Awaking the sleepy Shenton way in SingaporeAugust 19, 2013 / By
As the Marina Bay sub-market quickly morphed into Singapore’s new prime CBD amid extensive developments over the past decade, the nearby Shenton Way sub-market has also undergone some enhancements in recent years, albeit with lesser fanfare.
Home largely to mid-tier firms from the financial and professional services industries, Shenton Way has traditionally trailed its more established Raffles Place peer, and now Marina Bay, in tenancy mix and age of office buildings. The rows of conserved heritage shophouses in close proximity to the sub-market also add a quaint setting. Nevertheless, as the government seeks to transform the CBD into a work-play-live environment, the Shenton Way sub-market is poised to present a redefined look, paving the way for the once sleepy sub-market to play catch-up to its more established peers.
In recent years, some office buildings have undergone asset enhancement to spruce up their façades and service offering to existing tenants. The results often comprise brighter-lit lobbies and new turnstile access, features that may have played a small part in the healthy backfilling of office space in the sub-market during the latest quarter. Beyond just being a pure commercial sub-market, it now includes more residential developments, which offer the added option to live closer to work. Some recent completions include The Clift, a stone’s throw from the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, and One Shenton, which is located alongside newer developments in the Marina Bay sub-market.
More lifestyle amenities have also been sprouting up in the sub-market, resulting partly from the asset enhancement work of office buildings and new residential developments that saw the carving out of several commercial spaces. Complementing the stakeholders in the sub-market and fitting the play aspect, the predominantly F&B establishments that inhabit these spaces add a key venue where office workers and residents can relax in the evenings.
Currently, more developments are in the works. The upcoming V on Shenton will offer a mix of residential and office components, a result of the refurbishment of an office building. Reportedly, some office space within 6 Shenton Way Tower One, is expected to be converted into serviced apartments while an extensive revamp is also planned for its retail podium.
The investment market in the sub-market is also gradually heating up. The sale of new strata-titled office space in SBF Centre has been receiving healthy interest as existing strata-titled office units remain in limited supply, while Robinson Point was recently acquired at unit prices nearing those valued for some prime Marina Bay properties. The acquisition also marks the second time the office development has changed owners since 2012.
As Shenton Way continues to be transformed, landlords of older office buildings could be driven to jump on the bandwagon and enhance their assets to match the offerings of their newer neighbours. While the pace of development in the sub-market may be slower than its established peers, one point is almost certain – Shenton Way is awaking to showcase itself as the next pleasant alternative work-play-live district in the Singapore CBD.