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A legacy for future generations
KEMMY Tan, chief executive officer of M+S Pte Ltd, stands in a garden at the heart of Marina One as construction workers in hard hats bustle around. The developer's two mega projects, Marina One and DUO, have progressed well and are close to completion, she says. As they took shape in the last few years, both projects have acquired a stature that motivated all team members including consultants and contractors involved to perform well.
"The fact that the developments have gone on so smoothly reflects the strong partnership and historical ties between the two countries," Ms Tan says. "We want to build iconic developments for future generations to remember the symbiotic relationship between the two countries."
Owned 60:40 by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia's strategic investment fund, and Temasek, a Singapore-based investment company respectively, M+S Pte Ltd was set up on June 27, 2011 to develop DUO and Marina One respectively.
Seamlessly connected to four MRT lines, Marina One is a landmark luxury development by the Marina Bay financial district comprising two office towers of 1.88 million sq ft and two residential blocks with 1,042 units.
One office tower is completed, with the other to be completed later this year, Ms Tan says, with over 60 per cent of the commercial space taken up. The residential towers will be completed by the fourth quarter, with 75 per cent of one block sold and the other yet to be launched.
DUO's office tower was completed last December. Its residential tower was completed in July and its hotel, Andaz Singapore, will begin operations in the fourth quarter. Similarly, DUO is well-connected to the rest of the city via the MRT.
Some 95 per cent of DUO's 660 residential units are sold, and its office tower, which has 570,000 sq ft, is about 50 per cent leased. "With construction almost completed, the next phase will be to get these two symbolic assets up and running," Ms Tan says.
As befitting legacy projects with national importance, both Marina One and DUO showcase some unique architectural and engineering firsts. Marina One features two of the largest contiguous prime Grade A office floor spaces in Asia, at 100,000 sq ft per floor. The floors straddle both office towers and have been taken up by tenants looking for large spaces to maximise space efficiency.
The development also has substantial office floor spaces ranging from 34,000 to 40,000 sq ft, which are among the largest in Marina Bay. These facilitate open-plan work spaces and have been popular with large companies looking to consolidate their operations in a few floors, Ms Tan says.
Meanwhile, Marina One is also the only integrated development in the city with a biodiversity garden at its core. The garden is the largest green sanctuary within Singapore's Central Business District.
M+S stands for Malaysia and Singapore, but it also stands for sustainability, Ms Tan says. Airwells and slots at Marina One allow buildings to receive natural ventilation. Rainwater is harvested and recycled, and extensive sun shading in all four towers will ensure energy savings of almost 35 per cent, Ms Tan says.
Meanwhile, DUO features a residential tower and an office tower - the only one in the area - with sweeping concave designs and a hexagonal pattern on their profiles. It boasts cantilever floors of office blocks and apartment units hanging 68 metres and 76 metres above ground, the largest commercial cantilever in Singapore.
To celebrate the tight collaboration between Singapore and Malaysia, M+S has also curated a series of artworks by artists from both countries at its two developments, seamlessly integrated into the architecture and landscape. "We believe in the long-term success of Marina One and DUO. And both Marina Bay and Ophir-Rochor districts will grow in tandem with Singapore's status as a regional financial hub," Ms Tan says.
A long-term view
With Marina One and DUO defining new standards in luxury urban living in Singapore, M+S is in no hurry to sell residential units or lease floors below market rates, Ms Tan says.
Developments in prime locations like London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Singapore, will retain their value and weather property cycles over time, she notes.
"Similarly, we look long-term and hold steadfast to the intrinsic value of our developments. We don't adopt a 'sell and get out' perspective as this does not bode well for both tenants and residents," Ms Tan says.
The firm goes overseas with its marketing strategy. As it runs roadshows abroad for its residential units, commercial decision-makers in London and Hong Kong have also come here to view the developments when deciding whether to lease office spaces.
