick in activity in the housing market in the next 12 months," he said.

"This is why now is the time for us to launch our Park Place Residences development at Paya Lebar Quarter. We expect demand for its residential units to grow further, especially after other parts of Paya Lebar Quarter are opened and people see even greater value in these units."

Phase one of the 429-unit residential component was sold out last weekend. Prices for the 215 units at Park Place Residences ranged from about S$800,000 for a one-bedroom unit to S$2.1 million for a three-bedroom premium unit.

Construction of the S$3.2 billion mixed-use development commenced in January with the commercial and retail components slated for completion in the second half of 2018, and the residential component by the first half of 2019.

Lendlease group development director David Hutton said the group is studying new-to-market concepts for the retail space in PLQ and will tweak the mix between retail and food and beverage in line with local experiential needs.

Source: Business Times, 30 Mar 2017