Facebook tipped to move to Marina One

Social media giant Facebook has secured a large office space at the upcoming downtown Marina One development.

Industry sources who asked not to be named told The Straits Times that the American technology firm is taking up more than 250,000 sq ft at the Marina Bay project.

Marina One, an integrated development with residential units and office and retail space, is expected to be completed later this year.

The Straits Times understands that Facebook will occupy several levels, including a high-density floor with panoramic sea views and room for up to 2,000 people.

It is one of two high-density floors, spanning 170m in length and offering 100,000 sq ft of space each. These floors are on levels 28 and 29 and straddle the two 30-storey office towers at the development.

Facebook is slated to be a major tenant at Marina One, taking up about 13 per cent of the total 1.88 million sq ft of prime Grade A office space available.

Other tenants said to have signed deals include Swiss private bank Julius Baer and consultancy PwC Singapore.

Developer M+S – a joint venture between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings – declined to comment.

In its last update in June, M+S said that the signed leases, together with those under documentation, will bring Marina One’s take-up to more than 550,000 sq ft, or about 30 per cent of the total office space.

Facebook moved to a 70,000 sq ft office at South Beach Tower in Beach Road in August 2015, from a commercial building in 158, Cecil Street. It is not clear when the company will vacate the relatively new South Beach Tower, which was developed by South Beach Consortium, a joint venture between City Developments (CDL) and Malaysia’s IOI Group.

CDL did not comment on Facebook’s lease term at South Beach Tower.

A spokesman said: “We are delighted to have Facebook as our tenant… and look forward to continuing our strong relationship.”

Swanky new builds with larger floor plates, such as Marina One and Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, have been drawing big tenants from other commercial buildings in a “flight to efficiency”, amid changing work culture and the rise of open-plan offices.

Marina One offers one of the largest typical office floor plates in Marina Bay, ranging from 34,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft.

“For many big multinationals, there is a preference to put everyone on one floor to drive greater efficiency. They also need lots of space for meeting rooms and areas where staff could socialise and perhaps spark new ideas,” said Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of South-east Asia research at Edmund Tie and Co.

Consultancy Knight Frank noted in a recent report that it “continues to make sense” for many businesses to move to premium office buildings, as average rents have fallen by 10 per cent over the past year.

Such moves are seen to have a cascading effect in the office market as firms upgrade from older buildings to newer ones or those that have better specifications.

“It encourages landlords of older buildings to redevelop or enhance their property,” said Chesterton Singapore’s managing director Donald Han.

“Redevelopment will take some office stock off the market and, over the long term, we will have better-quality buildings as well.”

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