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Next-gen tech-driven work spaces open At CDL’s Republic Plaza

  • 62,000 sq ft Distrii Republic Plaza is the single largest co-working facility in Singapore
  • Redefines co-working experience with a member-exclusive in-house built app
  • Introduces ‘[email protected]’, a first-of-its-kind global initiative by a co-working space provider
  • CDL and Distrii ink strategic partnership to create next milestone in the evolution of workspaces

Located in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD), Distrii Republic Plaza has officially launched in July.

Singapore, 17 May 2018 – City Developments Limited (CDL) and China’s leading operator of co-working spaces, Distrii, have introduced next-gen tech-driven work spaces at CDL’s flagship office building Republic Plaza, located at Raffles Place in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD). Distrii’s first international co-working centre blends customisable state-of-the-art technology solutions, functional space and comprehensive services. Spanning 62,000 square feet (sq ft) across six floors, Distrii Republic Plaza is the single largest co-working facility in Singapore. In addition to over 900 work stations, private offices and customisable team space, it features a flexible multi-purpose event hall for up to 200 pax catering to seminars and workshops as well as a food and beverage (F&B) facility operated by popular German burger chain Hans im Glück.

Redefining co-working experience

Demand for co-working spaces in Asia Pacific has seen strong growth of between 10% to 15% annually from start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and even MNCs1. Co-working spaces are often viewed as disruptors of the commercial lease space as demand for these flexible, cost-effective and efficient work space solutions have spurred some modifications to not only the traditional long-term fixed lease model but also the co-working space ecosystem.

Distrii differentiates itself from other co-working operators through its proprietary enterprise collaboration and productivity tool developed by its in-house technology experts. It is the first co-working space provider to develop a holistic cloud-based system that boosts efficiency and simplifies daily business operations by integrating business solutions into a single hassle-free application.

The in-house-built and member-exclusive app supports high-quality voice calls, video conferencing, task management and internal administration management. The app also includes networking and community building enablers such as an Opportunity Sniffer to help its members identify and alert relevant business opportunities. Members can also easily book and access secured meeting rooms, workspaces and smart storage lockers via the Distrii app for over 30 Distrii co-working locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Singapore.

Ahead of its official opening in July, Distrii Republic Plaza has already secured over 60% in occupancy rate. Members include global blockchain incubator BitTemple, which will occupy the entire workspace on Level 5. In addition, Distrii’s China customer base of 15,000 members can now access the facilities offered at Distrii Republic Plaza. Likewise, Distrii’s Singapore customers will be able to access its centres in China. This will offer convenience and cost-effectiveness for businesses from both sides to expand in Singapore and China respectively.

Supporting global non-governmental organisations to do good

In addition, as part of ‘[email protected]’, a first-of-its-kind global initiative by a co-working space provider, Distrii will offer complimentary use of Distrii Republic Plaza in Singapore and its co-working centres in Beijing and Shanghai to international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which promote sustainable and good practices. These international NGOs include C40, CDP, Global Reporting Initiative, International Integrated Reporting Council, Ocean Geographics, Women's Forum for the Economy & Society and World Green Building Council.

Distrii Republic Plaza features a flexible multi-purpose event space with a 170-inch 4K display screen and a capacity of up to 200 pax, catering to seminars and workshops.

Distrii is the first co-working space provider to develop a holistic cloud-based system that boosts efficiency and simplifies daily business operations by integrating business solutions into a single hassle-free application.

Distrii’s proprietary app enables members to conveniently reserve work desks, meeting rooms, event spaces and video conferencing facilities.

Distrii CEO Dr Hu Jing (left) and CDL Group CEO Mr Sherman Kwek (right) announced their new IT JV between the two companies at the media preview of Distrii Republic Plaza.

Dr Hu introducing Distrii’s proprietary enterprise collaboration and productivity tool developed by its in-house technology experts.

New CDL and Distrii strategic partnership to up the ante on smart work spaces for the future

In 2017, CDL invested a total of RMB 102 million (approx. S$21 million) in Distrii, making CDL the second largest shareholder after its founder. Distrii has also raised capital from a diversified pool of investors. The capital raised will allow Distrii to accelerate its expansion in China while simultaneously launching its international expansion, starting with Distrii Republic Plaza in Singapore.

Taking their strategic partnership a step further, CDL and Distrii have inked an IT joint venture (JV) that combines the strengths of real estate, co-working expertise and disruptive technology to transform the work environment.2 Distrii will work with CDL in Southeast Asia to develop Smart Office and Building applications.

The Smart Office and Building applications will pilot at Republic Plaza by 1H 2019 as part of CDL’s Asset Enhancement Initiative (AEI). Through the Smart Office app, Republic Plaza’s tenants can sign up as a Distrii member to book smart facilities, such as lockers, work stations and meeting facilities located at Distrii’s premise. To provide greater value to building occupants, the Smart Building app, will enable Republic Plaza app users to access the building with their mobile phones instead of carrying multiple access cards. The Smart Building app also features building feedback and a tenant billing and payment system to enhance communication and minimise manual administration between the landlord and its tenants. The JV intends to introduce the technology across CDL’s commercial portfolio in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Mr Sherman Kwek, CDL Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “With Distrii opening its first international centre at CDL’s flagship Republic Plaza in Singapore, we are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Distrii to create the next milestone in the evolution of smart buildings. The addition of Distrii and its tenants will also inject fresh vibrancy to not just the building but also the Raffles Place precinct. We are combining CDL’s real estate capabilities and Distrii’s technological prowess to introduce a whole new level of possibilities that will up the ante on smart workplaces for the future. This will provide unprecedented flexibility, convenience and collaboration. As demand for work space continues to change rapidly, constant innovation will be the key to staying relevant and avoiding disruption. Aside from internal innovation efforts, CDL will continue to make strategic investments in new economy or technology ventures that will transform and differentiate our offerings by providing our customers with greater value.”

Dr Hu Jing, Distrii Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are honoured to be in this strategic partnership with CDL as this has hastened our entry into the international market. Merging both the online and offline physical space allows us to bring our vision of being the smart office solution provider to greater heights. Distrii is also delighted to introduce our proprietary technology to the Singapore market, integrating it into all spaces within our first international co-working centre and eventually the entire Republic Plaza building. Our presence in the heart of Singapore’s CBD enables us to bring co-working to the next level and, together with CDL, add vibrancy to the business district.”

“In addition, our new technology JV with CDL serves as the first touch point to bring our technology and smart office solutions into more international cities. Distrii will continue to leverage on our current distributed points, smart technology and solutions platform within the co-working space to create greater opportunities and strengthen our relationship with CDL.”

Please refer to the Annex for more information on Distrii’s proprietary enterprise collaboration and productivity app, and Distrii Republic Plaza.

1 http://www.cushmanwakefield.sg/en-gb/news/2017/04/2017-co-working-space-in-apac

2 The specific terms of the JV are confidential