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Most attractive office locations for tech, media and telecommunications – Singapore comes in second

by • May 28, 2019 • Commercial Property LoanComments (0)442

Colliers International, today released the report Tech Jewels: Identifying the most attractive office locations in Asian cities for Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) occupiers.

Tech Jewels report on identifying the most attractive office locations in Asian cities for TMT occupiers builds on Colliers’ earlier Top Locations: Technology (Sept 2018) and Changing Relations (May 2019) reports, providing tech occupiers with insights into the best sub-market locations based on existing tech clusters, availability of quality stock, accessibility and rent.

Andrew Haskins, Executive Director of Research, Asia, at Colliers commented: “TMT (technology, media and telecoms) groups have become a key driver of demand for office space. In our research, we use four simple metrics – existence of a tech cluster, availability of office stock, accessibility and cost of rent – to identify the top city submarkets for TMT groups. For large enterprises, these submarkets are typically CBD or CBD fringe locations, while smaller tenants often prefer business parks.”

Sam Harvey-Jones, Managing Director of Occupier Services, Asia, added: “This report is part of our tech thought leadership series offering actionable insights backed by robust data to help our TMT occupier clients determine optimal locations for their business needs and make well-informed decisions.”

most attractive office locations

Screengrab from Colliers’ Tech Jewels report on identifying the most attractive office locations in Asian cities for TMT occupiers

The Tech Jewels report which identified the most attractive office locations in Asian cities for TMT occupiers said it recommends “Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar district, currently #1 in Singapore for TMT tenants and flexible workspace operators with excellent accessibility. City Hall and the Raffles Place / New Downtown area are also good locations with ample supply of quality office stock.”

Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar. Located at the south of Raffles Place, this area is a blend of old and new, with conserved shophouses alongside new skyscrapers. It is a key beneficiary of the CBD Incentive Scheme, with potentially more mixed-use redevelopment. The area is currently #1 in Singapore for TMT tenants and flexible workspace operators, with TMT occupancy 21% of the total. Rejuvenation is supporting the district, with two new Grade A buildings since 2016 and a couple more to be completed in 2020-2021. Current vacancy stands at 3.1%. Accessibility is excellent, with MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) stations at Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer, plus many bus routes.

City Hall. Located on the northern side of the Marina Reservoir, City Hall is a vibrant arts and cultural area, with modern offices, entertainment, retail and hotel developments. With 17% TMT occupancy, City Hall merits one rather than two stars as an existing tech hub. However, accessibility is excellent due to City Hall station, the main interchange for Singapore’s red and green MRT lines, as well as many bus routes. Connection with the Raffles Place/New Downtown CBD has been enhanced by the Esplanade Bridge and the Bayfront Bridge.

Raffles Place New Downtown. Raffles Place was important historically as the birthplace of Singapore’s commercial development. Today, it is still Singapore’s premier financial district and is home to some of its most prominent buildings. The extension into Marina Bay or New Downtown has added more premium buildings and solidified the city’s financial hub status. With technology occupancy about 12% of the total, Raffles Place New Downtown cannot be called a tech cluster at present. On the other hand, the office stock consists of many premium Grade A buildings, with vacancy at 3.4%. The district scores less well on accessibility: MRT access is provided primarily by the Downtown station which is not an interchange, and there are fewer buses.”

Other most attractive office locations in Asian cities for TMT occupiers

Bangalore: Besides the Outer Ring Road and CBD as our preferred submarkets, we see Whitefield and North Bengaluru as emerging areas with great promise due to the availability of quality office supply at competitive rents and improving infrastructure.

Shenzhen: We recommend Hi-Tech Park Middle Zone followed by Hi-Tech Park South Zone which are both well-established tech clusters that offer great accessibility. Houhai is another high potential area with more quality office stock and excellent accessibility.

Beijing: Zhongguancun still reigns as Beijing’s tech hub, but AGV & Olympic Park and Wangjing offer quality buildings and are growing tech clusters enjoying the same supportive policies and high accessibility.

Shanghai: the city has several attractive districts for TMT tenants. Our top preference is the Caohejing business park area. However, we also favour the Zhangjiang business park area and the Yangpu decentralised business district. All are tech clusters with ample availability of office space at reasonable rents and with easy access.

Hong Kong: Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay and Cyberport are all located on Hong Kong Island which is optimal for attracting talent and enjoy a good supply of premium office space. Causeway Bay looks best for big tenants due to high space and accessibility, with Quarry Bay next, while Cyberport offers lower rents.

Tokyo: The city’s tech occupiers tend to congregate in the Shibuya/Ebisu district. This area is a major tech cluster and offers great access, albeit at high rent. Roppongi offers premium office facilities, quality residential areas, and high street F&B facilities, though also at high rent. Hamamatsu-cho/Tamachi is a good-value alternative location.

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