Thursday, 21 February 2013

PM Lee, PM Najib launch joint developments in Singapore and Johor

Marina One set to raise bar for future integrated developments
By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel NewsAsia, 19 Feb 2013

The Marina One mixed-use development in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District (CBD) will be a coveted business and lifestyle destination that will raise the bar for integrated developments and act as a catalyst to attract and grow new businesses.

That is the vision of M+S, a joint venture company owned by Malaysia's Khazanah Holdings Bhd and Singapore's Temasek Holdings, that is working on the landmark project.

M+S also said Marina One, designed by world renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven, marks a brand new chapter in the Marina Bay Masterplan.

Its design was unveiled on Tuesday by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Najib Razak, who are holding their Leaders' Retreat.

M+S said Marina One will be completed in 2017, with a gross floor area of 3.67 million square feet and is valued at S$7 billion.

It consists of Marina One Residences, Marina One Offices as well as a retail podium.

Marina One Residences comprises two towers of 1,042 luxury city residences, ranging from one- to four- bedroom units, including penthouses. These will be launched in the second half of the year.

Marina One Offices -- with east and west towers -- offer 1.88 million square feet of prime office space.

Its crown jewels will be two 100,000 square feet office floor plates, one of the largest in Asia.

Marina One will also have a retail podium called The Heart, which will also serve as a sanctuary and green space.

The development will also incorporate a unique garden ecosystem by landscape architect Gustafson Porter, best known for their world-class design of Singapore's Bay East, Gardens by the Bay.

PM Lee said he is happy to see the bricks and mortar starting to come up on site.

He added: "It's going to be an iconic project in the middle of our new business district for many, many more years to come. This is a project that both countries will be proud of and which will thrive and prosper in our city and friendship."

Mr Najib said he is excited to see the design for himself.

"I think it's a wonderful design. I think we have a real winner in this Marina One and it will certainly fulfil our expectations... A landmark, an iconic building and what we see today is the beginning of that iconic building," he added.

The two leaders were also briefed on the progress of the other joint project located near Kampong Glam.

The project, called DUO, includes office, residential and hotel components.

It sits on 160,000 square metres of land and is valued at S$4 billion.

The DUO and Marina One are part of six land parcels jointly developed by Singapore and Malaysia under a land swop deal agreed on in 2010.

$3.2b township on Johor island
Joint-venture project will come up in Danga Bay
By Robin Chan, The Straits Times, 20 Feb 2013

A DEAL to develop a $3.2 billion waterfront township in Johor was sealed yesterday in yet another major Singapore-Malaysia investment in the Iskandar region.

The joint venture along Johor's southern coast is between CapitaLand Malaysia, a subsidiary of Singapore's listed company CapitaLand, and Temasek Holdings on one side and Malaysia's Iskandar Waterfront Holdings on the other.

To be built on a man-made island on Danga Bay, the residential community will occupy 28.9ha on a plot about one-third the size of Gardens by the Bay.

It will be built in phases over 10 to 12 years and will have high-rise and landed homes, as well as a marina, shopping mall, restaurants, serviced residences, offices and recreational facilities.

The project is CapitaLand's first direct large-scale township investment and development in Malaysia.

"Given the close proximity and the strong bilateral ties between Malaysia and Singapore, and the increasing investor confidence in Iskandar Malaysia, CapitaLand finds this a compelling investment opportunity in a new upcoming development region," said Mr Lim Ming Yan, president and group chief executive of CapitaLand.

The signing of the agreement among the three companies was held at Danga Bay Convention Centre and witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman thanked both leaders for their efforts in deepening ties between the two countries, which paved the way for the project.

"This joint venture is a classic example of the feel-good sentiment now prevailing on both sides of the border," he said.

The negotiations for the deal were "tough going" he said, noting that it took 21/2 years to finalise.

He expressed the hope that its successful conclusion "will give confidence to others waiting on the sidelines that investing in Iskandar is an opportunity not to be missed".

While large Malaysian companies have long invested in Singapore in sectors from manufacturing to property and tourism, only Singapore manufacturers have ventured across the border, he said.

But he observed a change: "We now see a new trend with major players investing in real estate development across the Causeway."

He called on more companies to "tap the enormous potential for property development that Iskandar has to offer" as he welcomed developers, town planners and others to invest.

The Danga Bay township development is located in one of five flagship zones earmarked for special development in Iskandar Malaysia.

Mr Abdul Ghani said the location is a prized piece of land but "in the spirit of Malaysian hospitality, we decided to give our best to our neighbours".

CapitaLand Malaysia's stake in the joint venture is 51 per cent, Iskandar Waterfront's is 40 per cent and Temasek's, 9 per cent, and together they will pay $324 million to acquire the freehold land.

2,600 homes in 2 wellness centres
By Esther Teo, The Straits Times, 20 Feb 2013

MORE than 2,600 homes will rise on the two wellness centres in Medini Iskandar, in Johor.

The two projects have a combined gross development value of RM3 billion (S$1.2 billion) and will also offer other facilities such as serviced apartments and shops.

With a strong focus on wellness - incorporating nature elements and services such as spas and medical facilities - they are designed to meet the increasing demand for a well-balanced life, said developer Pulau Indah Ventures (PIV).

Yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony of the urban wellness project named Afiniti.

Sitting on a 5 acre site in Medini North, it caters to corporate professionals and comprises a corporate training centre, serviced apartments, a wellness centre, shops and 147 homes.

The other project is Avira, a resort wellness centre at Medini Central. It consists of a total of 2,491 units of bungalows, semi- detached homes, terraces and condos, as well as commercial space.

The first phase of the residential launch for both projects is expected in June or July.

These projects are part of a landmark land swop deal involving former railway land that will see both countries developing land sites in Singapore and Johor.

The developers are "optimistic" about both Medini projects. They are aiming for buyers from the post-war baby-boomer generation, many of whom have reached retirement age or will do so soon.

Afiniti is developed by PIV, a 50:50 joint venture between Khazanah and Temasek, while Avira is developed by a joint venture between PIV and Malaysian firm Eastern & Oriental.

As for the Iskandar development area as a whole, PM Lee predicted "a lot of spillover from Singapore companies that want to expand or companies that want to come to Singapore but can't quite fit into Singapore".

He added: "I think Iskandar offers them a prime opportunity and as long as the Malaysian government pursues this policy to develop Iskandar and to link up with Singapore, I think the prospects are very good."

The two prime ministers' visit to Medini capped a day that started with talks in Singapore and a visit to the Marina One project being jointly developed by Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings.

PM Lee said Marina One is very important to both countries and he expects it to become an "iconic" building in Singapore's new business district.


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