In line with a decades-long outlook, vital services like asset management and leasing will be kept in-house to ensure quality. "Our interests are aligned with our tenants, some of which are Fortune 500 companies. They look for landlords who understand their needs and take a long term view," Ms Tan says.
A real estate veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Ms Tan has held senior marketing and business positions in a number of listed and unlisted entities. She was notably general manager of Sentosa Cove, Singapore's first and only integrated marina residential development.
Today, the tight schedule M+S runs on is her biggest challenge, says Ms Tan, who has been with M+S since 2012 and assembled a team from scratch.
"I like pioneering work, which is challenging but fulfilling," she says. "It brings me immense satisfaction to be leading projects that are at the forefront of transforming the city's landscape."
To be successful at property development, developers have to try to create something different with every project, Ms Tan says. "Success is about staying relevant. We have to try to bring new ideas to add value to people's lives."
Integrated developments like Marina One and DUO have the scale to offer a community where residents can live, work and play, she says.
And looking ahead, M+S will explore ways for all its occupants to tap on the various services offered in each development, bringing together the two communities for a holistic experience. "I believe if you constantly strive to do things differently, you will always come out tops despite intense competition. This means innovating creative solutions that can stand the test of time."
Transforming Locales for Communities to Live, Work and Play
M+S Pte Ltd, forged from a historic collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore, is privileged to oversee two of Singapore's largest and most iconic integrated developments: Marina One and DUO. Marina One, a 3.67 million sq ft integrated development at the financial and business cluster in Singapore's Marina Bay area, comprises two residential towers, two Grade-A office towers, a lush biodiversity garden, and a wide array of signature retail, dining and entertainment options.
DUO comprises a Green Mark Platinum Grade A office tower, luxury residences, a host of retail and dining offerings, and Andaz Singapore, a luxury hotel by Hyatt.
With prestigious addresses, verdant gardens and visually stunning architecture, the two mega developments take pride of place as Singapore's most inspiring locales to co-live, co-work and co-play.
DUO Tower: The city's new capital
A stunning, Instagram-worthy sight, DUO Tower soars over an eclectic, vibrant, and diverse range of arts and cultural districts like Kampong Glam, Little India, and Bras Basah. With panoramic views over Marina Bay as well as the Kallang Basin, the development offers a fantastic spot to view the National Day fireworks.
Designed by Ole Scheeren, the world-renowned architect behind the new CCTV headquarters, DUO Tower is the only prime Grade A office in the Ophir-Rochor area with the largest floor plates of up to 31,000 sq ft. Office occupants enjoy energy-efficient designs, landscaped gardens and access to a dynamic mix of concierge services and facilities including bicycle parking lots, easy-access charging points for electric vehicles and more.
More than 250,000 sq ft out of 570,000 sq ft of net lettable area has been leased by blue chip tenants like Abbott Laboratories, Amcor, and MasterCard.
The DUO community will enjoy privileged access to a dynamic mix of dedicated concierge services, and dining and lifestyle options at the 56,000 sq ft retail podium DUO Galleria. Andaz Singapore, which occupies the upper floors of the tower, offers top-notch business amenities and an intimate, contemporary environment with 342 guest rooms and a rooftop infinity pool.
Marina One: Office of the future
A LEED Platinum development designed by world-renowned supergreen® architect Christoph Ingenhoven, Marina One Offices offers unparalleled Marina Bay views. With aggregated convenience services, amenities, and retail offerings, the development creates a vital, energetic community space for tenants to enjoy.
The development also features the largest Cold Storage supermarket in Marina Bay, and fitness club Virgin Active, which is the only gym that has an indoor swimming lap pool and the largest indoor climbing wall in Marina Bay.
The innovative urban sanctuary features a green core connecting the development's four buildings. With multiple stepped gardens, winding walkways, a waterfall and 200,000 sq ft of lush greenery, all can enjoy a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Over 60 per cent of Marina One Offices space is taken up. Tenants will include blue chip companies like Gartner Advisory, Julius Baer, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Olam International and PwC.