SINGAPORE - Beverage giant Pokka's single-storey building, which has been in use for more than 30 years, will be redeveloped into a five-storey one with innovation facilities and sustainable features.
It is slated to be ready by the first quarter of 2024.
Hong Kong-based real estate services and investment firm ESR Cayman is partnering real estate investment and financing giant PGIM Real Estate to invest around US$100 million (S$139 million) to acquire the leasehold rights of the site from Pokka and jointly develop the new building.
Pokka has committed to a 10-year lease of a minimum of 70 per cent of the building space, with an option for further extensions.
Construction of the building that will occupy an area of about 64,490 sq m - about the size of nine football pitches - started in April this year.
Pokka's building in Benoi Crescent housed its regional headquarters, corporate office and warehouse, with its research and development (R&D) facilities and factory in Quality Road in Boon Lay.
The new building will house its regional headquarters, R&D facilities, corporate office and warehouse.
This will help Pokka widen the scope and depth of its R&D, in line with the focus on food innovation to cater to more health-conscious consumers.
The new building will feature an innovation and incubation hub that will also be open to food-science entrepreneurs to test and launch their products.
Pokka will operate at a temporary space in Jurong until the new building is completed.
It plans to partner local institutes of higher learning and start-ups to bring new items to the market.
Sustainability will also become a key focus of the building project, said Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, who was the guest of honour at the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday (May 11).
"The new warehouse's rooftop is expected to house a solar power plant that can generate over two megawatts of solar energy at its peak using efficient solar panel technologies," she noted.
The building will also be equipped with solar power charging capabilities to support electric trucking vehicles.
Mr Rex Macaskill, group chief executive of Pokka, said the new technologies will enable the company to use up to 30 per cent less plastic in bottles, and the building is designed to eventually achieve a zero carbon footprint.
Ms Low said: "Under Singapore's Trade 2030 strategy, which was announced at the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Committee of Supply debate in March this year, we aim to grow our export value from $805 billion to at least $1 trillion by 2030. We also target to double our offshore trade value from US$1 trillion to US$2 trillion."
Pokka's new headquarters will be a good example of how global traders can anchor more of their upstream, downstream and innovation activities here, she added.
"To maximise these new capabilities and support Pokka's expansion into more markets, it is an opportune time for the company to develop and upskill its regional supply chain and logistics teams in tandem."