Friday, April 20, 2012

Some breathing room for small offices, shops

Business Times: Fri, Apr 20
[SINGAPORE] While condos and strata industrial units must meet certain size requirements, strata office and shop units can still stay tiny - at least for now.

Several projects with strata office and shop units have been launched in recent months, including Oxley Tower at Robinson Road, EON Shenton, Paya Lebar Square, and Promenade@Pelikat in Hougang.

From a developer's perspective, small commercial units keep lumpsum prices affordable while achieving high per-square-foot prices of about $3,000 psf or more. This appeals to investors seeking to diversify from the residential sector.

Some industry players, however, have wondered if the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) could soon come up with guidelines on minimum strata sizes for them.

However, a URA spokesman said there are no such plans for now. "Businesses have very diverse needs and budgets. A small accounting or law firm could have a few employees, and a retail start-up could occupy a small shopfront. Some of these small office and retail units already exist in the market today and do cater to genuine business needs...

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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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