Opportunities in Singapore’s decentralised offices

Discover upcoming plans in Singapore’s decentralised offices and how they will benefit occupiers.

June 05, 2023

Singapore’s decentralised office precinct is growing in vibrancy, offerings and connectivity. We expect its landscape change to accelerate over the next five to ten years, creating a conducive ecosystem for occupiers.

We have identified three growth areas at the forefront of Singapore’s current decentralisation drive.

1. Jurong Lake District (JLD) – Singapore’s Second CBD

The JLD, which is slated to become the largest business district outside the CBD, is being transformed into a mixed-use, green and car-lite district. Existing Grade A offices in JLD include JEM and Westgate Tower. JEM is fully leased to the Ministry of National Development, while Westgate Tower houses companies such as CPG Corporation, Beca and Great Eastern Life. 

The Land Transport Authority is currently developing a new Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub within JLD and will relocate its headquarters to the new building by 2028. The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment are also studying possible moves to JLD. 

To kickstart the next phase of development, the government will be releasing a new 6.8-ha white site for sale to a Master Developer in June 2023. This site could potentially yield some 1.5 million sq ft of office space, more than 1,700 apartments and a new mall in the next five to ten-year period. 

Ongoing construction of the Jurong Region and the Cross Island lines will also extend JLD’s connectivity beyond the existing North-South and East-West MRT lines, greatly enhancing JLD’s accessibility to the rest of the island. 

2. South-Western Corridor – A renowned tech corridor

In the South-Western corridor, which extends from Harbourfront to one-north, Rochester Commons is the latest Grade A office building to be completed, joining existing developments in the precinct, such as The Metropolis and Mapletree Business City Block 10 (MBC 10). Labrador Tower, which is slated for completion in 2024, will be the next new office building in the area, providing another 0.7 million sq ft of quality Green Mark Platinum Super Low Energy (SLE) office space.

Connectivity from the South-Western corridor to the CBD is slated to shorten by about 10 minutes with the completion of the Circle Line 6 extension in 2026, which will connect Harbourfront directly to Marina Bay MRT station.

The area will continue to be transformed as part of Singapore’s Greater Southern Waterfront, which entails the redevelopment of the old port terminals along Singapore’s southern coastlines into a work-live-play waterfront district.

3. Paya Lebar – A commercial hub with a distinctive cultural identity

Paya Lebar has long been identified as a regional centre but it only emerged as a prominent office location in 2018, following the completion of the Green Mark Platinum Paya Lebar Quarters (PLQ). PLQ comprises almost one million sq ft of Grade A workspace across three towers, a mall and a 429-unit residential development. Renowned office occupiers at PLQ include Maersk, Obayashi, Roche and SMRT. 

Riding on the strong take-up rate at PLQ, another upcoming Platinum SLE office development, Paya Lebar Green (PLG), which is being developed on the existing Certis headquarters site, is expected to come on stream in 2024, offering 0.3 million sq ft of office space.

The relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base from 2030s onwards will allow the airbase and its surrounding industrial developments to be progressively transformed into a sustainable new town, thereby potentially extending the scale of Paya Lebar's commercial hub.

Opportunity for large and contiguous space

The growing availability of newer and greener office space outside the CBD offers occupiers more cost-efficient options to achieve their sustainability goals. Large space occupiers with difficulty sourcing good quality contiguous office space due to tight vacancy can also look forward to upcoming space solutions.

Figure 1: Key Growth Areas Outside the CBD

Source: MapIT, JLL Research