Chinese tech company ByteDance has closed a deal to acquire and lease a combined 2.55 million square feet (236,903 square metres) of office and retail space at Tishman Speyer’s The Springs mixed-use megaproject in Shanghai.
The maker of video app TikTok is buying 2.1 million square feet of office and retail space currently under development and leasing 457,000 square feet of existing office space, with the intent of using the entire expanse as a regional headquarters once construction is complete.
The development value for the acquired parcel is $1.25 billion, with the transaction ranking as the Manhattan-based developer’s largest ever with a single customer, Tishman Speyer said in a Tuesday press release.
“All over the globe, innovative companies like ByteDance are bringing people together — often in ways beyond what was imagined just a few years ago,” said Tishman Speyer president and CEO Rob Speyer. “Our mission, as a developer, property owner and investor, is to facilitate this innovation. We bring visionaries together and support them as they collaborate and create.”
ByteDance’s regional headquarters at The Springs will occupy four new buildings ranging in size from four to 29 storeys. The campus designed by architects Gerkan, Marg & Partners is also to feature six acres of parks and other green spaces.
The Beijing-based software developer’s TikTokPlex is part of a sprawling 66 acre (26.7 hectare) Tishman Speyer project in the Wujiaochang section of Yangpu district in the northeast fringe of Shanghai’s urban core.
“Shanghai’s Yangpu district is emerging as one of the world’s great innovation hubs, and The Springs will be its cornerstone for many years to come,” said Wilson Chen, senior managing director and chief executive for China at Tishman Speyer. “We look forward to completing the project and attracting more leading companies who want to be part of this remarkable environment.”
Once the work is completed in 2023, ByteDance will join other multinationals with corporate offices at The Springs, including footwear maker Nike, tyre giant Continental AG and consumer goods firm Henkel.
Launched in 2011 on the site of a former military airfield, The Springs promises 9.8 million square feet of offices, residences, hotels, restaurants, retail, entertainment and cultural venues, as well as abundant green space. According to Tishman Speyer, the development has been designed to blend seamlessly with an adjacent 33 acre ecological reserve.
The first phase of the project comprises 1,721,600 square feet of residential and 1,562,890 square feet of commercial space and supporting amenities, while future phases will develop the remaining 6,401,985 square feet of commercial and retail space.
The project’s centrepiece, a pair of skyscrapers known as “The Eye of Wisdom”, is expected to finish construction in 2025.
Virtual World, Real Space
With the COVID-19 pandemic fading into the background in mainland China, ByteDance is continuing a multi-year expansion that has seen the tech firm snap up office space both at home and overseas.
In early 2019, ByteDance acquired a failed Beijing shopping centre, Zhongkun Plaza, for RMB 9 billion ($1.3 billion), with a plan to convert the facility for office use. Last October, Bloomberg revealed that the company had signed an agreement to lease three floors measuring over 60,000 square feet at One Raffles Quay in downtown Singapore.
More recently, the TikTok unit signed a 15-year lease for the 88,500 square foot Kaleidoscope Building in the Farringdon district of central London.
ByteDance’s deal with Tishman Speyer follows a similar transaction last year in which the US firm sold a building at its Crystal Plaza project in Shanghai’s Pudong district to beauty brand Tin’s Secret.