Govt to ensure steady supply of office space: Tharman

Business Times: Thu, Sep 01
(SINGAPORE) The government will continue to ensure a steady supply of office space to support the long-term growth of global firms in Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday. ‘We will make sure that prime office space…
(SINGAPORE) The government will continue to ensure a steady supply of office space to support the long-term growth of global firms in Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.

‘We will make sure that prime office space, and more generally, commercial space in Singapore, stays competitive,’ he said.

Mr Tharman, who is also Minister for Finance and Manpower, was speaking at the light-up ceremony of Keppel Corporation’s Ocean Financial Centre last night.

The building – one of the largest office developments in the Raffles Place area – provides about 885,000 square feet of Grade A office space.

In his speech, Mr Tharman noted that Grade A office space in Singapore is still about 45 per cent cheaper than its equivalent in Hong Kong and about 25 per cent cheaper than in Tokyo. ‘And we have got to keep it that way,’ he said.

During the ceremony, Mr Tharman also launched a book on the history of Ocean Financial Centre written by academic K K Seet. The book chronicles the rich heritage and history of Ocean Financial Centre, which spans almost 150 years.

The first two-storey Ocean Building was built in 1864, the same year in which the road Collyer Quay was built on reclaimed land. It was replaced by the second five-storey Ocean Building in 1923, which housed the headquarters of the Straits Steamship Company. The third 28-storey Ocean Building, built in 1974, also housed many other shipping companies and air agencies.

This new 43-storey building is the fourth in the lineage to rise on the same site at the Singapore waterfront. The tenants now also reflect the bustling hub of financial and commercial activities that Raffles Place has since become.

Tenants now comprise major financial institutions, law firms and multinational corporations such as Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, BNP Paribas Singapore, Drew & Napier and Stamford Law Corporation. Ocean Financial Centre is currently more than 80 per cent committed.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

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