Westgate Tower put up for lease by new owners (Amended)

WESTGATE Tower, a 20-storey office block next to Jurong East MRT Station that will be completed by year-end, is back on the leasing market after a Sun Venture-Low Keng Huat (LKH) tie-up recently exercised options to buy the property from CapitaLand group.

The consortium has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and CBRE as joint sole leasing agents for the office block.

Previously, JLL was the sole leasing agent appointed for the property by CapitaLand, CapitaMalls Asia and CapitaMall Trust, the developers of the Westgate mixed-development project. Early last month, the trio granted options to Sun Venture-LKH to buy the office tower at $579.4 million, which works out to about $1,900 per square foot (psf) of net saleable area. The options were exercised on Jan 23.

The previous owners of Westgate Tower had been indicating office rents of $8 psf a month but potential occupiers baulked at the rate, BT understands.

Yesterday, Sun Venture managing director Alvin Teo told BT that the new owners' asking rent is around $6.50 psf.

At The Metropolis, next to Buona Vista MRT Station, Ho Bee is said to have inked a number of office leases at $7-plus psf. It is now believed to be calling mid-$7 psf rents for the last pockets of space in the development, which has slightly over one million sq ft of net lettable area. The Metropolis' two towers were completed last year.

"Brand new business park space in the suburbs can be leased in the low-$4 psf range," said an industry observer.

Westgate Tower, a Green Mark Platinum building with Grade A office specifications, features efficient column-free space of about 17,000 sq ft per floor. This will allow occupiers to enjoy flexibility and efficiency in their office design, JLL said yesterday.

"There are many other key Grade A features such as a good floor-to-ceiling height of 2.8 metres, raised floor system and excellent quality finishes."

The seven-storey shopping centre in the Westgate project opened its doors in December last year.

At the next-door Jem project, also a retail-and-office project that has been completed, all 314,000 sq ft of office space has been leased to the Ministry of National Development, though the ministry has put up around 70,000 sq ft for subletting, according to an earlier BT report.

Nearby at Venture Avenue, Sim Lian is expected to begin strata sales of office units at its project in the first half of this year. Unit sizes will range from around 500-2,000 sq ft. The average price is expected to be around $2,000 psf.

All three developments are on 99-year sites.

We earlier reported that the previous owners of Jem indicated office rents of $8 psf a month, but this should have been for Westgate Tower. The article above has been amended to reflect this. We're sorry for the error.

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