Is your business suited for a business park?

June 3, 2015

Business parks play an important role in Singapore’s economy. Here’s some useful knowledge and information about business parks that could help you decide if your business is suitable to be located at one.

What is a business park?

When Singapore went through a period of rapid industrialization in the 70s and 80s, more companies adopted informational technologies in their business. The need to combine the use of commercial, industrial and office spaces became evident, and business parks were created.

What are some of the business parks in Singapore?

In 1992, the first business park, the International Business Park in Jurong East, was established. Managed by Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), the idea was to bring a cluster of premium business buildings catering to certain specific industries to be located within close proximity of one another for more synergistic collaboration. Early movers to establish themselves in International Business Park include Acer Computer, Creative, Sony, Dell, M1 as well as German Centre for Industry and Trade and the Nordic European Centre. Many of these buildings have been refurbished over the years and divested into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS). More recently, the announcement of the high speed rail between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to be located on the site currently occupied by Jurong Country Club should see more activities and companies looking at relocating to International Business Park favorably. International Business Park is within close proximity to Jurong East MRT station and the upcoming commercial hub in the Jurong Lake District which has been looked upon favorably by many to be the second Central Business District outside Raffles Place/New Downtown area.

Changi Business Park, which was later established in 1997 on a 66-hectare of land is strategically located in the eastern part of Singapore, surrounded by aviation/logistical industries to support the businesses within Changi Business Park. Changi Business Park is well-served by Expo MRT Station and EXPO Exhibition and Convention Centre just next to the station as well as major expressways such as ECP and PIE. Changi City Point, a 650,000 square foot retail mall with more than 140 retail/F&B outlets over 4 levels is located next to Expo MRT station and is linked to One@Changi City and Capri by Frasers, a 313-room business hotel/serviced apartment to cater to the growing demands of expats/business travelers doing business in Changi Business Park; a feature not found in International Business Park. UE Biz Hub East has 2 towers (North & South Tower) and an excellent mix of retail/F&B tenants located on the ground floor of the building with NTUC Fairprice supermarket as its main tenant is located next to Changi City Point. SMRT has begun construction of the Downtown Line of the Expo Station and the location is sandwiched between UE Biz hub East towers and Changi City Point. When fully completed in a few years’ time, Changi Business Park will have great connectivity to other parts of the island.

What are some businesses that operate out of business parks in Singapore?

Many backroom operations of large global banks have found themselves entrenched in Changi Business Park, including Credit Suisse, UBS, JP Morgan Chase, DBS, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi etc. IT companies including IBM has also established itself in Changi Business Park. Even Regus, one of the largest serviced operators in the world is in The Signature@Changi Business Park. A host of amenities such as gym operators, cafes, ramen stalls, salad outlets, famous Chinese restaurants have all gone into Changi Business Park. The Singapore University of Technology and Design will be located within Changi Business Park and this will definitely foster closer collaboration between the companies and the University in time to come.

With escalating rents in the Central Business District, companies which belong to specific industries that are permitted to be located in Business Parks could potentially move to either International Business Park or Changi Business Park. With asking rents of around $3.70-$4.30 per sqft, companies which qualify could potentially save more than 50% of their current rentals if they relocate from the Central Business District to Business Parks.

Is your business suited for a business park? Here’s a list of allowable and conditional activities in Business Parks. 

PERMITTED

  1. Development / production of software, maintenance of software and user training
  2. Upgrading of software
  3. Computer system integration
  4. Industrial training
  5. Plastic product design & development
  6. Fashion, furniture, jewellery & exhibition design
  7. Oil rig design
  8. Offshore structure design
  9. Ships design
  10. Computer systems design
  11. Communication equipment design
  12. Electronic instruments & device design eg IC
  13. Audio / video product design
  14. Electrical appliances & devices design
  15. Automation equipment & systems design
  16. Storage device (disk drives) design & development
  17. Office automation equipment design
  18. Opto-electronics devices design & development
  19. Hybrid circuit modules devices design
  20. Electric motors design
  21. Electronic control systems design
  22. Mechatronics components design & development
  23. Tooling design
  24. Prototype making
  25. Production planning, technology & engineering development
  26. Quality assurance, technical inspection & testing services
  27. Engineering design & development centre
  28. Technical service centre
  29. Diagnostic product design eg. medical, biotech
  30. Systems customising centre
  31. Materials application centre
  32. Publishing
  33. CAD/CAM/CAE Support
  34. Factory automation / CIM design & development
  35. Information systems design & development
  36. Product demonstration
  37. Project planning & management
  38. Equipment & component applications engineering
  39. R&D laboratory
  40. Geological analysis on well samples and rocks

CONDITIONAL

  1. Agricultural services
  2. Plastic product services
  3. Manufacture and repair of material handling equipment
  4. Manufacture of machine tool accessories
  5. Manufacture and repair of semi-conductor manufacturing equipment
  6. Manufacture of electronic products and components
  7. Manufacture of instrumentation equipment, photographic and optical goods
  8. Other manufacturing industries
  9. Supporting services to electricity, gas and water distribution
  10. Air transport
  11. Services allied to transport
  12. Services allied to transport not elsewhere classified
  13. Postal services
  14. Communication services
  15. Art and graphic design services
  16. Medical and health services(except veterinary services and environmental health services)
  17. Services allied to motion picture/video production/video distribution
  18. Computer system integration including servicing and repair assembly of computer equipment
  19. Electronic workshop for repair and system integration of data communication equipment and consultancy services
  20. Petroleum, mining and prospecting services
  21. Engineering consultancy services, oil exploration
  22. International specialist engineering and consultancy services
  23. Central distribution centres

Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore

The two business parks along with business space in One-North are expected to play a more important role in Business Park Space as Singapore gravitates towards research based industries such as biomedical, pharmaceutical research and development, infocomm, media industries in a knowledge-baesd economy.

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