Some Office Properties Are Still Flourishing, Says Singapore’s GIC
UNITED KINGDOM – Singapore sovereign wealth fund’s Managing Director & Head of Europe Real Estate, Tracy Stroh, thinks the certain office properties are still relevant and attracting occupants as well as foot traffic, reported PropertyEu on Friday afternoon (3 March, SGT).
“I don’t think the office is dead,” Stroh said. “Our office is located in the west end of London and the tube trains are packed. When close to transport hubs and with great amenities and high ESG (environmental, social, and governance) standards, the office is a work environment that people are drawn to,” she stated in an interview with PropertyEU.
Some may think that office assets are losing their appeal, but in 2022 GIC teamed up with British Land to own an office development London’s Paddington area, with potential to expand the tie-up by constructing new properties.
“We announced an investment in Paddington, London, and we have a project in La Defense in Paris right on top of the metro where we are redesigning the whole building to make it more efficient from an ESG standpoint. We see long-term value in that,” she shared.
The Paris office property is known as Tour EDF. Also known as PB6, GIC acquired the commercial development for US$592 million in 2019.
Aside from that, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund is also bullish on the prospects of business spaces catering to the life sciences sector.
Last month, GIC partnered with BlackRock, REEF, and British Airways’ New Airways Pensions Scheme (NAPS) to build a life sciences project in London’s Knowledge Quarter. Known as Tribeca King’s Cross, phase I of the development is ongoing.
“We are looking to be a financial investor that can support the growth of life science companies as they go from the incubation phase to expansion, as and when they require more physical space,” Stroh explained.
“We have a very flexible capital source whereby we can develop or buy income-producing assets, and support companies because we keep such a long-term horizon, and we look towards the growth of this sector not just from a real estate standpoint but from a thematic standpoint,” she added.