China’s overseas projects are back in the roundup, as state-owned developer Greenland Group is halting work on its Spire London skyscraper while it reviews the design amid an outcry over safety standards. Also in the headlines, the mainland co-working brand recently bought by WeWork has launched a bootcamp for entrepreneurs at its venues in Shanghai and Beijing, and Verizon is setting up an innovation centre in a flexible office operated by JustCo in Singapore. There’s more news on a Chicago skyscraper part-owned by China’s Cindat Capital Management, so read on for the rest of the story.
Works on Greenland Group’s Spire London building have ground to a halt after it was revealed residents on the upper floors of the skyscraper will only have access to one escape stairwell. At 67-storeys tall, the tower was set to be the tallest residential skyscraper in western Europe when opened in 2020 – but the revelations about its lack of safety provisions have raised questions over what the completed project will look like.
Safety experts have warned that the building will need at least two staircases for the hulking structure in order to make it safe for future residents. Current regulations mean that tall commercial buildings are required to provide two or more exit stairwells in case of a fire or emergency, but residential properties are not subject to the same stringent conditions. The Chinese developer behind the scheme, Greenland Group, said this week they would be launching a review of the design in order to determine ‘the most up-to-date design specification’. Read more>>
CapitaLand Mall Trust’s Funan mall unveiled its plan to digitise customer analytics within its premises, deploy automated guided vehicles (AGV), attach a robotic arm in its retail setting, and implement a 24-hour click-and-collect drive-thru.
“As omnichannel retailing becomes the new reality, Funan is racing ahead to become Singapore’s first online-and-offline (O&O) shopping mall integrating online, offline, data and logistics aimed at empowering retailers’ omnichannel strategy and transforming the customer experience,” it said in an announcement. Read more>>
JustCo, Singapore’s biggest co-working operator in terms of space, continues to expand aggressively. Its latest launch is Verizon Innovation Community, which JustCo founder and CEO Kong Wan Sing considers “a first-in-Asia initiative”.
Verizon Communications, an American multinational telecommunications giant, currently occupies about 20,000 square feet at its Singapore head office in Ocean Financial Centre. The Verizon Innovation Community takes up 10,000 square feet, or half of the space. Members of the innovation community that will be curated and managed by JustCo will be in the fields of cybersecurity, fintech/blockchain, digital media, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. Read more>>
Zeller Realty swapped a pair of foreign mortgages this month for a $215 million loan from Morgan Stanley for its tower at 311 South Wacker Drive, according to Cook County records. The Chicago-based firm terminated its mortgages with the Bank of China and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on the same day it entered into the new financing agreement, records show.
Zeller teamed up with Chinese investor Cindat Capital Management in 2014 to buy the 65-story postmodern office building in 2014 for $302 million from the San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties and Fremont Realty Capital, according to Crain’s. Read more>>
A freehold residential redevelopment site at St Thomas Walk has been put up for sale by a single family for S$68 million ($50.5 million). The asking price reflects a land rate of S$2,190 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) including an estimated development charge of S$10.56 million to intensify to plot ratio 2.8, said its marketing agent Edmund Tie & Company.
Located in prime District 9, the property has a land area of about 1,190 square metres or 12,809 square feet and is zoned for “residential” use at gross plot ratio (GPR) of 2.8 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Master Plan 2014. Read more>>
WeWork Companies Inc. (WeWork) is leasing more than 130,000 square feet of office property in London from Malaysia’s Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB). In a joint statement issued on Friday, they had signed a 20-year lease for the entire office space of Aviation House on May 15.
Located across the Holborn Underground Station with close proximity to the upcoming Crossrail that will be completed in December 2019, Aviation House is one of PNB’s property assets in London which was acquired in 2014. WeWork will occupy the eight upper floors in the Grade A office and retail building and its presence will be part of the rejuvenation of Aviation House. Read more>>