Flexible office giant IWG is adding 22,000 square feet (2,044 square metres) of workspace across two floors in CapitaLand’s Plus building at Singapore’s Raffles Place.
The arrangement will bring Switzerland-based IWG’s Regus brand to the 28-storey building at 20 Cecil Street, according to a Tuesday press release from Colliers, which brokered the deal.
Details of the lease weren’t disclosed. But a market source familiar with the deal struck by IWG and CapitaLand said the agreement for the 14th and 15th floors was structured to align the interests of both parties and add value to the asset.
“The return to the office is in full swing, and flexible workspace will be a key component of corporate real estate strategy,” said Jonathan Wright, director of flexible workspace consulting at Colliers. “IWG are well-positioned to offer a range of solutions to occupiers, and this addition strengthens their position in Singapore and demonstrates confidence in the CBD.”
Betting on Flexibility
Colliers sees cause for optimism in the flexible workspace sector, underpinned by occupiers looking to reduce risk, add agility, elevate employee experience and outsource workspace delivery.
In the property services firm’s Flex Forward report released in January, analysts predicted that key flexible workplace operators would continue their expansion at a moderate pace after last year’s disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul MacAndrew, country manager for Singapore and Hong Kong at IWG, said the group is seeing increased demand within the city-state’s central business district as more organisations turn to flexible workspaces.
“One of the lasting legacies of the pandemic will be the need for companies to empower their teams to work in different ways and in different places, we will continue to strategically grow our network to support this,” he said. “This deal allows us to offer further workspace in a key part of Singapore.”
A 2019 report in Singapore’s Business Times said an associated company of CapitaLand bought the office space on levels 3 to 28 in the Plus building that year from a fund led by Hong Kong-listed Fullshare Holdings in a deal that was expected to exceed S$500 million (now $371.6 million).
The associated company’s shareholders included the CapitaLand Asia Partners I value-add fund and Swiss private equity firm Partners Group, the newspaper reported.
Fullshare, a Nanjing-based property developer led by billionaire Ji Changqun, had bought the building, then known as GSH Plaza, for S$725.2 million in 2017 from a consortium led by local developer Global Strategic Holdings, which had refurbished the 1992-vintage tower.
The building housed Singapore’s stock exchanges from 1994 to 2001, after which it was renamed Equity Plaza and later GSH Plaza.