Published December 07, 2012

The Index at Robinson Rd renamed SBF Center

By ong chor hao

THE Index at Robinson Road has been renamed the SBF Center, after the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) was announced as a major occupier at the development yesterday.

The partnership between SBF and Far East Organization will see the SBF's staff of around 60 move into the building when it is ready in 2016.

Far East and its listed unit, Far East Orchard, are developing the mixed-use site that will house offices, medical suites and food-and-beverage outlets, and has space set aside for civic and community institutional use. The building is expected to launch in January.

The SBF said it can provide greater outreach and support for the business community with the central location and the modernity of the SBF Center, which is about 200 metres from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.

It currently takes up about 20,000 square feet of space at Keppel Towers, also in Tanjong Pagar, and is "likely" to take up the same or more at the SBF Center, which has a gross floor area of about 353,000 square feet.

The specific space that SBF will take in the building, as well as whether it will buy or lease its premises, are still being discussed.

The new office will also serve as a hub for local and visiting trade associations and chambers, as well as overseas businesses, the SBF said. The federation represents about 18,400 companies.

The SBF Center will have 197 offices available for sale. They range in size from 592 sq ft to 1,442 sq ft for the 192 smaller strata units, to 10,549 sq ft for five floor plate offices.

There are also 48 medical suites of between 614 and 1,345 sq ft up for sale.

Prices start from $2,400 per square foot (psf) for the offices and $3,500 psf for the medical suites at the 99-year-leasehold site.

Chng Kiong Huat, Far East's executive director of property services, said there has been a lot of interest in the offices and medical suites.

Its F&B space is also in demand, but Mr Chng said: "We're thinking maybe we should be keeping rather than selling, but this is not yet finalised.

"We are thinking of keeping . . . so that there will be better control."