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Marina South likely to be pick of the bunch

Holland Village and Kampong Bugis, two other new housing sites, also attractive

[SINGAPORE] Marina South could attract the most interest of the three new residential districts identified in Draft Master Plan 2013, but market watchers say all three sites have strong attributes and serve strategic purposes.

Together with Kampong Bugis and Holland Village extension, the three areas could yield some 14,500 homes.

"Each housing district has its unique characteristics that appeal differently to developers, homebuyers, investors and tenants," said Donald Han, managing director at Chesterton Singapore.

Of the three, many analysts favoured Marina South because of its transformative potential and prime location. This is even though Marina South will be the last of the three areas to see work start.

Development is slated after 2017/2018, while Kampong Bugis may launch after 2016 and Holland Village by 2015.

"Marina South will be well received by investors ... as it will be near to CBD," said Ong Kah Seng, director at R'ST Research. "Tenants, especially expatriates, need this convenience."

The 21.5 hectares of developable land at Marina South, part of the future Greater Southern Waterfront, will be a mixed-use residential district with the likes of 9,000 private homes and an underground mall.

Alice Tan, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, called the plans for Marina South, just off Gardens by the Bay, a "well thought-through strategy" by planners to construct high-quality recreational spaces first, similar to what was done in Punggol. This allows the initial investment into recreational facilities to enhance land value in the future.

Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International, believes there will be an "overall metamorphosis of an area currently devoid of vibrancy" when work there is completed.

Keppel Land's president (Singapore), Tan Swee Yiow, said Marina South "will be the centrepiece of Singapore's urban transformation and add vibrancy to Singapore's New Downtown".

He also sees the Greater Southern Waterfront as complementing efforts to transform Keppel Bay. Keppel Land is behind several projects in the broader area, including Marina Bay Financial Centre and Reflections at Keppel Bay.

Consultants expect Kampong Bugis, near Kallang Riverside, to benefit from the upcoming completion of the Sports Hub next year, which will draw human traffic. The 18 ha of land to be developed at Kampong Bugis will result in about 4,000 private homes.

This should allow it to take off where Kallang Riverside, which had been a growth area identified in the previous Master Plan, could not.

As for Holland Village, analysts see interest from owner-occupiers attracted to the lifestyle area, expatriates on lower benefits, as well as from workers from the nearby one-north.

"It is a popular locale among the local and expatriate population and (is in) a prime location," said Lee Lay Keng, head of Singapore research at DTZ.

The six-hectare extension of Holland Village will feature a mixed-use development with an underground parking station and two residential sites. In all, about 1,500 new homes will be available.

The prevalence of mixed-use projects was a notable feature in the Draft Master Plan, a fact welcomed by CapitaLand, which has said its new focus will be on such developments.

"We will study the details and identify areas where we can leverage our multi-sectoral capabilities to add value to the locations earmarked for development," a spokesman for CapitaLand said.