Category Archives: Transport

NEL extension to Punggol North by 2030.

The Land Transport Authority is in the final stages of engineering and design studies for the 2km-long North East Line (NEL) Extension, which will serve the developing Punggol North. The line will be built in tandem with the developments there so that future residents in Punggol North will have train access to the city centre as well as other parts of Singapore.

The extension, which is likely to have two stops, is expected to be completed by 2030. Punggol North will be a mixed-used area. It is slated to be an “enterprise district” housing digital and cyber- security industries.

It will be the first of such districts where new planning concepts will be applied. These include appointing a master developer to take charge of the entire district, of which JTC Corporation will be appointed here. The district will include the new Singapore Institute of Technology campus, located next to JTC’s business parks.

The 50km Cross Island Line, slated to be completed in 2030, is also expected to pass through Punggol.

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Closing up the Circle Line starting in 2018

Advance preparatory works to make the Circle Line a complete loop, by joining HarbourFront station to Marina Bay station, have begun. Tenders for the civil works are expected to be awarded by the year end, and construction will begin in 2018Q1

The 4-km CCL6 line will close the loop for the CCL by connecting HarbourFront Station to Marina Bay Station. When the three CCL6 stations of Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward are completed in 2025, the CCL will have a total of 33 stations, including 12 interchange stations with other MRT lines.

Expanding the rail network to more areas such as the southern edge of the existing CBD, CCL6 will support direct east-west travel. Besides reaching new commuters, the extension will allow those travelling between the south-western and south-eastern ends of the line – such as from Pasir Panjang to Nicoll Highway – to have more direct and quicker access.

The stage is being set to build the three new stations that will complete the Circle Line. Keppel station will serve commuters at Keppel Distripark, while Cantonment station will be near Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and offer access to Spottiswoode Park Estate. The Prince Edward station will be near Palmer Road, where heritage landmarks are.

The extension will also serve part of the Greater Southern Waterfront, a massive mixed-used development that will commence once the Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Brani port terminals are relocated to Tuas after their leases expire in 2027.

Preparatory works include relocating affected facilities at PSA Keppel Terminal for the construction of Keppel station, dismantling the platform canopy structures of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the relocation of Shenton Way Bus Terminal for the construction of Prince Edward station.

Queenstown site bid signals positive market sentiment

A large residential site in Queenstown able to yield about 1,110 units has been triggered for sale, in a sign of improving market sentiment. A developer committed to bid at least $685.25 million for a 2.11ha Stirling Road site. The site has been on the Government Land Sales reserve list since March 2010, which was made up of two adjacent sites once offered separately but merged into one site in 2012.

The 99-year leasehold site is next to Tiong Ghee Temple and near Anchorpoint shopping centre. As it is one of the larger sites on offer, analysts said the bid reflected better market sentiment, and developers’ growing appetite for residential land.

Many developers are running low on land and have to demonstrate that they have longer- term corporate growth strategies.Being a prime city-fringe site, it is also likely to generate much interest and attract buyers easily. Competitive bidding are expected.

Based on a maximum permissible gross floor area of 954,328 sq ft, the bid translates to a price of $718 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio. Bids are expected to climb further, to between $830 psf and $950 psf.

It is noted though of unsold supply in Commonwealth Towers, Queens Peak and an upcoming project in Margaret Drive. The pricing will likely take a cue from Queens Peak, with an average of $1,640 psf, and Commonwealth Towers, at an average of $1,654 psf.

Sime Darby Centre for sale

Blackstone Group plans to sell Sime Darby Centre in Bukit Timah, one of the office and retail assets it acquired last year from Malaysian palm-oil producer Sime Darby Berhad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Located in an ageing commercial block along Dunearn Road and directly in front of King Albert Park MRT station, Sime Darby Centre houses tenants like kitchenware retailer ToTT, Scanteak, Cold Storage and ChildFirst pre-school. The block consists of builtup area of 250,000 sq ft — 80 per cent is office space and the rest is retail. The development sits on freehold and 999-year leasehold land parcels zoned for commercial use and with 1.8 plot ratio.

Blackstone owns a 70 per cent stake in the Sime Darby Centre and Sime owns the rest. The conglomerate, Malaysia’s biggest listed palm-oil producer, sold some property assets in Australia and Singapore to help pare debt.

The site could attract bids from large and mid-sized Singapore developers including Far East Organization, City Developments, Frasers Centrepoint and United Industrial Corp.

The New York-based private equity firm expects to fetch about S$300 million for Sime Darby Centre, which it bought for just under S$200 million last year. Blackstone in May acquired a majority stake in three Singapore property assets, including the Sime Darby Centre, in a deal that valued them at about S$300 million.

