Friday, May 28, 2010

$92m upgrade for Six Battery Road

Makeover will include green features to boost energy efficiency

RAFFLES Place Grade A office building Six Battery Road is to undergo a $92 million facelift that will give its tenants a greener working environment.

CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT) Management, which owns the building, yesterday unveiled its ambitious asset enhancement plan.

It said it is upgrading the site to meet the needs of modern-day office tenants, while at the same time boosting its energy efficiency and cutting its environmental impact.

Among the green features that will be incorporated are a wind turbine to power lighting and reduce the building's carbon footprint, and a re-designed chiller plant room to improve energy efficiency.

The cost of the makeover is equivalent to about 8 per cent of the property's value, as at the end of December last year.

CCT Management chief executive Lynette Leong said that it was 'an opportune time to undertake asset enhancement' given that the Singapore office market was poised for rental recovery.

Six Battery Road will 'continue to offer value-for-money office accommodation to tenants, and sustain the building's high occupancy and rental rates', she said.

Ms Leong told a briefing yesterday that there was the potential for a rent increase of between 10 and 15 per cent after the upgrade.

The chairman of CCT's manager, Mr Richard Hale, said the plan 'was in line with our portfolio reconstitution strategy (where) we will proactively enhance the trust's long-term value through divestments, asset enhancement initiatives and acquisitions.'

Building work will begin in October and be carried out in phases until 2013, so that tenants can continue to operate with minimal inconvenience.

The ground-floor lift lobby, turnstiles and reception area will be the first area to be tackled.

A key highlight in the main lobby will be a 184 sq m green wall with plants - the largest of its type in Singapore.

CCT said it is undertaking the work now to capitalise on the changeover of its tenants, which will minimise downtime.

Six Battery Road this week won the BCA Green Mark Platinum award - the highest accolade for a green building.

Yesterday, Ms Leong disclosed that CCT was on the lookout for acquisitions, but said the market was still volatile and rental recovery too uncertain to commit to a purchase.

Source: Straits Times, 28 May 2010

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