Singtel To Invest Over S$2bil To Turn HQ Into Next-Gen Office Bldg

SINGAPORE – Telecom firm Singtel revealed that it intends to choose a property developer to team up with to jointly redevelop its Comcentre headquarters in the city-state’s famed shopping haven of Orchard Road, reported The Edge on Wednesday afternoon (23 February, SGT).

The goal is to transform the commercial property into a next-generation office building. The new development is expected to have an overall gross floor area (GFA) of more than 1.18 million sq ft. This will consist of several Grade A office towers, a retail component, and Singtel’s existing Orchard Exchange, which contains telecommunications infrastructure.

The new Comcentre will still contain Singtel’s headquarters. However, the telecom firm only plans to occupy 30 percent of the commercial space, while the remaining will be leased out.

Moreover, the office buildings in the new development will come with workspaces which are more open and digital to foster a collaborative and inclusive environment, while prioritising the well-being of staff.

The new project is also expected to have a future underground link to the Somerset MRT Station, and Singtel has received in-principle approval from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to extend the lease of all the land plots on which Comcentre stands to 2089.

Overall cost of development, including land costs, is estimated to be more than S$2 billion. Singtel also disclosed that it intends to divest the commercial property to a joint venture (JV) created with the appointed property developer and hold a majority stake in the partnership.

In Phase I of the tender, 2 developers have been shortlisted based on the quality of their design concept, track record, and asset valuation. The tender process shall close in March and Singtel expects to make the finalised appointment by May 2022.

Constructed on a 207,233 sq ft land plot, Comcentre has been Singtel’s HQ since 1979. The commercial property was Singapore’s first skyscraper equipped with microwave dishes on the rooftop.

“We’ve had the privilege of working out of the iconic Comcentre building in the Orchard Road belt since 1979. We’re truly excited to be working with the authorities to rejuvenate the Orchard Road precinct to prepare for the post-pandemic world and reinvigorate our future workplaces,” commented Singtel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon.

The redevelopment is anticipated to be ready by the end of 2028. Singtel will temporarily relocate from Comcentre in 2024 to prepare for the construction work, and its staff will shift to temporary workspaces at other Singtel branches across Singapore.

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