Building amenities attract tenants in a slowdown, says CBRE

KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): The global accreditations of an office building and its facilities take precedence over views for potential office tenants, said CB Richard Ellis (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd executive chairman Christopher Boyd.

In a talk entitled "Marketing Commercial Properties in Challenging Times" at the 22nd National Real Estate Convention in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, Boyd said tenants consider accreditations of an office building such as having a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status or its amenities such as ample parking space as priorities.

"Currently, what really matters to tenants are the accreditations of a building, as well as the amenities provided to the tenants, as the views outside their windows have now become of secondary importance," he said, speaking on ways to attract tenants.

Boyd added that most building owners will not have any trouble getting their office space leased — even when there is a slowdown or a financial crisis — if their buildings offer, among others, facilities such as better parking facilities (meaning one parking space per 500 sq ft), are disabled friendly, are in close proximity to alternative forms of transportation and local amenities, loading bays, floor loading capabilities, as well as a floor to ceiling ratio of between 2,700mm to 3,000mm.

He also called on landlords to provide tenants the flexibility of reviewing their rents, and of negotiating a rental guarantee.

Another speaker at the convention was 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) senior vice president of commercial real estate management Saleha Yusoff, who spoke on the impact and challenges of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD).

KLIFD aims to expand Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle to the southern part of the city by attracting financial players, local and foreign banks as well as private equity and venture capital firms.

Saleha said that with its proximity to high growth countries like Singapore, KLIFD and Singapore can complement each other's growth, especially with the proposed high-speed rail linking Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

As for KLIFD's connectivity, Saleha said underground tunnels will be built to connect KLIFD with Jalan Tun Razak, the Maju Expressway and the SMART highway.

KLIFD is a RM25.07 billion project jointly developed by 1MDB and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Corp. The project will be developed over several phases on a 75 acre (30.5 ha) site facing Jalan Tun Razak.

Saleha added that KLIFD earthworks will commence in a few months.

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