Almost five years after breaking ground in Singapore’s central business district, CapitaLand and its Japanese partners officially opened their 79 Robinson Road office building Friday with committed occupancy already close to 93 percent.
Designed by US firm Gensler and Singapore’s DCA Architects, the 29-storey tower in the Tanjong Pagar area has a net lettable area of 518,000 square feet (48,124 square metres) and is jointly owned by SGX-listed CapitaLand Investment, Mitsui & Co and Tokyo Tatemono Co.
The redevelopment project stands on the site of the former CPF Building, a 1976-vintage skyscraper that was demolished in 2017 to make way for the new Green Mark Platinum-awarded structure. Directly facing CapitaLand’s 52-storey headquarters in the Capital Tower at 168 Robinson Road, 79 Robinson Road is home to tenants including German finance giant Allianz, US data centre provider Equinix and Boston Consulting Group, which has its own specially curated duplex office space on levels 27 and 28.
“The successful completion of 79 Robinson Road during COVID-19 would not have been possible without the support of the authorities and our joint venture partners Mitsui and Tokyo Tatemono,” said Chris Chong, CEO of retail and workspace for Singapore and Malaysia at CapitaLand Investment. “We are delighted that our esteemed tenants have chosen this building as their new address, attracted by its excellent connectivity, premium building specifications, sustainable features, core-flex offerings and strong focus on wellness and community.”
The new building’s offerings include 56,000 square feet of collaborative spaces operated by Bridge+, CapitaLand’s flexible workspace and community platform. Bridge+ began operating at 79 Robinson Road this month, marking its first CBD location and second facility after the Ascent building at Singapore Science Park, Temasek-backed CapitaLand said.
The collaborative spaces, including hot desks, private suites and meeting rooms, are accessible to tenants of the building with UOB’s The FinLab and Multiverse, along with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub and Cyberdyne Tech Exchange all set up as members of the flexible workspace facility.
In addition to its Bridge+ element, CapitaLand has positioned the property on the cutting edge by incorporating features including QR-activated turnstiles, destination-controlled contactless lift systems, cleaning robots, condensation cooling systems and four EV parking lots equipped with two fast chargers.
Jon-Paul Jones, regional chief operating officer for Allianz Asia Pacific, applauded the project’s green design and sustainability features.
“As an insurer and an investor, protecting the environment is part of our core business,” Jones said. “With this in mind, 79 Robinson Road became our preferred choice for its achievement as a Green Mark Platinum Building. We are glad to be part of the sustainability efforts moving forward towards a higher quality working environment for all staff, while at the same time making a positive contribution to society.”
New Supply Thins Out
Ascendas-Singbridge (which merged with CapitaLand in 2019), Mitsui and Tokyo Tatemono won the tender for the redevelopment of 79 Robinson Road in 2015. The effort marked Tokyo Tatemono’s first joint venture project in Singapore and Mitsui’s second collaboration with CapitaLand in the Lion City after Galaxis at the One North business park in Queenstown.
The finished building joined a wave of new office supply entering the market in 2021, including 647,000 square feet of net lettable area at CapitaSpring, a joint venture of CapitaLand, its REIT affiliate CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust and Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate. Tenants at the CapitaSpring tower in Raffles Place include JP Morgan Chase, which leases office space spanning seven floors at the newly completed building.
According to property consultancy JLL, office demand in the city-state could outstrip supply in 2022, with Guoco Midtown the only Grade A office project expected to come on stream in the CBD during the year.
CBD office rents in the fourth quarter of 2021 grew at their fastest pace in 11 quarters, rising 1.8 percent from the previous quarter to S$10.23 ($7.60) per square foot per month, the agency said in its Singapore Property Market Monitor report released this week.
“Tightening vacancy could help to accelerate rent and capital value growth over the next 12 months,” JLL said.