Friday, June 15, 2012

CapitaLand mulls over move to Jurong East

Business Times: Fri, Jun 15
CAPITALAND group could go west.

The property giant is said to be considering a move from the city to its Westgate Tower near Jurong East MRT Station. When contacted, a CapitaLand spokesman said no decision had been made.

Westgate Tower, a 20-storey office block, is slated for completion around end-2014. It has a total net lettable area (NLA) of 315,000 square feet with column-free floor plates of about 17,000 sq ft.

The spokesman said: "There are synergies to be reaped from CapitaLand Group's strategic business units to be under one roof or located near each other. We continually evaluate office space availability as well as operational aspects to see what makes the best business sense for the group. Currently, no decision has been made."

CapitaLand's headquarters are located at Capital Tower near Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. Its staff are also housed in Robinson Point and AXA Tower at 8 Shenton Way, also in the Central Business District. In addition, the group operates out of Wilkie Edge in the Selegie area, as well as Ascott Centre for Excellence at Anthony Road and CapitaLand Institute of Management and Business at Sentosa.

Capital Tower and Wilkie Edge are owned by CapitaCommercial Trust.

CapitaLand's corporate office is at Capital Tower. It occupies a substantial part of Robinson Point, where staff of the managers of its real estate investment trusts, such as CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust and CapitaRetail China Trust, are based. Staff of the group's serviced residence business Ascott and CapitaLand Residential are located at AXA Tower. Wilkie Edge houses the IT staff.

Westgate Tower is part of a mixed development project called Westgate that also includes a 426,000 sq ft mall. The whole project is being developed by CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaMall Trust and CapitaLand. Jones Lang LaSalle is the sole leasing agent for Westgate Tower.

Next door, Lend Lease and its Asian Retail Investment Fund (ARIF) are developing Jem, also a retail-office mixed development project. The 11-storey office tower in that project, whose NLA is also about 315,000 sq ft, is fully leased to the Ministry of National Development, Building & Construction Authority and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. The office tower is due for completion late next year.

Both the Jem and Westgate developments are coming up on sites sold under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

Another nearby land parcel (next to International Business Park) is scheduled to be launched in December under the confirmed list of the second-half 2012 GLS programme. The 1.2-hectare commercial plot can potentially generate 723,334 sq ft gross floor area of commercial space; a minimum office component will be stipulated.

JLL's head of markets Chris Archibold welcomes another office development in Jurong East. "This will add to the critical mass of the area, when you add it to MND's new headquarters at Jem, Westgate Tower and the International Business Park."...
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Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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