Category Archives: Uncategorized

Firms look to co-working spaces to lower costs

Instead of being tied down to a rental agreement, a growing number of firms and individuals are looking to pay for office facilities as and when they need the space.

An office format called co-working, is trying to fill the gap. It has been gaining popularity in the past two years, with more than 20 such providers popping up around Singapore.

WorkCentral is the newest kid on the block, joining the likes of The Hub and The Co in offering open, collaborative workspaces for companies and individuals. Such co-working spaces offer flexibility to companies looking to keep overheads low and not commit to a long-term lease.

Member companies can access the facilities any time they wish to, which also include a dedicated room with fixed line telephones.

After opening its new premises in Dhoby Ghaut last month, Work Central already has 10 members. It says part of the appeal of co-working spaces is the opportunity to collaborate with co-workers.

“When you wish to, you could have a chat with a co-worker (from a different member company) at the pantry or by the water cooler,” said Mr Paul Lee, founder and CEO of Work Central. “They’re not necessarily people who are directly related in terms of the industry they’re in, but one of your fellow co-workers that could provide a service for you. For example, if they’re a web designer, and you need to set something up, it’s convenient and easy to just have that working relationship right there.”

While the concept itself is not new, co-working spaces have been gaining traction recently. Last year, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) partnered with global workplace provider, Regus to set up work spaces in libraries for individuals and small companies.

Besides opportunities to collaborate, Regus says co-working is also cheaper than traditional service offices.

“It’s very cost effective and yes, cost is a massive part of it,” said Mr Paul MacAndrew, Regus’ country manager in Singapore. “Obviously if you went out and you opened up a space yourself, it’d cost you a lot of money and people don’t want to be fixed to a desk. They want the flexibility to work where they want and when they want. Absolutely, cost is a big factor.”

TREND TO GROW

Property research firm, SLP International, says this trend will only continue to grow. With new offices in the Marina Bayfront area expected to be completed in next few years, SLP said the new supply could open up more spaces for such co-working spaces, especially on the city fringe.

“The startups who might have limited budgets and a bit more high risk, and they’re not sure if their business idea could work or not, will still be attracted to the low cost type of working space, so there is still a market for co-working spaces,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP’s executive director.

“There’s even the possibility that some of the co-working spaces could be located in the CBD, but the cheaper rents are likely to be those commercial spaces which are more in the city fringe area, and if they are located near transportation nodes, for example MRT stations. They can still attract this startups and small companies.”

Both WorkCentral and Regus are looking to expand their co-working space footprint. Regus said it plans to bring in more co-working options next year, while Work Central hopes to eventually make inroads into Indonesia.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Nov 2015

65 retail units at Hougang project sold during preview

Oxley Holdings and Lian Beng sold about 60 per cent or 65 of the 107 retail units of The Midtown development in Hougang at the project’s preview yesterday. They also found buyers for about 40 of the 160 residential units at Midtown Residences, BT understands.
The 12-storey mixed-development project will come up on the former Hougang Plaza site, which the duo picked up from CapitaMall Trust for $119.1 million last year. The site’s lease has been topped up to 99 years.
The 160 residential units are understood to have been priced at around $1,400 per square foot (psf) on average after all discounts. The units range from 441 sq ft for a one-bedroom apartment with a study to 1,572 sq ft for a penthouse.
Absolute prices start at around $660,000 for a one-bedder on a low level, reflecting about $1,500 psf. The priciest unit, a four-bedroom penthouse, costs nearly $2.1 million, which works out to around $1,330 psf. Units at both ends of this spectrum are among those understood to have been sold.
The project’s 107 retail units comprise 55 food and beverage (F&B) units, 51 shop units and a supermarket space. The F&B units are duplex spaces with sizes of 721-969 sq ft and are priced at $4,039 psf on average, or between $3,588 psf and $5,013 psf.
Absolute prices of the F&B units are said to start at slightly above $2.8 million for a 786-sq-ft unit; this works out to nearly $3,590 psf. The priciest F&B unit is around $4.3 million (or around $4,460 psf based on its strata area of 958 sq ft).
Shop units span from 258 sq ft to 893 sq ft and cost between $4,687 psf and $6,737 psf; the average price is nearly $5,800 psf. Absolute prices of the shops range from $1.5 million to nearly $4.2 million, BT understands.
Sources suggest that balloting was done for only about half of the 40-odd shop units and only a few of the 20-odd F&B spaces that were sold yesterday.
Gauging from this, as well as the response to Novena Regency released earlier this month, some market watchers are wondering if buying interest in new launches of strata retail units could be starting to thin, compared with the frenzy seen during the release of Alexandra Central in January and Pavilion Square in Geylang Road last month.
Transactions for strata retail units, especially small units, gained momentum in the past couple of years as investors diversified from the residential sector, which has been the target of various rounds of property cooling measures here. Demand has been spurred by the launch of projects with small strata retail units.
Last month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority introduced a minimum average size for retail units of 50 square metres (538 square feet), along with guidelines for minimum corridor widths for retail developments.
Source: Business Times –25 April 2013

New MRT line in east by 2020 – will have 10 stops

THE new Eastern Region Line (ERL) will have 10 stations and pass through estates such as Marine Parade, Tanjong Rhu, Siglap, Bedok South and Upper East Coast. Slated to open by 2020, it will be 13km long, fully underground, and use driverless four-car trains. Its stations will link to the city centre and to the upcoming Thomson Line which will also use a four-car train. The older North-South and East-West lines use six-car trains. The ERL, which will run almost parallel to the existing East-West Line, was first announced in the LTA’s 2008 Masterplan. Together with the Thomson Line, scheduled to open in 2018 to connect northern Singapore to the Marina Bay area, the new lines are meant to alleviate congestion on existing MRT lines, but little information about the ERL has emerged since. The documents also included mention of an “integrated” interchange station linking the new ERL with an extension of an existing MRT line – though it did not specify which existing line this was. It also did not give further details about the new interchange station. Source: The Straits Times – 14 August 2012