Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Likened To Silicon Valley
SINGAPORE – Some real estate experts noted that new-economy ecosystems tend to grow in places where tech firms are close to one another. One famous example is Silicon Valley in the United States, reported Mingtiandi on Tuesday evening (2 November, SGT).
For Singapore, an area that is similar to Silicon Valley is Tanjong Pagar, which serves as a prototype live-work-play district that is appealing to urban tech professionals who are usually younger, said Terence Seah, Benoy’s Head for Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen.
“What I noticed is that the biggest difference between Tanjong Pagar and traditional office areas is that it has a live-in population, there is social housing nearby and there’s a really vibrant mix.”
“Many governments are introducing vibrancy in the traditional downtown because it now seems that financial sector employees are also looking for that,” said Seah in a panel discussion during Mingtiandi’s latest Office Strategies Forum held on Tuesday.
He also underscored the importance of the of the physical environment to tech firms, in addition to fostering a thriving new-economy ecosystem. In the case of Tanjong Pagar, the area features sufficient public space for activities ranging from musical performances to outdoor yoga.
Asked on what differentiate the tech sector from other types of office tenants, Seah said that apart from the design of physical space, another crucial consideration for tech occupants before they lease an office space is the area’s placemaking strategies that inject vibrancy & activities at the street level.
“It’s very interesting how when certain new industries come in, it kind of starts changing the character of the whole city in their vicinity,” he explained.
Meanwhile, property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) revealed that financial firms accounted for most of the office leasing in the city-state. But now, it’s tech firms that are driving the most of the office rental activity.
“If you look at the growth of the tech companies in Singapore themselves, between 5 and 10 years ago about half of the take-up was really focused on the financial services tenants,” noted JLL’s Executive Director Tim Graham
“Now, financial services is really only 25 percent and that’s where the tech companies have stepped in. So we’ve seen a lot of growth in the interest for tech tenants coming into Singapore, there’s a lot of focus on attracting talent and catering to the new growth and the headcount that they’ve got, and it’s a highly competitive industry to recruit into, so they’re very focused on getting the best-in-class space.”