Far East Organization betting on Woodlands

Jurong is being touted as Singapore’s second central business district, given the number of projects announced there, but Far East Organization (FEO) is also putting its money on Woodlands.

The firm bought the first predominantly office site in Woodlands Regional Centre in 2014 and yesterday began selling units at the project, Woods Square.

The development, by FEO and joint venture partners Sekisui House and Far East Orchard, has sold about 50 per cent of 124 office units released since a preview at the end of last month.

Including those already sold, a total of 365 office units and 101 small-office-loft-offices (Solo) are up for grabs.

Solo units are strata-titled offices and strictly not for residential use. Their main difference is that they have a higher floor-to-floor height of 5m.

Both types of offices are priced from $1,700 to $2,230 per sq ft. Prices start from $970,000 for a 506 sq ft Solo unit.

Offices range from 549 sq ft to 5,339 sq ft, while Solos are from 495 sq ft to 1,808 sq ft.

Corporate buyers accounted for 65 per cent of the preview sales, FEO said in a statement.

These were mainly entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals offering services from construction, manufacturing, trading, legal and the creative industries.

“Most of the buyers are SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the Woodlands area. They see the benefit of having a separate office close to their manufacturing operations,” said Ms Shaw Lay See, chief operating officer for property sales business group at FEO.

Woods Square, which has two office towers and two towers of Solo units, is set to be completed in 2021. FEO will occupy about 31/2 floors in one of the towers, which has been set aside for leasing. It will be the first time FEO’s satellite operations will be under one development.

It was reiterated at the recent National Day Rally that Woodlands Regional Centre would be a “Northern Gateway” to Singapore, noted Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.

“Apart from benefiting companies that require frequent shuttling across the Causeway, the project offers a chance for SMEs to own their space, with no huge investment sum needed,” he added.

As the first strata-titled office project in the area, Woods Square would enjoy a first-mover advantage and absorb demand from companies in the area, said Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore research head.