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ARA Asset to sell Singapore office building leased by Alibaba

In June this year, the office was rebranded as Lazada One after the e-commerce firm and its parent company became a major tenant. PHOTO: ARA/CHELSFIELD

Dec 14, 2021, 2:49 PM SGT

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Real estate fund manager ARA Asset Management and British property group Chelsfield are listing their jointly owned Singapore office building, Lazada One, for about $800 million, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The 11-storey office and retail space that measures more than 241,000 sq ft currently houses Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding and its South-east Asian online shopping unit, Lazada Group.

The asking price for the building - located near the Orchard Road area and just a 10-minute drive away from the Central Business District (CBD) - translates to $3,319 per sq ft, the sources said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Representatives for ARA declined to comment.

Spokesmen for Chelsfield did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

ARA and Chelsfield purchased the building in 2019 for $555.5 million under an equal partnership. The office, then known as the Manulife Centre, was renamed to 5One Central following the purchase.

In June this year, the office was rebranded as Lazada One, after the e-commerce firm and its parent company became a major tenant when they leased 140,000 sq ft of space while waiting for their own building in the CBD to be redeveloped.

Singapore office buildings remain prized assets even after landlords around the world were hit by a drop in demand when workers stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic. Tech firms such as and ByteDance have expanded their presence as they make the Republic their base for the South-east Asian market.

Though the country's return to the office has been slow, real estate consultancy firms Savills and Knight Frank have said rents are bottoming out. In the third quarter, top-flight office rents ended six consecutive quarters of decline, Savills said in its November report.

The office market could potentially see rental gains of 25 per cent to 30 per cent by 2025, according to a JLL Singapore report on Sept 24.


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