More than half of office space leased at Paya Lebar Quarter

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Lendlease Asia chief executive Tony Lombardo at the topping-out ceremony of the first of Paya Lebar Quarter's office towers. Mr Wong is using a virtual reality headset that shows what the development wo
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and Lendlease Asia chief executive Tony Lombardo at the topping-out ceremony of the first of Paya Lebar Quarter's office towers. Mr Wong is using a virtual reality headset that shows what the development would look like.PHOTO: PLQ BY LENDLEASE

Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), a $3.2 billion mixed-use development by Lendlease, has secured tenants for more than 50 per cent of its office space, including some potential deals that are under final offer or in a stage of advanced negotiations, ahead of the offices' scheduled opening in the third quarter of this year.

This was announced at the topping-out ceremony of one of the three office towers yesterday, which was attended by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

With approximately 1 million sq ft of total office space, Lendlease expects 10,000 employees to be working at PLQ's offices when they are fully occupied.

Prospective tenants include both local and multinational corporations in the finance, technology and real estate sectors.

Lendlease declined to disclose the confirmed tenants.

It did say that up to 15 per cent of available office space will also be used to house co-working facilities, which will allow smaller start-ups to network and work with established companies on special projects.

The average leasing price is $7 to $8 per sq ft, said Lendlease Asia chief executive Tony Lombardo.

According to CBRE's fourth-quarter figures, the average leasing price for Central Business District (CBD) offices is $9.40 per sq ft.

Ms Ng Hsueh Ling, managing director for Singapore at Lendlease, who is the former chief of Keppel REIT, said that prices have bottomed, due to high economic growth and low supply. 

Industry watchers are generally bullish on PLQ's ability to attract companies.

CBRE managing director Moray Armstrong said: "There is much noise from corporates around themes such as attracting the best talent, focus on lifestyle and wellness, collaboration and alike. PLQ's office component delivers on all counts."

CBRE is the leasing agent for the office component of PLQ.

DBS Bank analyst Derek Tan said PLQ may pose some form of competition to CBD office space if Lendlease is able to position the property as a viable alternative.

It was also announced that more than 40 per cent of retail space of PLQ Mall has been pre-committed.

Confirmed tenants include FairPrice Finest supermarket and Kopitiam foodcourt. Other offerings include a multi-screen cinema, fashion and lifestyle stores, and restaurants with al fresco dining concepts.

Advocating al fresco dining, where meals are served outdoors, is one of the initiatives Lendlease hopes will boost community engagement. "Al fresco dining gives Singaporeans the opportunity to engage with others and be outdoors a bit more," said Mr Lombardo.

This in line with Mr Wong's speech at the ceremony. He said he hopes the developers will take the lead to engage with the community and inject "life" into the development. He added: "With the right programming, good infrastructure, coupled with its distinctive cultural and heritage offerings, I am confident that Paya Lebar Central will be an attractive destination to both Singaporeans and tourists."

Correction Note: An earlier version of this story said Ms Ng Hsueh Ling is the managing director at Lendlease Asia. She is the managing director for Singapore at Lendlease. It also said that 40 per cent of retail space of Paya Lebar Square has been pre-committed. It should be PLQ Mall instead. We are sorry for the errors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'More than half of office space leased at Paya Lebar Quarter'. Print Edition | Subscribe