This article was first published on Dec 3, 2014
Singapore's largest mixed development will soon be ready for business after seven years of work and frustrating delays.
The 1.65 million sq ft South Beach project in Beach Road, opposite Raffles Hotel, will open in phases over the next 12 months.
Its first corporate tenant arrives early next year.
South Beach is an ambitious project with two towers - of 34 and 45 storeys - comprising an office block, luxury homes and a Philippe Starck-designed hotel.
The development will also have 37,000 sq ft of retail space.
The South Beach, as the hotel is called, will have 654 luxury rooms and direct links to the Suntec City Convention Centre and Esplanade MRT station. It opens its doors in April.
Despite a sluggish property market, the project's office component has done well.
A third of the 500,000 sq ft of office space has been leased, while a further 50 per cent of leases are being firmed up now, said Mr Aloysius Lee, chief executive of the South Beach Consortium.
TMF Group, a multinational professional services firm, will take up 16,000 sq ft, while Rabobank will occupy about 30,000 sq ft at the North Tower office building.
"The South Beach team is currently in advanced negotiation with parties to take up another 10 per cent, and is confident of hitting 90 per cent occupancy by early 2015," said Mr Lee.
There will be 190 residential units, ranging from 950 sq ft two-bedders to 6,500 sq ft five-bedroom penthouses with their own swimming pools.
The Non-Commissioned Officers Club building and three former army blocks, the site of Singapore's first national service enlistment exercise in 1967, will be incorporated into the project to house a 29,000 sq ft private club and hotel facilities.
South Beach is being developed by City Developments (CDL) and Malaysia's IOI Group.
The project was initially slated for completion in 2012, but was hit by delays.
The consortium that secured the 376,296 sq ft plot in 2007 had originally comprised Dubai World unit Istithmar, United States-based Elad Group and CDL, each holding a one-third stake. But the financial crisis in November 2008 led CDL to defer building plans, after which Elad and Istithmar both dropped out.
Preparations to market the project picked up after IOI Group entered the consortium in 2011. The project's residential unit prices are still under wraps.