Blackstone, which manages more than US$100 billion (S$140 billion) in real estate assets worldwide, in the past has bought residential apartment blocks in Singapore’s prime area.

Braddell Road Flyover to delay completion to June

After having been delayed three times, the troubled Braddell Road flyover project has a new deadline. It is now slated to be completed by June, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said. Its original deadline was end-2015.

A spokesman for LTA told The Straits Times that it had been working closely with the public works project’s main contractor, Feng Ming Construction (FMC), to “rectify, review and improve” safety measures after a stop-work order (SWO) stalled progress on Feb 23.

Safety inspectors from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) discovered several safety violations during a random spot check at the worksite. The SWO was lifted on March 8, and the works have now fully resumed, said LTA .

 

 

JR Kyushu investing in South East Asia real estate

JR Kyushu, which is benefiting from a tourism boom with record numbers of visitors to Japan, gets most of its profits from real estate and station buildings. The company said in its mid-term plan it aims to spend 80 billion yen over three years on some sectors that will help boost sales from non-rail sources as the population on the island declines.

It was seeking to raise as much as 416 billion yen in an IPO, and planned to reduce its reliance on Japan by investing in residential and office properties in Southeast Asia.

Investing in Southeast Asia will be a first for the company, which owns five restaurants in China. Japan makes up almost all of the company’s revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In addition to real estate, the company also operates restaurants in Shanghai and Tokyo. JR Central, the nation’s busiest bullet train operator, also has a restaurant in London.

According to the Chairman, Southeast Asia offers huge growth potential for JR Kyushu. JR Kyushu plans to expand its non-rail sales to more than 62 percent of revenue by March 2019, from 57.5 percent in the year ended March 2012, according to the mid-term plan. Sales are forecast to increase to 400 billion yen in the same period, from 333 billion yen seven years earlier.

The company expects at least as many tourists to Kyushu this year as the 2.8 million who visited last year, as the island recovers from the earthquakes in Kumamoto prefecture in April, Karaike said.

“Foreign visitors from Asia used to come to Japan for the purpose of massive shopping, but their interest is shifting to culture, history, dining, and other aspects that are only available in Japan,” the executive said.

Based in Fukuoka City, about 890 kilometers (550 miles) southwest of Tokyo, the JR Kyushu is benefiting from record overseas visitors to Japan, spurring demand for its hotels, shops and restaurants, as well as train travel. Visitors to Kyushu from overseas reached 2.8 million last year, more than doubling from 1.3 million two years earlier, according to the transport ministry.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-11/ipo-candidate-jr-kyushu-scouts-property-deals-in-southeast-asia

Good Take-up at Guoco Tower space

TECH and media companies are making their presence felt at Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, accounting for 37 per cent of the space that has already been committed.

The premium Grade A office component of Tanjong Pagar Centre, a mixed-development project being built by the listed GuocoLand group, has 890,000 sq ft net lettable area of which 80 per cent or some 712,000 sq ft is either taken up or subject of advanced leasing discussions. Of this space, approximately 263,000 sq ft has been committed by tech and media companies, including Amadeus and OpenLink.

Earlier media reports also tipped Agoda, Dentsu Aegis Network, Palo Alto Networks, ING, Itochu Singapore, and SAS Singapore as heading for Guoco Tower. Dentsu Aegis is expected to be the biggest tenant with about 100,000 sq ft.

GuocoLand has also named as new tenants The Straits Trading Company, which will be moving out of 9 Battery Road; Danone, which is exiting Goldbell Towers along Scotts Road; shoemaker Asics, which will be leaving PWC Building; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is exiting three locations.

The offices, which received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last month, are on the lower 38 levels of the 64-storey tower, which is Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres. Levels 39 and upwards of this tower comprise the 181-unit Wallich Residence. A second tower houses the 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Both of these components are expected to receive TOP between late this year and early 2017. The project also has a retail component, part of which has already received TOP.

Guoco Tower is counting on its prime location, flexible, efficient and scalable design, Tanjong Pagar Centre’s tightly integrated retail and lifestyle components, and of course, the prestige factor of being in Singapore’s tallest building as its selling points.

Most of the MNCs in Guoco Tower will be using it as their regional headquarters with average headcounts of 300 to 500 persons, coupled with relocations of many of their senior management staff from their other headquarters or regional offices to Singapore.

This would create a lot of demand for F&B, services, hotels and even housing in the area and catalyse Tanjong Pagar’s transformation. The gross effective monthly rents at Guoco Tower are estimated to be between S$8.50 and S$11.00 per square foot – comfortably above the average of S$7 to S$8 psf in the Tanjong Pagar office micromarket, and comparable to other premium Grade A developments in Marina Bay.