Just over one year after purchasing the PIL Building on Singapore’s Cecil Street, TE Capital Partners and LaSalle Investment Management have officially commenced sales of a landmark office development on the prime site.
During a preview period in the first two months of the year, the partners sold levels 6 and 12 in Solitaire on Cecil to separate investors at S$3,865 per square foot and S$4,196 per square foot respectively, achieving prices well above current averages in Singapore’s urban core. TE Capital executives attribute demand for the 20-storey freehold project to a combination of location, high specifications and growing demand for investment properties in the global financial hub.
With two floors now sold, TE Capital and LaSalle are reported to have officially launched for sale levels 5, 13, 14 and 15 on a full floor basis. With discussions on the sale of more levels in the building already in advanced stages, more strata sales in Solitaire on Cecil are expected in the coming weeks.
New incentive policies and ongoing growth in Southeast Asia have made Singapore a top priority for major multinationals and the fast-growing family office sector, with the developers having designed the office project to meet global standards for sustainability and wellness, as well as incorporating features aligned with the ongoing convergence of work and life.
Commerce and Culture
Located at 148 Cecil Street the 192,000 square foot (17,837 square metre) project benefits from easy walking access to the Raffles Place, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Shenton Way MRT stations. The ECP, MCE and CTE expressways are all within a few minutes’ drive.
In addition to being just over 500 metres (547 yards) from Raffles Place, Solitaire on Cecil offers the duality of work and leisure, with a nine metre sheltered walkway connecting the project to Stanley Street, with seamless access to Club Street and the network of cafes and nightspots in the Telok Ayer Conservation precinct’s traditional shophouses.
Singapore’s URA has made rejuvenating the urban core a top priority, with bringing places to work, play and live closer together becoming a top policy target. Both the project’s proximity to top commercial and amenity districts, and its design, which incorporates features valued by global talent, are aligned with these policy goals.
In line with the country’s vision for sustainable commuting and healthy lifestyles, the development provides end of trip facilities including bicycle parking, storage lockers, showers and changing rooms on the third floor.
Providing 190,000 net square feet of office space, the commercial block also incorporates 2,000 square feet of food and beverage space. Some 27,000 square feet of the total building is dedicated to providing green, wellness and collaborative spaces. The rooftop provides both flexible workspace and dining facilities.
Rising Standards, Higher Spec
To keep step with the government’s ESG vision for a green metropolis and the needs of top-level occupiers, TE Capital and LaSalle have designed Solitaire on Cecil to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency and carbon impact with the project already awarded Green Mark Platinum certification, the highest level available under Singapore’s sustainable building regime.
Built with 4.9 metre floor to floor heights and raised floor provisions which offer flexibility for layouts and space planning, the project is ready to accommodate global financial institutions and other tenants looking for a quality presence in an increasingly competitive talent market.
Floors in the building average around 13,000 square feet with views overlooking Singapore’s central business district and the Telok Ayer area.
Family Office Boom
With its efficient floorplates and accessible floor sizes, TE Capital and LaSalle see Solitare on Cecil benefiting from a boom in establishment of family offices in Singapore, with the count of these private investment vehicles jumping from 400 in 2020 to 700 by the end of 2021, according to figures from the Economic Development Board.
Last year the government introduced new rules which are accelerating the migration of some of the world’s wealthiest families to what has traditionally been a safe-haven location, with Solitaire on Cecil providing these investors with the opportunity to own their workplace and invest in a leading commercial development at the same time.
Singapore’s upswing in family office activity has helped fuel a record purchases of strata office floors in its commercial hubs, including a series of ever-higher-priced deals in the Suntec City complex in Marina Centre last year and a barrier-bursting purchase at 15 Scotts Road in the Orchard shopping district in November.
In May last year a floor in the Samsung Hub building, a two decade-old tower which is around five minutes walk from Solitaire on Cecil, set a new price record when it sold for a record S$4,050 per square foot, with that deal being slightly cheaper than one of the recent floors sold by TE Capital and LaSalle.
Space is Limited
With Singapore having been named as the top investment destination in Asia Pacific in an Urban Land Institute survey of real estate professionals last year, TE Capital and LaSalle are expecting competitive offers for the remaining space in Solitaire on Cecil after the government began restricting strata development last year.
In March of 2022 the Urban Redevelopment Authority issued a circular halting the issue of permits for strata subdivision of commercial buildings in Singapore’s prime business hubs, with Solitaire on Cecil said to have achieved one of the last approvals for such development before the new regulations were introduced.
At the same time that the URA has restricted the supply of strata floors, global investors continue to scoop up income-earning properties in Singapore this year with nearly $1 billion in new transactions having been signed so far in 2023, according to a Mingtiandi tally.
That ongoing interest in the city-state’s investment market is consistent with analysis in a recent report by global property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, which expects properties in Singapore to continue to perform well this year.
“Capital values are still expected to remain resilient given that rental growth is expected to outpace the rise in operating costs,” C&W said in their most recent Market Beat report, with the company being one of the agents currently marketing Solitaire on Cecil.
Also engaged as agents for the project are CBRE, Huttons Asia, Savills and SRI Capital Market.
For more information, visit www.solitaireoncecil.com.
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