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Changi Airport's Project Jewel to cost $1.47b

The development will boost airport's capacity and cement its position as a leading air hub
Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 06:00
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SHOWPLACE An artist's impression of Project Jewel which is envisaged to be a must-visit attraction for tourists and a weekend destination for locals

Singapore

PROJECT Jewel, the mixed-use development aimed at adding some glitz to Changi Airport when it is launched by end-2018, will cost $1.47 billion including land costs.

Co-developers Changi Airport Group (CAG) and CapitaMallsAsia (CMA) said yesterday that they have struck a joint venture agreement via their respective wholly owned subsidiaries, Jewel Changi Airport Holding and CMA Singapore Investments (6), and will set up a private trust, a trustee-manager and a property manager as the JV entities.

CAG will hold the majority stake of 51 per cent, while CMA will hold the balance 49 per cent that it will bankroll through internal funds and external borrowings, CMA said in a release to the Singapore Exchange.

Project Jewel will be constructed on the existing 3.5-hectare carpark site in front of Terminal 1 and will include airport operations, retail and leisure offerings as well as hotel space. The site has a lease term of 60 years, expiring in 2073, with CAG as the lessor.

The project, which CAG describes as game-changing, is part of efforts to cement Changi's status as the region's preferred air hub as other airports strive to carve out a bigger slice of the pie.

CAG chief executive Lee Seow Hiang said: "In today's highly competitive landscape where airports around the world are actively competing for passengers' mindshare, we cannot stop innovating. Project Jewel will give us this additional edge."

Construction on Project Jewel will kick-start in the second half of next year, with completion slated for 2018 - not long after the upcoming Terminal 4 is set to open its doors in 2017.

A team of design consultants have been tasked with creating Changi Airport's latest landmark, which will be encased in a distinctive glass and steel dome. The consortium consists of Safdie Architects, which designed another local icon, the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, Benoy, as well as local architect RSP, which was behind ION Orchard.

The multi-storey complex will span a total gross floor area of about 134,000 square metres, of which 17,000 sq m will go towards airport operations, 5,000 sq m towards hotel space, 90,000 sq m towards retail space as well as 22,000 sq m towards attractions such as a large indoor garden and 40-metre waterfall. However, the net lettable area of the retail space will total 53,500 sq m.

"The site presents an ideal opportunity for global and local retailers and F&B operators to create one-of-a-kind stores and dining concepts, to cater to a ready cosmopolitan catchment with more than 50 million passenger movements from 270 cities every year," said Lim Beng Chee, chief executive officer of CMA, which has interests in and manages 105 shopping malls across Asia. "This will provide an ideal platform both for American and European retailers to introduce and promote their offerings in Asia, as well as Asian retailers to do likewise with a global audience."

From an operational standpoint, Project Jewel will add a passenger handling capacity of three million to Changi's current tally of 66 million per year, in addition to allowing T1 to expand to accommodate greater space for areas such as taxi bays and baggage claim.

Aside from connecting passengers to the three existing terminals by foot, the development will also feature facilities dedicated to the fly-cruise and fly-coach passenger segments to make travel experiences smoother. Meanwhile, the basement carpark will nearly treble T1's existing parking facilities to 2,500 parking spots.

But Changi's transformation will not stop with T4 and the upcoming mixed-use development. Earlier this year, plans for the mega Terminal 5 were unveiled, which will bump up Changi's handling capacity to a total of 135 million passengers per year in the mid-2020s.

In the stock market yesterday, CMA shares closed at $1.905, up half a cent.

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