Swire Properties' 21-storey Cityplaza One in Taikoo Shing will emerge as a new choice for companies looking for large offices in decentralised areas, estate agents say. For companies that needed to lease a whole floor with an area of 25,000 square feet, agents said there were few choices in Hong Kong's eastern district except for Swire's new building at 1111 King's Road. They said the 500,000 sq ft office block was of sufficient quality to attract financial institutions and other large-scale users, who were tired of cramped conditions in Central and would have no qualms about moving down the MTR line to Quarry Bay. Swire has established the nearby successful Taikoo Place development in Quarry Bay, with a mix of new, quality buildings such as Devon House and Dorset House. Agents said that, while Taikoo Place had few good shopping and eating outlets, the area had become a decentralised office centre rivalling areas such as Causeway Bay. The main reason was rents, they said. Swire was able to attract significant space users to its Taikoo Place development by offering rents less than half what Hongkong Land was charging for similar space in Exchange Square, agents said. Cityplaza One is the redevelopment of the retail portion at the first phase of the massive Cityplaza development. Swire is now pitching monthly rents for office space in Cityplaza One at about $32 to $34 per sq ft on the lettable area or just more than $35 per sq ft on net area. This was still substantially cheaper than Exchange Square, agents said. According to Swire officials, two of the building's main features are its ample floor area and the raised flooring which has become virtually a must among banking and other financial establishments. 'Raised flooring just makes so much sense,' Swire Properties general manager Stephan Spurr said. 'Apart from the organisational aspects, there is the cost savings. It provides the ultimate flexibility. 'We can bring in people like the banks, the stockbrokers and anyone who is looking for a long-term option.' Market talk is that the developer could well sign up its first multi-floor tenant any day now. However, some agents said Swire would have to be flexible with its leasing packages in light of the millions of square feet of office space due to come on the market beginning in September next year - a few months after Cityplaza One is due to receive its occupation permit. It is estimated that about 600,000 sq ft of new grade A office space in the vicinity will come on to the market every eight months thereafter, well into 1999. These new buildings include Citic Pacific's redevelopment of a Dah Chong Hong building and Swire's other developments, Lincoln House and Oxford House. However, some agents said financial institutions wishing to relocate or expand their operations to Hong Kong's eastern district in the foreseeable future might have to pick Cityplaza One because of limited choice. They said Cityplaza One was the first substantial building available in the eastern district in recent years and businesses were bursting at the seams. FACT FILE Development: Cityplaza One, Taikoo Shing Developer: Swire Properties Floors for rent: 21 Floor area: 25,000 square feet each floor Rents: $32 to $34 per square foot on the lettable area a month Completion date: May next year Leasing agents: Jones Lang Wootton and First Pacific Davies Facilities: Raised floors.