Office conversion proposals could boost Singapore's serviced apartment sector

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 05 April 2019


Singapore: A government urban draft plan for Singapore's CBD could be good news for serviced apartments and the wider hospitality sector.

Singapore's government has revealed a vision for its central business district in an urban draft plan released last week. The plan is aimed at changing the usage patterns of the Central Business District which is largely bustling by day and close to deserted during a weekend.

Chief among the proposals is increasing the number of residential developments and hotels by encouraging firms to convert existing office space. These conversions into hotel rooms or serviced apartments could also help alleviate a forecast shortage in the hospitality sector, with the current pipeline of hotel rooms not expected to meet the predicted rise in tourists.

"Urban regeneration is a journey that Singapore needs to take to emulate the success of cosmopolitan hubs like Manhattan, London and Shanghai," said Moray Armstrong, managing director of CBRE Group Inc. in Singapore. "We're excited that some of the older buildings are now part of the plans to revitalise the CBD." It could unlock a lot of value by allowing developers to breathe new life into their obsolete office stock. In land-scarce Singapore, we can't afford to have entire precincts dedicated to a single usage defined by official working hours. Specific initiatives are needed to inject more vibrancy and draw crowds beyond working hours."

The draft master plan, under the remit of Singapore's minister for national development Lawrence Wong also includes a proposal to move more facilities such as storage and utilities underground in order to free up space.


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