Blackstone Acquiring Sandcrawler Bldg For S$175.8m
SINGAPORE – The Blackstone Group intends to purchase the landmark Sandcrawler building in the city-state for almost S$175.8 million from Lucasfilm, reported The Business Times on Wednesday morning (13 January, SGT).
The news website understands that the sale of the futuristic-looking building within the Fusionopolis cluster in Buona Vista is being negotiated by property consultancy CBRE, but the transaction is subject to JTC’s approval.
The 8-storey horseshoe-shaped block comes with office space, retail premises, and verdant gardens. Property experts said the indicative selling price translates to a net yield of roughly 4 percent based on its current rental income, and it is said to have an occupancy rate hovering at the 90 percent range.
The campus spanning 22,500 sq m with a metallic exterior functions as Lucasfilm Singapore’s regional HQ as well as its visual effects and animation studio, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Apart from housing Lucasfilm’s parent firm The Walt Disney Company, its major tenants include ESPN Asia Pacific, DBS’s innovation centre, and Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech).
The design of the high-tech complex pays homage to “Star Wars”. In fact, its appearance and name were inspired by Sandcrawlers, humongous vehicles in the film series. Besides having a 100-seat theatre whose facade looks like Darth Vader’s helmet, its premises are decorated with Star Wars memorabilia like a Yoda fountain and stormtrooper helmets.
Moreover, the building’s official opening in January 2014 was attended by important persons, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Lucasfilm’s Founder & Star Wars Director George Lucas, who invested in the property.
ILM was also Lucasfilm’s first international studio outside of its main headquarters in San Francisco, California.