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Shanghai Tower looks global to attract office occupiers

Shanghai skyline

The under-construction Shanghai Tower is reportedly looking to attract international companies to fill its many thousands of square feet of office space. A move almost unheard of in China, where state-controlled developments are typically filled by Chinese operators and promoted solely by in-house employees.

There is, however, nothing typical about the Shanghai Tower, which became the world’s second tallest building when it topped out in August 2013. A quite breath-taking construction, it is due to open next year, having gradually emerged into the Shanghai skyline over the course of the past five years or so.

Shanghai has played a huge role in the emergence of China as an economic superpower in recent years and companies from across the globe have been flooding into the city’s office space developments during that time. Now it seems the Chinese authorities are keen to actively encourage high calibre international brands to take up space in the city and specifically at the Shanghai Tower, with JLL and CBRE recently appointed to add some weight to that endeavour.

“Currently there are talks ongoing about leasing, and the type of tenants we’d like to attract are in banking, and financial sectors, high-end manufacturing and services sectors,” Grace Zhu, a Shanghai Tower spokesperson said in an emailed response to questions from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

To date, there are no major leasing deals in place at the tower, with the slowing pace of growth in the Chinese economy suspected to be part of the reason for that and for the decision from developers to enlist the services of international leasing companies. JLL and CBRE remain confident of seeing demand grow for the quality office space soon to be available at the site, which lies in the heart of Shanghai’s financial district, where vacancy rates are very low.

In a separate email to the WSJ, a spokesperson for JLL, formerly Jones Lang LaSalle, suggested that potential occupiers of what is China’s tallest tower are warming to the idea of committing to an office space deal at the site. The JLL spokesperson said that multinational companies are “becoming more active as they adjust to the economy’s moderation,” in reference to the recent cooling of growth in the Chinese economy.

Quite what the costs associated with renting office space at Shanghai Tower might be are yet to be revealed by any of the parties involved.

Earlier this year, the Shanghai Tower made headlines around the world after a pair of Russian free climbers made their way to a crane at its summit and returned some quite jaw-dropping photographs. The tower is the second largest in the world, behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands an incredible 829.8 metres tall and cost around $1.5 billion to construct.

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