Taking urban regeneration to the next level

The Business Times - May 6
The progressive opening of the S$3.2 billion mega-mixed use development Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) starting from this year represents an important milestone for developer Lendlease in Singapore.

It is the first time the Australian-listed group has delivered a residential product in decades, ever since it built some of Singapore's first Housing Board (HDB) flats.

From then, it moved on to redevelop and manage shopping malls such as Parkway Parade; build and manage the integrated office and retail project Jem and construct headquarters for companies like Honeywell.

PLQ, a 3.9 ha behemoth of three office towers, Park Place Residences condo and a shopping mall, is Lendlease's biggest mixed use project in Asia to date by dollar value.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
PLQ’s nearly 1 million sq ft of office space is 75% leased or under advance negotiations, while its retail mall of 340,000 sq ft is 80% pre-committed. For office, we note the rising CBD rents and lack of new contiguous space in CBD could drive more businesses to outside the CBD and to the city fringe. While the retail climate continues to be challenging, notwithstanding stiff competition from suburban and Orchard Road malls, Lendlease’s retail experience in Singapore and entrepreneurial spirit in trying out new retail concepts such as “co-retailing” makes PLQ Mall worth watching out for.

Amber Park condo at East Coast sells 115 units in weekend launch

The Business Times - May 6
The latest in a string of East Coast launches, freehold luxury condominium Amber Park sold 115 units at an average S$2,425 per sq ft (psf) during its launch weekend.

Some 150 units were launched over the weekend, out of the development's 592 units, said City Developments Limited (CDL) and its sister company Hong Realty on Sunday.

The units sold - which included a penthouse - covered all apartment types.

CDL said about 85 per cent of the buyers were Singaporeans, while the remaining were foreigners mainly from China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and others.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
The takeup of 77% of launched units or 19% of total available units for Amber Park is one of the best performances for new launches this year to date. We attribute the success to the attractive project design and reasonable pricing. In addition to its having the largest recreational space among new developments in the East Coast and Katong area, the upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT line to be in place by 2023, augurs well with the new project’s completion timeline. We expect total new launches in the East Coast (District 15) to be around 1,600 units over the next six to 18 months. This number is not excessive, compared with suburban districts with potential launches of over 2,000 units per district such as District 19 (Hougang, Kovan), District 18 (Tampines) and District 5 (West Coast). We expect developers to hold on to price points of around this level.

WeWork's Europe expansion faces growing competition before IPO

The Business Times - May 2
WeWork Companies gets a lot of headlines for its breakneck expansion into new markets, and that's only likely to increase now that it plans to go public. Yet the nine-year-old company faces stiff competition in Europe from established work-space providers like IWG plc and local startups.

The number of serviced and co-working offices across Europe has ballooned by more than 200 per cent in the last five years, according to a report by real estate broker Colliers International Group Inc.

WeWork has helped to drive this growth: it has nearly 50 locations in London and has added sites from Manchester to Moscow.

Tricia Song, Head of Research:
The lion's share of flexible office space in Europe is concentrated in a few cities, particularly Amsterdam and London, which is the world's biggest city for co-working. In Singapore, Colliers Research estimates flexible workspace stock has more than tripled since 2015. While WeWork only entered the Singapore in late 2017, it has grown at breakneck speed – it will open its 12th centre in Singapore by end-June 2019. With current flexible workspace market share at about 5% of the office stock, we believe there is still room to grow. Other market leaders such as IWG, JustGroup, The Great Room, Campfire, and landlord-operator JV The Work Project also look set to continue building their presence here for the rest of 2019. However we expect this growth could start to slow down in 2020, given the higher base and limited large contiguous space.