SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – In Jurong Lake District (JLD), Singapore’s largest business district outside the city centre, a 6.8 ha white site will be released for sale to a master developer. It comprises three plots of land linking the Jurong East MRT interchange station and the future Jurong Lake District station of the Cross Island Line.

“The intention is for a single developer to comprehensively master plan the site and use district-level urban solutions (such as a district cooling system) that will be integrated within the mixed-use development,” according to URA.

The white site at Jurong Lake District can yield over 1.6 million sq ft of office space, 1,760 private residential units and 807,300 sq ft gross floor area (GFA) of complementary uses such as retail, hotel or community uses.

“The latest GLS programme saw the government bump up the office supply significantly, the largest increase since 2016, and the largest in a decentralised location,” says Tricia Song, head of research, CBRE Southeast Asia.

The most recent greenfield sites with such sizeable office components that were sold via GLS were in the CBD, notes CBRE’s Song: Guoco Midtown site, which was sold on Oct 2017 for $1.622 billion or S$1,706 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), and yielding over 700,000 sq ft of office space; and the IOI Central Boulevard Tower site, which was sold on Nov 2016 for $2.569 billion or $1,689 psf ppr, yielding 1.26 million sq ft of office space.

The proposed integrated development will be progressively developed over the next five to 10 years to cater to market demand. However, the successful tenderer will be required to build at least 70,000 sqm (753,480 sq ft) GFA of office space and 600 private housing units as part of the first phase of the development but will have some flexibility to phase out the remaining supply according to market demand.

“The white site in JLD will act as a catalyst for the next phase of transformation in the precinct, and indeed for Singapore, as it spurs new economic activities and adds more jobs and homes to the area,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex. “The government has opted for a master developer approach to developing the site. We think this will likely be a two-envelope tender system where design and concept, in addition to the price tendered, will be used in its sale.”

Residents in the 600 units of the first phase of the integrated development will enjoy proximity to amenities from shopping malls, a regional library, Jurong East MRT interchange station and bus interchange as well as attractions such as Jurong Lake Gardens, the new Science Centre and other new tourist developments, says Leonard Tay, head of research, Knight Frank Singapore.

JLD already has a significant number of retail, office and residential developments since 2008. “By 2028, a new Jurong Region Line station and an Integrated Transport Hub comprising offices, community spaces and retail amenities will be built next to the Jurong East MRT interchange station,” says CBRE’s Song. “JLD will be a model sustainability district, achieving net-zero emissions for new developments around 2045.”

The sheer size of the project would mean a land cost of over $2 billion or at least $1,300 psf, reckons Song. Based on the targeted release date of June 2023 on GLS and assuming a three- to six-month tender period, the earliest completion of the office space will likely be in 2028.

“With this focus on decentralised office development, there should be limited new greenfield office sites in the CBD made available via the GLS in the near future,” says Song. “Going forward, the CBD will see rejuvenation via ageing office assets being redeveloped into mixed-use developments.”

Besides JLD, the other white site on the 1H2023 Confirmed List is at Marina Gardens Crescent in Marina South, next to Gardens by the Bay. The site at Marina Gardens Crescent is adjacent to the one at Marina Gardens Lane launched for sale on Dec 5 as part of the 2H2022 GLS programme.

The Marina Gardens Crescent site can be built up to 775 dwelling units, with a retail component capped at 6,000 sqm (64,584 sq ft). “We expect this site to take the cue from the response to the first site whose tender will close on 27 June 2023,” says CBRE’s Song.

Source: EdgeProp Singapore, 9 December 2022.

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