The Great Room In Afro-Asia Bldg Over 50% Occupied
SINGAPORE – After opening last week, The Great Room in the newly redeveloped Afro-Asia Building in Singapore’s central business district (CBD) has recorded an occupancy rate of more than 50 percent and enquiries have significantly increased, reported The Edge on Friday morning (5 November, SGT).
“We never had such a good response,” commented The Great Room’s Chief Executive Jaelle Ang.
But with staff in Singapore required to work from home (WFH) until 21 November, many firms are still not certain over committing to a start date on their leasing agreements, she revealed.
The Great Room is an anchor tenant at the 19-storey newly redeveloped Afro-Asia Building in the intersection of McCallum Street and Robinson Road, as the coworking space operator occupies 37,000 sq ft of space, or 26 percent of the development’s overall floor area. This makes it the company’s biggest branch in Singapore, with over 600 workspaces, in addition to being its 5th outlet here.
However, the area is packed with rival coworking space operators. On the other side of McCallum Street lies 71 Robinson Road, where WeWork occupies 3 levels housing 1,000 workspaces. At the 77 Robinson Road building, IWG’s Regus brand has taken up the 34th floor. At the adjacent 79 Robinson Road, CapitaLand’s coworking space Bridge+ occupies 56,000 sq ft across 3 levels and markets itself as a FinTech hub. Opposite of that is Capital Tower, which houses 50,000 sq ft of flexible workspace under The Work Project.
“The whole of Robinson Road is probably the densest in terms of coworking space. We are probably one of the last ones to the game. But when we went in, we knew we had to do it well or not be there at all,” noted The Great Room’s Ang.
Notably, The Great Room positions itself as an upscale coworking space. Given that businesses have become more cost-conscious, Ang was initially worried that it could put pressure on rates, particularly given the stiff competition in the vicinity. Instead, The Great Room has been able to “clock a good price”, which she credits to “a flight to quality”.
This trend has led to “a slow but steady increase in the commitment levels of some existing and pipeline projects. The beneficiaries are new developments with high-quality specifications,” noted CBRE’s Research Head for South East Asia, Tricia Song.
She added that monthly rents of Grade A office space in Singapore’s core CBD edged up by 1.4 percent to S$10.65 psf on a quarterly basis in Q3 2021.