MRT boon for 3 sleepy parts of Singapore

There are likely to be more residential and integrated residential and commercial developments near Keppel Station in the future. The Keppel area is largely undeveloped, with empty tracts in areas, including the vicinity of these Spooner Road flats.
There are likely to be more residential and integrated residential and commercial developments near Keppel Station in the future. The Keppel area is largely undeveloped, with empty tracts in areas, including the vicinity of these Spooner Road flats.ST FILE PHOTO

Redevelopment potential around Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward stations

The areas around three new MRT stations announced last week may be sleepy now, but expect this to change down the track.

Redevelopment potential is ripe near the sites of Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward stations, experts say. The trio will be part of the sixth stage of the Circle Line, to be completed in 2025.

Keppel Station is to be in Keppel Road, near Keppel Distripark and Keppel Terminal; while Cantonment will be integrated with the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Prince Edward will be at one end of Shenton Way, near Palmer Road.

Other than Cantonment's site, zoned commercial, the other two are zoned as reserve sites under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Masterplan 2014.

This means the URA has much flexibility near the stations, said Ms Christine Li, director of Singapore research at Cushman & Wakefield.

As Cantonment will be an extension of the old railway station, ideas could include an integrated railway mall with a focus on food and beverage. It could also be a venue for cultural and lifestyle events to make use of the historic site, she said.

And, of course, it makes sense to have MRT users living nearby.

This is especially true for the thinly populated Keppel Station area. It is poised to be the gateway to the Southern Waterfront City and so it should see more residential and integrated residential and commercial developments, said Ms Li.

Few commercial projects are in the area, as it is in a comprehensive redevelopment zone - all to be under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme when Keppel docklands move out, said Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore research head.

So far, no GLS sites on the confirmed or reserve list are near the stations, but some mixed-development sites could be added in GLS programmes, he said.

But given the large supply of office space due from next year to 2018, it will be tough to get bidders excited about large office blocks.

Apart from undeveloped land in the three areas, the Government could slowly release the Marina Bay reclamation sites for development, Ms Li noted.

The new stations also bode well, longer term, for nearby properties.

On the residential side, these include Spottiswoode 18, Spottiswoode Residences, The Beacon and HDB estate Spottiswoode Park near Cantonment Station. 76 Shenton, completed last year, and Lumiere are near Prince Edward Station, noted R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

The closest condos to Keppel Station are The Pearl@Mount Faber and Mount Faber Lodge.

"Sales activity has been quite sluggish in the three areas from last year due to the total debt servicing ratio... The areas are also not typical public housing estates... where there are many upgraders from nearby HDB estates," Mr Ong said.

Spottiswoode condo prices fell about 5 per cent last year and 3 per cent in the first nine months of this year. Lumiere prices fell 8 per cent last year and about 5 per cent in the first nine months, he estimated.

In the Mount Faber area, prices fell about 7 per cent last year and 5 per cent in the first nine months.

But prices should rise as completion of the stations nears, he noted.

In the Cantonment area, office buildings like Southpoint will be served by two MRT stations - Cantonment and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations. Klapsons The Boutique Hotel will also gain, said Mr Cheong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'MRT boon for 3 sleepy parts of S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe