Thursday, July 8, 2010

CBD makeover can pull in more MNCs

REJUVENATING the Central Business District (CBD) can help entice more multinationals to set up their global headquarters here amid Asia's economic rebound, according to the Ministry of National Development.

Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development, said yesterday: 'We have planned for the development of Marina Bay and rejuvenation of the Central Business District to provide businesses with a diverse choice of top quality Grade A offices in state-of-the-art buildings.

'This will help our aspiration to build Singapore into a leading financial and business centre in Asia that can serve as the ideal location for global headquarters functions of multinational corporations operating in Asia.'

Ms Fu was speaking at the topping-out ceremony for Ocean Financial Centre in Raffles Place Park.

The project is being developed by Keppel Land and will add about 850,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.

Grade A is a term generally used to describe offices found in prime, well-maintained buildings that have large, column-free floor plates and high ceilings.

Keppel Corp chief executive Choo Chiau Beng, who also chairs Keppel Land, announced that Australian bank ANZ plans to lease 209,000 sq ft while BNP Paribas Singapore has earmarked 58,000 sq ft.

Other future tenants include law firms Drew & Napier, which is now at Ocean Towers, and Stamford Law, currently at Republic Plaza.

Ocean Financial Centre is the fourth Ocean building development at the former Ocean Building site.

The first was built in 1864, with redevelopments taking place in 1923 and 1974.

The latest Ocean building is also the first high-rise office development in Singapore to achieve the Platinum Green Mark Award, with the platinum level the best category in the Green Mark Award given out by the Building and Construction Authority.

It will boast features such as solar panels, an energy-efficient hybrid chilled water system and paper recycling in all offices.

Keppel Land, a unit of Keppel Corp, said in a statement that the green features will achieve energy savings of 35 per cent and save 42 million litres of water and more than 10,000 trees a year.

The centre is 63 per cent pre-committed and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) announced that 88,000 sq ft of space has been pre-committed at 50 Collyer Quay, which is being developed on the site of the former Overseas Union House by OUE unit Clifford Development.

The space is about 22 per cent of the project's net lettable area of 412,000 sq ft.

Source: Straits Times, 8 Jul 2010

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