The two new office towers at Marina One due to be completed in this half of the year are about 60 per cent pre-leased.

Developer M+S told The Straits Times that it has secured tenants for more than one million sq ft of the 1.88 million sq ft Grade A office space at the integrated development in downtown Marina Bay.

It is one of two mega projects by M+S here, the other being DUO in Bugis, near the Kampong Glam heritage district.

The prime Marina Bay location and larger floor plates have played a part in getting many companies to relocate from older commercial buildings amid a weak office property market deluged by new supply in the past year.

“Over one million sq ft in this current market is a good testimony to the building itself, and we are also anchoring very premier companies.. Many of them have taken at least one floor,” said M+S chief executive Kemmy Tan.

Leases have been signed by Swiss private bank Julius Baer, consultancy PwC Singapore, co-working space provider JustCo, agri-business Olam International, social media giant Facebook and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).

MUFG, which occupies about 150,000 sq ft over 13 floors at Republic Plaza in Raffles Place, will start moving in from May, the bank told The Straits Times.

“There are many reasons for the move. One which made the most viable sense for the bank in the long term is the efficiency of Marina One‘s large floor plates,” it noted.

It will occupy 140,000 sq ft over 31/2 floors at Marina One. MUFG’s lease at Republic Plaza, where it has been for 20 years, runs out in the third quarter this year.

Ms Tan said while demand for the office property was not surprising, the pace at which leases were committed was better than expected.

“We take a long-term view of the market. We were not willing to engage in a price game because we believe in the underlying value of the asset, when the first tenant came, then the second one and it just kept coming in,” she noted.

The Marina One project – which also has 1,042 private homes as well as retail space – offers some of the largest office floor plates in Marina Bay, ranging from 34,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft.

M+S – a joint venture between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings – said more than half of the 140,000 sq ft retail podium at Marina One has been pre-leased.

Apart from the anchor tenants – fitness club Virgin Active, Cold Storage supermarket and Cookhouse by Koufu food court – it has also signed up Japanese restaurant Teppei Syokudo, Pizza Express and Majestic Restaurant, which will take up a space overlooking a vast garden known as the Green Heart.

Ms Tan told The Straits Times that 60 per cent of the retail space at Marina One and DUO, which has a 56,000 sq ft retail podium, will be devoted to food and beverage outlets.

Pizza Express is also taking up a spot at the DUO Galleria, joining other tenants such as Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant and Peruvian eatery TONO.

DUO – an integrated development comprising office and retail space, 660 apartments and a hotel – is expected to be ready in the first half of this year.

It has 570,000 sq ft of prime office space across 20 storeys, of which more than 250,000 sq ft or about 45 per cent has been pre-leased, M+S added.

Tenants at the DUO Tower include MasterCard, pharmaceutical firm Abbott and business consultancy Golden Equator Group.

Given the strength of the office leasing activity in the past six months, prospects for rents to turn upwards by the end of this year are increasingly possible.

Adapted from: The Straits Times, 7 February 2017

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