Justin Gabbani has had a busy four-months since he assumed the role of Lendlease Asia CEO in June. Tony Lombardo (his predecessor) has been appointed global CEO of Lendlease, a listed Australian property company with a market cap of A$7.5 million ($7.5 billion). Lombardo moved to Sydney’s global headquarters in April and began a seven-week tour of the key cities where Lendlease is present, including Singapore, San Francisco (New York City), Washington, Chicago, Milan, London, Washington, Chicago, Milan, Milan, and Washington. According to Financial Review.
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Gabbani, along with the rest of his team, is now working remotely from home. Singapore’s restrictions were extended to Nov 21. He tells EdgeProp Singapore that he enjoys traveling to other countries and meeting with people in person.
Gabbani is no stranger to the region. He joined Lendlease’s graduate program in 2003 and moved to Singapore in 2011. Gabbani was Lendlease’s CFO for Asia over the past 4 1/2 year and, before that, he was head of capital markets and investment for Asia and Europe. He says, “I’ve lived in Singapore for 10+ years.” “I know the business well.”
Life sciences boom
Lendlease has been active in the life sciences sector due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. Lendlease made an announcement last month that it would begin construction on a large-scale greenfield vaccine facility in the latter part of 2021.
The facility is situated at the 280ha Tuas Biomedical Park. This park was developed by JTC Corp in late 1990s and is a specialised industrial park. There have been major biomedical companies such as Abbot, Genentech and Lonza Biologics. Merck, Novartis, Novartis, and Pfizer are also located there.
Lendlease is responsible for more than 90% construction of Tuas Biomedical Park’s facilities. Lendlease has built the majority of Singapore’s top pharmaceutical facilities. Some of these facilities have also engaged Lendlease to expand their facilities.
Lendlease is interested in investing in the Asia sector and developing other construction projects. Gabbani says, “We see strong demand for life sciences.” It’s an attractive sector.
Partnerships and value-add projects
Sir Run Shaw Shaw Charitable Trust named Lendlease the project manager for Shaw Tower’s redevelopment on Beach Road in October 2013. Built in 1975, the 35-storey office building has a retail podium. The demolition works are underway, and construction of a new tower is expected to begin in the early part of next year.
It will be nearly 200m high and feature views of Marina Bay. The new 35-story tower, designed by Aedas architectural firm, will contain 450,000 square feet of Grade-A office space as well as 30,000 square feet of retail and F&B space at ground level. The new tower will have end-of-trip bicycle storage and sustainable features that comply with the BCA’s Green Mark and International Building Institute’s WELL rating.
The completion of the new Shaw Tower is expected by the end of 2024 to coincide with the completion the neighboring Guoco Midtown integrated community. Gabbani says that the new strong>a href=”https://www.edgeprop.sg/project/non-residential/287757?utm_source=website&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=ONPAGESEO”>Shaw Tower will be completed by end-2024. It will have pedestrian connections to Guoco Midtown mixed-use developments and South Beach mixed use developments. This will allow easy access to Bugis and Esplanade stations, City Hall, and Promenade MRT Stations.
Lendlease and Certis, a security company, have formed a partnership in order to redevelop Certis’ headquarters at 20 Jalan Amifi. According to a March caveat, the 130,211 square foot site was purchased for $150,000,000 or $1,152 per square foot based on its land area.
According to Lendlease, Certis Cisco Centre will undergo a redevelopment into a “green and sustainable” project with approximately 30,000 sqm (322 917 sqft) of office space.
Mixed-use urban regeneration project that is resilient to change
The Certis Cisco Centre is located within two minutes of Lendlease’s $3.7 billion integrated development Paya Lebar Quarter. Lendlease is a place maker that specializes in urban regeneration projects like the PLQ or Melbourne Quarter in Melbourne.
Despite Covid arrangements and work-from home arrangements, the three office towers located at PLQ with 870,000 square feet of Grade-A office space are 99% leased today. Gabbani says that people have not been afraid to commit to new office space.
After a surge in demand for flexible workspaces since November, the 72,000 square foot Csuites at Lendlease, Lendlease’s flexible workplace model at PLQ was fully occupied by August. Gabbani says that corporate tenants are increasingly seeing it as an advantage.
97% of PLQ Mall’s 340,000 square feet of retail space is leased. Gabbani notes that “central services — pharmacies, supermarkets — continue to show great resilience.” “F&B has also been resilient, despite the many restrictions.”
The 429-unit Park Place Residences in PLQ have been sold. They were completed in 2019, before the pandemic. The first tower was launched in March 2017. Half of the units sold for $1,805 per square foot. Another 149 units were purchased at a median of $2,060 per square foot for the second tower, which was launched in April 2018. According to caveats filed between May and September 2021, units have been sold on the resale marketplace at prices ranging from $1,836 to $2,240 per square foot.
Gabbani says that Lendlease is looking at more ambitious developments, such as master developer projects. The 8.29ha Kampong Bugis property, located near the Kallang Basin in the Kallang Basin was placed on the Reserve List under the 2H2019 Government Land Sales Programme. It could produce 4,000 dwelling units, and 50,000 square meters of gross commercial space, including retail, office, or serviced apartments.
‘Most established market’
Gabbani says Singapore is Lendlease’s most established market. He adds, “We have been in Singapore for 48 years across all three business lines (construction, investment, and development].” “We have probably the highest capital in Singapore.”
A$1.5 billion of the A$2 trillion capital allocated to Asia in the last five years has been invested. The largest share of this investment was made in Singapore. Gabbani says, “We still have A$500m to invest, but we will also recycle our capital once we finish our developments.”
Lendlease is present in three other Asian markets, besides Singapore: China, Malaysia, and Japan.
Two projects have been the main focus in Malaysia, which Lendlease first ventured into 30 years ago. Setia City Mall is one of them. It’s an 80/20 joint venture project between SP Setia (Malaysia) and Lendlease Development. One of its private funds holds 20% of Lendlease’s stake in the mall.
Setia City Mall opened its doors in 2012 with 730,000 square feet of retail space and 235 shops. By 2020, the second phase, which includes 450,000 square feet of retail space and 150 additional stores was expected to be completed. The mall will now have 1.2 million square feet of retail space, making it the largest in Shah Alam.
Gabbani admits that Covid had affected the development and pre-leasing stages of Setia City Mall II. “Stabilisation” has been ongoing since the opening of the second phase in April.