Meeting needs of industrial space

The Housing Board’s several thousand industrial units will all be administered by JTC Corporation from the beginning of 2018.

This means businesses looking to expand will need to work with only one agency instead of two as is the case now. That should cut down on administrative processes and duplication of work.

The consolidation – it will involve moving HDB’s 10,700 industrial units and 540 industrial land leases to JTC – comes at a time when the Government is encouraging firms to innovate and try out new business models.

As companies do that, their needs for industrial space could change.

A manufacturer operating out of an older HDB industrial property, for example, will need bigger premises with high technical specifications if it decides to automate. JTC has those.

Having a full suite of industrial facilities under JTC means the firm’s needs could be forecast through regular engagements between landlord and tenant.

This way, the firm’s growth strategies and any change in demand for space could be anticipated and planned for, taking it from start-up stage through to a small and medium-sized enterprise and subsequently, a player with a global footprint.

JTC, which is part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is also seen to have a better grasp of economic and business trends than the HDB, which is in the National Development Ministry and more commonly associated with public housing.

The HDB and JTC will engage tenants and lessees to iron out any issues relating to the consolidation of industrial land in the coming months.

Chief among them would undoubtedly be concerns over future rental hikes and potential redevelopment plans for HDB’s industrial properties.

Both agencies have assured a seamless transition, with existing lease and tenancy agreements and contracted rent remaining unchanged.