TripleOne Somerset office space up for sale

A 7th floor office space in TripleOne Somerset has been put up for sale via expression of interest

The rare offering of an entire floor of 15 office units in the premium Orchard Road area is expected to attract keen interest from investors.

All of the seventh floor of Somerset Tower in TripleOne Somerset has been put up for sale for about $41.56 million via an expression of interest.

The indicative price translates to about $2,650 psf for the 15,683 sq ft space, marketing agent CBRE told The Straits Times yesterday.

TripleOne Somerset - in Somerset Road - is a prime integrated development with two premium-grade office towers and a retail podium next to Somerset MRT station.

A $120 million renovation is under way to enhance the retail offerings, incorporate medical suites, and spruce up the office lobby and common areas.

The refurbishment work for the office space on the seventh floor will be completed in May, said CBRE.

Google moves to new office in Singapore

  • Google on Thursday (Nov 10) officially opened the doors to its new office at Mapletree Business City II in Pasir Panjang.
  • The tech giant now occupies two entire office blocks to house its "fast growing" team of engineers.
  • The tech giant hopes to attract more Singapore engineers working overseas, especially in Silicon Valley tech firms, to return home.
  • It now has 1,000 employees, including an undisclosed number of engineers, in its new Singapore engineering hub.
  • "We are starting to see a lot of Singaporeans coming back," Mr Caesar Sengupta, Google's locally-based vice-president of The Next Billion Users, told The Straits Times in an interview.
  • Mr Sengupta, who became a Singaporean 10 years ago, said the nation is a good place for "long-term bets" due to its business-friendly policies.
  • Basing an engineering pool here is also strategic for the company, and for Mr Sengupta, as it wants to be close to Internet users in South-east Asia.
  • His division works on products to bring Internet content to more people. These include translating content into Asian languages, and enabling Google Maps and YouTube for offline use for places where mobile access is limited or expensive.
  • Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects will also be done in Singapore.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was at the opening along with Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran, hopes Google and Singapore can benefit from each other - especially in a world where technology is rapidly changing the way business is done.
  • Highlighting the country's Smart Nation initiative, and its energy and buzz, he said "we will be able to add something to Google".
  • Turning to a crowd of more than 100 Google employees, Mr Lee said: "And we depend on you to help us to do better."
  • Google's local engineering hub is the latest addition to a growing list of similar facilities in Hyderabad in India, Sydney in Australia, and Mountain View in the United States, among other locations.
  • The two office blocks the firm has leased at Mapletree Business City II could accommodate up to 3,000 people depending on office configuration.
  • Google's Singapore office, which is its Asia-Pacific business headquarters, started with only 24 people in 2007.
  • The new office is a blend between a campus and an office building, with high ceilings, open lounges and an abundance of natural lighting.
  • In addition to its main cafeteria which offers free food, the office boasts various coffee and snack bars where employees are encouraged to gather and as one person said, have plenty of bump-in encounters with others from different departments.
  • Many employees no longer even have a permanent desk. Depending on their tasks and schedules of the day, with their laptop in hand, they can choose to work at a desk station, large conference table, couch, or private office.

The sale is expected to attract keen interest from investors, given the limited supply of this sort of property on the market. Ms Sammi Lim, director for capital markets at CBRE, said: "There hasn't been a launch of new strata office units and medical suites for sale in the Orchard Road precinct in over three decades." She said only resale units - typically in ageing buildings - are available and they are trading at premium prices due to scarcity.

A 6,867 sq ft space in Tong Building was sold at $25.5 million ($3,713 per square foot) last April, while another deal saw 7,330 sq ft of office space sold for $12.5 million ($1,705 psf) in Orchard Towers in July. Both freehold buildings were built in the 1970s.

TripleOne Somerset has a lease of 99 years, starting from Feb 19, 1975. Office tenants at the property include luxury fashion and lifestyle brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Samsonite and Bell & Ross.

CBRE noted rising interest from family office and property companies keen to take up space there, citing as an example Property Guru's relocation from its Novena office to TripleOne Somerset. "With monthly office rents at TripleOne Somerset hovering in the range of $8 to $8.50 psf, gross rental yields are close to 4 per cent, which is also attractive to investors," Ms Lim noted.

The expression of interest exercise closes on April 7.

This article was first published on Feb 23, 2017.
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