Business

WeWork to lease HSBC building in Collyer Quay

WeWork will lease a 21-storey building in Singapore's prime financial district that is currently leased to HSBC, marking an expansion by the US co-working space provider in Asia.

WeWork, backed by Japan's SoftBank Group, will lease the building from CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT), the Singapore office landlord said in a statement.

The tower, 21 Collyer Quay, will be WeWork's biggest property here. It has a net lettable area of about 200,000 sq ft.

CCT said its lease deal with Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, a unit of HSBC Holdings, will end in April 2020 but did not give financial details of the new lease.

Co-working spaces have become popular among start-ups because these give them the flexibility of short-term leases in well-decorated spaces and keep overheads low.

In Singapore, the flexible workspace footprint has more than tripled since 2015 and accounts for some 4 per cent of office space in the Central Business District (CBD), according to real estate consultancy Colliers.

WeWork may get signage rights for the building, boosting its branding and visibility in the CBD, said Ms Christine Li, head of Singapore and South-east Asia research at property services firm Cushman and Wakefield.

"It's a very good catch for WeWork," said Ms Li, because typically only a few levels are available in the business district due to low vacancy.

The lease will start in the second quarter of 2020 for seven years, CCT said. WeWork will occupy 20 levels, it said in a statement, but did not provide details about the one other floor.

HSBC Singapore said last year that it would relocate its head office to Marina Bay Financial Centre, also within the CBD. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE