Afro-Asia Shipping, Shimizu to rebuild Robinson Rd office block

Total construction cost is more than S$320 million; completion scheduled for mid-2020

July 19, 2017

Lee Meixian

AFRO-ASIA Shipping (AAS) and Shimizu Corporation Investment and Development Division on Tuesday announced their joint venture (JV) to redevelop Afro-Asia Building, an office block at 63 Robinson Road in Singapore's Central Business District.

The approximately 60-year-old building will be redeveloped into a new Grade-A office building.

AAS will be transferring its lease rights to the JV, Robinson Development, while retaining a controlling interest in the JV company.

The total cost for the entire project is more than S$320 million. Robinson Development will fund the construction costs with loans.

Shimizu will carry out demolition this November and construction is expected to start in April 2018, with completion scheduled for mid-2020.

The redevelopment will bring in the latest eco-friendly designs and technology from Japan, as well as flexible and efficient space "with a modern touch", Shimizu said.

It will also adopt green technologies such as efficient air-conditioning management, cleaning and maintenance services, as well as a rooftop garden. There are also plans to get the development certified under the Green Mark Platinum and LEED Platinum standards.

The current building is seven storeys high with a four-storey annexe. It will be redeveloped into a 19-storey development with a total gross floor area of 16,908 square metres (sqm). It will also have a food and beverage component on the ground floor, with office spaces from levels seven to 18.

Cushman & Wakefield's capital markets team was the adviser for the transaction. June Chua, executive director of leasing, noted that demand for new Grade-A office space in the CBD is picking up momentum and the new development should appeal to mid-sized office occupiers.

"According to our research, there will be approximately 137,000 sqm of Grade-A office space completing in the CBD in the next three years, and all these developments, with the exception of 63 Robinson Road, are designed for larger office occupiers."