Thursday, January 20, 2011

BNP ramping up space it will occupy at Ocean

BNP Paribas is said to have increased the space it will be leasing at Ocean Financial Centre from about 58,000 sq ft initially to about 150,000 sq ft. BT understands the lease for the additional space was signed earlier this month.

BNP will occupy a total of six levels in the 'high zone' of the 43-storey Grade A office development, which is expected to be completed around April this year.

Other tenants at Ocean Financial Centre, which will have about 850,000 sq ft of offices, include Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, Drew & Napier, DMG & Partners Securities, Verizon Communications and Ifast.

CB Richard Ellis is understood to have brokered BNP's lease but declined to comment.

Another new office development completing this year, Asia Square Tower 1, is also expected to clinch another major tenant soon. Sources say Marsh & McLennan Group could be close to inking a lease for about 90,000 sq ft at Asia Square Tower 1, which is expected to be ready around June. Marsh & McLennan is expected to give up its existing leased premises at Marsh & McLennan Centre at Cross Street, when its lease expires towards year end.

Jones Lang LaSalle is said to be brokering Marsh & McLennan's lease at Asia Square but the property consulting group declined comment. Assuming the Marsh & McLennan deal goes ahead, it would take the leasing rate for Asia Square Tower 1's 1.26 million sq ft net lettable office space to around 50 per cent. Other tenants secured earlier include Citigroup (about 250,000 sq ft), Julius Baer, Google, British insurance group Lloyd's and US law firm White & Case.

New Grade A office developments in Singapore's financial district are currently achieving monthly rentals ranging from around $10 to $12 per square foot, depending on the size of the space being leased and its orientation/ location, among other things.

Property consultants are predicting an increase of about 15 per cent in Grade A office rentals in Singapore this year following a rise of about 20 per cent in 2010.

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