61 Robinson Road Office Bldg Sold

Singapore’s 61 Robinson Road Office Bldg Sold For S$422m

SINGAPORE – The 20-storey 61 Robinson Road office building, which is expected to complete its renovation soon, has been acquired for S$422 million, reported The Business Times on Monday morning (13 September, SGT).

This translates to S$2,973 psf based on the commercial property’s post-refurbishment net lettable area (NLA) of 141,958 sq ft. Before the refurbishment, its NLA was 133,221 sq ft.

It is also possible to further increase the NLA by about 4,200 sq ft to 146,174 sq ft if multiple office units on the same level are combined. As per this higher NLA, the selling price works out to S$2,887 psf.

61 Robinson (formerly called Robinson Centre) stands on a 15,125 sq ft land plot with remaining leasehold tenure of 74.5 years. Real estate consultancy Savills is believed to have brokered the transaction but has refused to comment.

The commercial property was divested by a fund overseen by ARA Private Funds, which in turn is part of ARA Asset Management. Meanwhile, the acquirer is Rivulets Investments, a home-grown private-equity fund management group that was established in March 2018.

The renovation, which is expected to be completed in October, is estimated to cost in the low to mid-S$30 million range. The refurbishment includes transforming the 5th floor from a car park into a retail space. The double-volume lobby on the ground floor was also completely redone.

61 Robinson’s refurbishment was carried out by Brewin Design Office, which also worked on the 5-star Capella Singapore hotel, revealed Rivulets Investments’ CEO & Co-founder Lian Chin Chiang. Post-refurbishment, the commercial property will have a “unique luxury hotel vibe.”

As for the property’s office component, it occupies 15 levels from the 6th storey to level 20 and has an overall area of roughly 130,000 sq ft, with each office floor measuring between 6,900 sq ft and 9,500 sq ft.

Lian disclosed that 50 percent of the office space was occupied during the refurbishment. Including new leases inked but which have yet to start, the committed occupancy level for the office component currently hovers from 60 to 70 percent.

Notable existing occupants include Apollo Management Singapore, which is part of American private equity group Apollo Global Management. US-based multinational insurance group Arthur J Gallagher also recently signed a lease for office space in the property.

Moreover, Rivulets’ Co-Founder and Executive Director Michael Sidaway shared that the latest office lease signed with another tenant for a partial office floor involved a monthly rent of slightly over S$11 psf. He also revealed that they are targeting a net yield of at least 3 percent on a stabilised basis for 61 Robinson.

“We are positive on the outlook for the Singapore office market. We’ve been receiving enquiries from potential North Asian investors who are keen on Singapore real estate,” noted Lian.

“Since COVID-19, Singapore has become an even more popular investment market for foreign investors, and deals in the pipeline will most likely reaffirm this,” added a veteran real estate broker.

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