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March 3, 2010

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Pudong leads top office market

SHANGHAI'S Grade A office market continued its momentum in the first two months of this year with Pudong New Area leading the way amid a recovery in demand from tenants.

Shanghai ifc, the largest commercial project in the Lujiazui area and a landmark development by Hong Kong-listed Sun Hung Kai Properties, has recently leased out almost all the space in its first office tower - the HSBC Building. This sent out an encouraging signal to the city's Grade A office market, which has been hit hard since the third quarter of 2008 when a global financial turmoil started to spread.

"It's one of the highest pre-commitment rates achieved in the city's office market since 2007," said Anthony Couse, managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Shanghai. "As a new landmark project in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai ifc has unique advantages, which include prime location, synergies between property types (mixed-use project) as well as world-class design and quality."

Located in the heart of Lujiazui, Shanghai ifc is a 400,000-square-meter complex incorporating two office towers, a shopping mall and deluxe hotels when completed.

While the city's overall Grade A office market will continue to be shadowed by abundant supply in 2010, the Pudong market, particularly Lujiazui, will probably tell a different story due to strong demand and limited supply in the area.

Only one Grade A office building - the DBS tower - is expected to be launched in Lujiazui this year while most new supply will be in Puxi as well as other places in Pudong, leaving Lujiazui as one of the most sought-after places in the city for companies seeking a high profile address, said Alan Li, national director of markets at Jones Lang LaSalle Shanghai.

Average rents at the HSBC Building are between 8 yuan and 10 yuan (US$1.20 and US$1.50) per square meter per day, almost the highest in the city.

It has secured several tenants, including Bloomberg, Schroders, CITIC Prudential, Halter Financial.


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