String of public agencies lease offices at Funan

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A STRING of government bodies have leased office space at the revamped Funan in the North Bridge Road/Hill Street location.

These include the Department of Statistics (DOS) , organ of state Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), which are leasing a total of about 8,590 sq m (or 92,462 sq ft) of net lettable office space in the South Tower office block of Funan.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will be taking 360 sq m.

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) will occupy 170 sq m there - but this will be within the co-working facility to be operated by WeWork in the building's North Tower office block.

The Business Times understands that WeWork has increased the space it is leasing at Funan from 40,000 sq ft to 70,000 sq ft.

DOS, which will move to Funan later this year, now operates out of The Treasury next door.

"DOS works closely with many of the agencies in The Treasury, and being in Funan will facilitate these work interactions. DOS will be occupying about 5,000 sq m in Funan's South Tower office block, similar to its current office space at The Treasury," a Ministry of Finance (MOF) spokesman told BT.

MOF owns The Treasury and is also housed there. Also in the building are the Trade and Industry and Law ministries, the Prime Minister's Office Strategy Group, the Public Service Division and Accountant-General's Department.

The roughly 20-year-old Treasury has about 24,000 sq m (about 258,334 sq ft) net lettable area (NLA).

The space now occupied by DOS at The Treasury will be taken up by other government units, said the MOF spokesman.

An AGC spokesman told BT that by early next year, part of the AGC will be relocated to Funan, where it will occupy about 1,790 sq m in the South Tower.

"This is in line with AGC's need for more office space in order to accommodate the increased headcount to manage the government-wide increase in demand for legal services," she added.

The organ of state operates out of One Upper Pickering in Chinatown near the State Courts. It has a long lease for the whole of the 15-storey office building, which has about 87,070 sq ft NLA.

The AGC began operating from there in March 2013.

Market watchers note that a presence at Funan will place the AGC near the Supreme Court Building, which houses the High Court and Court of Appeal. It also marks the AGC's return to where it once was - in leased premises at The Adelphi - before its move to One Upper Pickering.

That move was triggered by a lease expiry; the landlord had said then that it had plans for the premises, it was reported.

SNDGO's spokesman told BT that it will move to Funan's South Tower by year's end, taking up about 1,800 sq m. "The relocation would better meet SNDGO's needs," he added.

The agency is now in Raffles City Tower.

GovTech's spokesman told BT that it will be taking co-working space at Funan to work more closely with SNDGO to "build digital solutions for citizens and businesses".

The two agencies make up the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG). Funan, redeveloped from the former Funan DigitaLife Mall, has about 887,000 sq ft gross floor area. It comprises a retail component (held through CapitaLand Mall Trust or CMT), two office towers (held by trusts fully owned by CMT), and the lyf co-living serviced residences. The serviced residence component is owned by a fully-owned subsidiary of Ascott Serviced Residence (Global) Fund.

Retail tenants in the development include Golden Village, FairPrice Finest and theatre company Wild Rice. The mall will use experiential retail concepts with the integration of online, offline, data and logistics offerings.

Source: Business Times, 9 Apr 2019