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Afro-Asia Shipping Company and Shimizu Corporation enters into joint venture agreement to redevelop Afro-Asia Building

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Perspective from Robinson Road. Photo: ©Robinson Development (Pte) Ltd.

Singapore – On July 18 2017, Afro-Asia Shipping Co (Pte) Ltd (AAS) and Shimizu Corporation Investment and Development Division announced their joint venture to redevelop Afro-Asia Building, one of the oldest office blocks along Robinson Road in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD), into a brand new Grade A office building. Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets team acted as the advisor for the transaction. 

AAS and Shimizu Corporation have incorporated a joint venture company, Robinson Development (Pte) Ltd, to which AAS will be transferring the lease rights and retain a controlling interest in the company. Robinson Development (Pte) Ltd will fund the cost of constructing the office building with loan assistance from financial institutions. The total cost for the entire project is estimated to be in excess of SGD320 million. Shimizu Corporation will carry out the demolition in November this year and construction is expected to commence in April 2018, with completion scheduled for mid-2020.

Mr. Tan Chin Hoon, Managing Director, AAS said: “AAS is privileged to partner with Shimizu Corporation, a well-established name in the real estate and construction industry. The new development will enhance the façade of Robinson Road and we are confident that the redeveloped 63 Robinson Road will be a much sought-after commercial address in Singapore.”

Mr. Hideto Kawakami, Deputy General Manager, Shimizu Corporation said, “We are excited to expand our investment portfolio in Singapore through this joint venture. For the new development, we will be bringing in the latest eco-friendly designs and state of the art technology from Japan to meet the future needs of commercial occupiers. They can expect flexible and efficient prime space with a modern touch that will accommodate the latest and future working trends.”

Built in the 1950s, Afro-Asia Building, which is currently seven-storeys high with a four-storey annexe will be redeveloped into a 19-storey high development with a total gross floor area of 16,908 square metres. It will boast panoramic views of the CBD skyline and a roof top garden. Adopting a green design approach, the building will incorporate innovation and green technologies including efficient air-conditioning management, cleaning and maintenance services which are prevalent in Japan. There are also plans to get the development certified under the Green Mark Platinum and LEED Platinum standards. 

The new development will have a Food & Beverage (F&B) component on the ground floor with office spaces from levels 7 to 18. The site is highly accessible and is in close proximity to the North-South, East-West and Downtown MRT lines. It is also about 120 metres away from the new Shenton Way MRT station due to complete in 2021. 

Ms. June Chua, Executive Director, Leasing at Cushman & Wakefield noted that the redevelopment comes at an opportune time as demand for new Grade A office space in the CBD is picking up momentum and this new development tactically meets market demand for exclusive space sought after by mid-size office occupiers. “According to our research, there will be approximately 137,000 square metres (1.48 million square feet) of Grade A office space completing in the CBD in the next 3 years, and all these developments, with the exception of 63 Robinson Road, are designed for larger office occupiers. Given the very limited good quality office buildings which have been developed over the past 10 years in Shenton Way and Tanjong Pagar, we expect pent-up demand for quality and exclusive space which 63 Robinson Road is well placed to serve,” she said.