Marina Bay set to get even livelier with more homes, offices and shops

More growth in store with new homes, offices and shops: Analysts

MARINA Bay is already a flourishing neighbourhood, with hundreds of its own residents and many thousands more people streaming in each day to work and play.

But the area is still very much a work in progress, said analysts, with more homes, offices and shops set to be built there over the next few years.

Several empty plots are also yet to be developed. Analysts and major tenants were reflecting on the area's progress as the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) was officially launched on Wednesday.

At the launch, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hailed the latest addition to the Marina Bay skyline.

He noted that the project added 3 million square feet of prime office space to the Central Business District - more than twice the office space at Raffles Place.

It also set a new standard for green buildings.

With its luxury apartments and restaurants, the centre also offered a unique work, live and play environment, he said.

"There are beautiful apartments overlooking the Bay - a marvellous place to catch National Day fireworks.

"Our new downtown is steadily taking shape," he added.

Other projects that are in the pipeline include the 221- unit Marina Bay Suites residential project, expected to be completed later this year, and Marina One, the mixed development by Temasek Holdings and Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional, which is projected to be ready in 2017.

These and other developments will bring even more life to Marina Bay soon, said property consultancy CBRE's executive director of office services, Mr Moray Armstrong.

"The future success of commercial development in Marina Bay looks assured with impressive upcoming developments such as Asia Square's Tower 2, which incorporates the Westin Hotel, V on Shenton scheduled to be completed in mid-2016 and Marina One," said Mr Armstrong.

"At around 1.8 million sq ft, the latter project represents the largest office development currently being undertaken in the city."

He added that the offices at Marina Bay are not only big, but have also set a new standard for the commercial market here.

"In bringing on line world- class buildings, the developers have made a telling contribution to raising the quality of Singapore's office stock. This has undoubtedly enhanced the city's ability to attract new corporate headquarters," he said.

German financial group Allianz, for example, inked a deal to lease 90,000 sq ft in Asia Square Tower 2 last year.

Asia Square Tower 1 is already home to companies such as Citi, Google and Julius Baer.

Tenants at MBFC include Standard Chartered, Nomura and DBS Bank.

StanChart Singapore's chief executive Ray Ferguson said the area has blossomed in the past couple of years.

"Now, employees of global financial institutions such as ourselves enjoy the whole variety of lifestyle amenities in Marina Bay, including recreation, shopping, dining, cultural events and entertainment."

Knight Frank's head of research, Ms Alice Tan, noted that this is really just the beginning for the Marina Bay area.

"There is still a white site in the area that is available for development, and several other plots that the Government has yet to make available," she said.

"All these new land plots will slowly morph the area, so that in the long term, the whole Central Business District can be further expanded, complementing the future Tanjong Pagar waterfront city."