40% of Mapletree Business City pre-leased ahead of mid-2010 completion

Mapletree Investments said it has pre-leased 40 per cent of the office space at its Mapletree Business City.

Mapletree said it’s talking to more potential clients who may take up another 15 per cent of space before the project is completed mid next year.

Topping out the Mapletree Business City, the company already has another reason to celebrate.

Fourth-tenths of some 1.7 million square feet of office space in the property along Alexandra Road has been taken up about six months ahead of the opening.

Mapletree won’t give details of its rental rates, citing confidentiality agreements, but said the costs are lower than properties in the central business district.

Already, big names like American Express, Unilever, SAP and HSBC have signed up.

HSBC is planning to move some 1,500 employees and all its back room functions there in two years’ time.

Guy Harvey-Samuel, CEO, HSBC, said: “I think the major factor in moving down here was because of the quality of the finish that we are going to be able to enjoy and the ability to decide what we wanted to do with the huge floor plates.”

Huge floor plates tend to help tenants manage their work space more efficiently.

Those at MBC can go up to 68,000 square feet, or more than three quarters the size of a soccer field.

The floor plate size will be Singapore’s largest, beating the current largest of 50,000 square feet. This is expected to comfortably fit about 650 staff.

Mapletree said it’s also catering to requests from tenants for longer leases of between six and 10 years.

Tan Boon Leong, chief operating officer, Mapletree, said: “A longer lease actually gives them certainty. I think for big corporates or big institutions, they need this certainty in their corporate planning. I think most of them have found shorter leases in the last two years. Their costs really became unmanageable so I think there are some lessons learned in the past 18 months. So actually longer leases are the preferred lease structure now.”

The MBC costs S$766 million to build and is expected to be ready in the second quarter of 2010.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 Sep 2009

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