Published September 23, 2008

WPP leases all of Scotts Rd project

Advertising PR giant said to be paying about $8 psf monthly rental


(SINGAPORE) International advertising, communications and marketing giant WPP has leased an entire office development to be built on a transitional site at Scotts and Anthony roads, BT understands.

The transitional site: Housing various businesses under the WPP banner, such as Bates, JWT, Y&R, Burson Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton and Enfatico, at the new location will generate greater synergy

The four-storey structure, next to Newton MRT Station, will have about 130,000 square feet of offices and 135 parking spaces. It is slated for completion in about a year.

Various businesses under the WPP banner here - such as Bates, JWT, Y&R, Burson Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton and Enfatico - will be consolidated under one roof.

But Ogilvy group, also part of WPP, is expected to continue to operate from its current premises at Ogilvy Centre in Robinson Road.

WPP is said to have signed a 14-year lease on the Scotts Road building, which is going up on a 15-year leasehold site sold this year by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

BT understands that WPP will pay gross monthly rent of about $8 per sq ft (psf).

The deal is believed to have been brokered by Cushman and Wakefield, which declined to comment.

The project is being developed by Sun Venture (S) Investments, a subsidiary of interior design and building company DB&B (Singapore) Developments, which paid $226 psf per plot ratio for the 97,284 sq ft site in a state tender that closed in late April this year.

Sun Venture general manager Alvin Teo would say only that 'the building has been fully leased for a full 14-year term to a global firm', without confirming that WPP is the tenant.

The project is next to another transitional office site, also sold in April, to stockbroking firm UOB Kay Hian, which has said that it will occupy the project on the site.

The two sites are opposite a project completed recently by Scotts Spazio on the maiden transitional office site sold by URA last year. Prudential has leased all 150,000 sq ft of office space in that development under a deal arranged by CB Richard Ellis.

CBRE executive director Moray Armstrong said of the latest deal for Sun Venture's project: 'We understand a single end-user has been in negotiation for the -property. This demonstrates there is still an active leasing market for well-located office developments, despite the cooling business climate.'