Singapore’s Silicon Valley in the making

July 16, 2019 / By  

A mini Silicon Valley appears to be developing in Singapore’s south-western corridor.

Geographical Distribution of Technology Companies’ Offices in Singapore
Source : ArcGIS, JLL Research

Singapore’s CBD has been a traditional favourite for technology companies for reasons that include ease of talent hiring and retention. Those who have sited their offices here include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, Alibaba, Lazada and Microsoft.

In recent times, interest has spilled westwards. Google opened its new Asia Pacific headquarters in Mapletree Business City (MBC) II in the Alexandra Road locality just to the west of the CBD in 2016 and was recently reported to have taken up a further 344,100 sq ft in the adjacent Alexandra Technopark. Earlier this year, Cisco, an American technology company best known for its networking products, joined Google in setting up office in MBC II.

Further west in the Pasir Panjang Road locality is Singapore Science Park, where e-commerce firm Shopee recently took up all of the circa 240,000 sq ft business park space in the newly completed Ascent 5.

The neighbouring one-north Business Park currently housing several technology companies, including gaming giant Sea Ltd’s headquarters in the Galaxis, will welcome Razer and Grab in 2020.

Razer will be moving to its new built-to-suit South East Asia headquarters in one-north upon completion by mid-2020. The facility boasting some 210,000 sq ft of office space, research and development (R&D) labs, and design studios spread across seven storeys has the capacity to house more than 1,000 employees or 2.5 times Razer’s current headcount.

Meanwhile, Grab’s upcoming built-to-suit headquarters in one-north with gross floor area of approximately 455,420 sq ft will be the firm’s first dedicated physical facility. Scheduled for completion in 4Q20, it will enable Grab to consolidate its operations across several locations in Singapore. This facility will also house Grab’s largest R&D centre.

Why are technology firms drawn to this corridor?

The availability of affordable large contiguous business premise options ranging from ready-built multi-tenanted spaces, to built-to-suit single-occupier facilities with branding opportunity is a key attraction.

Add to that is the corridor’s proximity and easy accessibility to the CBD as it is served by the Circle MRT line while the Buona Vista and Harbourfront MRT Interchanges connect the area to the East-West and North-East MRT lines, respectively.

Amenities are also in abundance within the corridor with the many hawker centres, cafés and drinking holes that dot the area. Shopping malls serving the corridor include VivoCity, Harbourfront Centre and Star Vista. The proximity to the promenade at VivoCity and the availability of expansive greeneries such as Mount Faber Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, Kent Ridge Park, Hort Park and West Coast Park add to the corridor’s allure.

This area will also benefit from the development of the 2,000-hectare Greater Southern Waterfront into a futuristic mixed-use work-live-play waterfront district extending seamlessly from the CBD as envisioned by the 2019 Draft Master Plan.

With so much to offer, it is little wonder that the corridor stretching from Alexandra Road to Buona Vista through Pasir Panjang is becoming a magnet for technology companies wanting to set up their offices.

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