Amazon is reportedly nearing a deal to lease as much as 350,000 square feet (32,516 square metres) of office space at the under-construction IOI Central Boulevard Towers in downtown Singapore.
The e-commerce giant is said to be in advanced talks with Malaysian developer IOI Properties Group on the prospective lease in the Marina Bay area, according to an account in the Business Times.
The take-up would represent a vast expansion in office space for Amazon, which is understood to be currently leasing 45,000 square feet at One George Street, 80,000 square feet at Capital Square, 100,000 square feet at Asia Square Tower 1, and some WeWork flexible space at Manulife Tower, BT reported.
Located at the intersection of Central Boulevard and Raffles Quay, IOI Central Boulevard Towers is expected to receive its temporary occupation permit by the third quarter of 2023 and provide 1.26 million square feet of Grade A office space upon completion.
Wired Island Scores Again
IOI’s apparent coup comes as tech occupiers constitute 11 percent of the Singapore CBD’s Grade A office market and continue to expand, according to research by CBRE.
“Singapore is attractive to technology players due to its wide talent pool, world-class infrastructure and pro-business policies,” Tricia Song, CBRE’s head of research for Southeast Asia, told Mingtiandi.
Other big tech firms anchoring new office buildings include Facebook and Grab, which took up 300,000 and 100,000 square feet respectively at Marina One West Tower in 2017; data centre giant Equinix, which rented 80,000 square feet at 79 Robinson Road (now named CapitaSky) in 2020; and IBM software unit Red Hat, which signed up for 60,000 square feet at CapitaSpring in 2021.
“Some tech players such as ByteDance and Amazon have taken up space in multiple relatively new prime office buildings when large contiguous space became available since 2019,” Song said.
Amazon had made headlines last October when the tech giant officially opened its Asia Square location, showing off the hipster-style design spread across three floors in the 2013-vintage tower. IOI’s Central Boulevard Towers is located adjacent to Asia Square and just opposite the Lau Pa Sat food centre.
Central Boulevard Towers will stand about five minutes’ walk from Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay. The property will consist of a seven-storey podium with 30,000 square feet for retail and restaurants, as well as a 48-storey high-rise west tower and a 16-storey low-rise east tower with a typical office floor area of 22,640 and 25,480 square feet, respectively.
IOI Properties led all bidders with its S$2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) offer for the Central Boulevard site in November 2016. The developer chaired by Tan Kim Leong also won an auction last September for a nearby Marina View “white site”, which can serve a range of uses including commercial, retail, residential and hospitality, after entering a S$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) bid.
TikTok Down Under
Another tech behemoth, TikTok, is said to be in talks to lease over 47,000 square feet at Lendlease’s 55-storey Salesforce Tower at Circular Quay in downtown Sydney.
The Australian reported that the video-sharing service, a unit of China-based ByteDance, is set to join a lineup of bigfoot tech tenants at the soon-to-be-tallest building in Sydney, including CRM software maker Salesforce, which in 2019 acquired the naming rights and agreed to lease 24 floors.
Paralleling the trend in Singapore, the portion of Grade A space in Sydney taken up by tech players is estimated at 12 percent of leasing volume during the period of 2021 to the first quarter 2022, said Joyce Tiong, head of forecasting and data analytics for Australia research at CBRE.