Paya Lebar Quarter signs up tenants for over half of office space


More than 40% of its retail space has also been pre-committed

PAYA Lebar Quarter (PLQ), a S$3.2 billion mixed-use development by Lendlease, has secured tenants for more than 50 per cent of its office space.

This includes some that are under final offer or in advanced negotiations, ahead of the offices' scheduled opening in the third quarter this year.

This was announced at the topping-out ceremony of one of the three office towers on Monday, which was attended by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

With approximately one million square feet of total office space, Lendlease expects some 10,000 employees to be working at PLQ's offices when they are fully occupied.

Prospective tenants include both local and multinational corporations in finance, technology, technology and real estate sectors. The company declined to disclose the names of the confirmed tenants.

Lendlease did say, however, that up to 15 per cent of available office space will also be used to house co-working facilities, which will allow smaller startups to network and work with established companies on special projects.

The average leasing price is S$7 to S$8 per square foot, said Lendlease Asia CEO Tony Lombardo.

According to fourth-quarter figures from commercial real estate services firm CBRE, the average leasing price for Central Business District (CBD) offices in Singapore is S$9.40 psf.

Ms Ng Hsueh Ling, managing director for Singapore at Lendlease, said that prices have bottomed, due to high economic growth and low supply. (see amendment note)

Industry watchers are generally bullish on PLQ's ability to attract companies.

CBRE managing director Moray Armstrong said: "There is much noise from corporates around themes such as attracting the best talent, focus on lifestyle and wellness, collaboration and alike. PLQ's office component delivers on all counts."

CBRE is the leasing agent for the office component of PLQ.

DBS analyst Derek Tan said that PLQ may pose some form of competition to CBD office space if Lendlease is able to position the property as a viable alternative.

It was also announced that more than 40 per cent of retail space of PLQ Mall has been pre-committed. 

Confirmed tenants are FairPrice Finest supermarket and Kopitiam food court. Other offerings include a multi-screen cinema, fashion and lifestyle stores, and restaurants with alfresco dining concepts.

Advocating alfresco dining, where meals are served outdoors, is one of the initiatives Lendlease hope will boost community engagement.

This in line with Mr Wong's speech at the ceremony. He said that he hopes that the developers will take the lead to engage with the community and inject "life" into the development.

Paya Lebar Central is one of several regional centres that the government is creating outside of the downtown area. The others include Tampines and Jurong Lake District.

"With the right programming, good infrastructure, coupled with its distinctive cultural and heritage offerings, I am confident that Paya Lebar Central will be an attractive destination to both Singaporeans and tourists," said Mr Wong.

Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the job title of Ms Ng Hsueh Ling was Lendlease Asia managing director. She is in fact the managing director for Singapore at Lendlease. Also, it was stated that more than 40 per cent of retail space of Paya Lebar Square has been pre-committed. It is in fact PLQ Mall. The article above has been revised to reflect these corrections.

Source: Business Times, 16 Jan 2018