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URA Master Plan Hot Spot: Greater Southern Waterfront

Live, Work, Play at Greater Southern Waterfront

At the National Day Rally on 19 August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outlined plans on education, retirement age, climate change and the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW).

From a real estate perspective, the key highlight is the development of up to 9,000 public and private residential homes at the Keppel Club site, and the additional commercial space and amenities in the GSW. The first residential site at the current Keppel Club is likely to be released after its lease expires in 2021.

While we are not privy to what is the proportion of private and public housing, new amenities are likely to be planned, such as schools, a neighbourhood centre with a market/food-court, recreational facilities and a community lifestyle club to support the future residential population in this precinct. From a price angle, there is potential for existing residential developments at Keppel Bay and Pasir Panjang Road to enjoy a price lift when new residential projects are launched for sale.

This increase in population in the area will need to be well-supported with the creation of more jobs via the adding of more office and business spaces in the vicinity. The success of Harbourfront precinct and Mapletree Business City have proven that these models are welcome by not just corporates, but also today’s workforce who enjoy the convenience of having facilities and amenities near to their work place. The additional commercial space will also translate to a stronger leasing market for commercial landlords like Keppel Corporation, Mapletree Commercial Trust and Frasers Centrepoint who already have a presence in the GSW.

The connectivity of the GSW to the rest of the island will be further enhanced when the extension of the Circle Line is completed in 2025. Three new stations will be added to connect Harbourfront station to Marina Bay station, thus completing the loop of the Circle Line which connects the downtown financial district to Mountbatten, Paya Lebar, Serangoon, Bishan, Thomson, Bukit Timah, Holland Village, one-north and Pasir Panjang.

The various green areas of GSW will be linked to create a seamless connection, starting from West Coast Park to East Coast Park, and linking the Rail Corridor to Sentosa. The strategy to establish our City in the Garden accolade will be further boosted with this extensive green linkage network, enhancing the biodiversity, health and wellness and liveability for residents and visitors in the GSW.

For existing residents at Sentosa Cove, they can look forward to more recreational options through the revitalisation of the island’s beach areas and the expansion of its nature and heritage trails, which will be enhanced while keeping to Sentosa’s island character. In addition, more amenities will also be close at hand with the development of Pulau Brani. This could lead to more people taking another look at the bungalows as well as the condominiums at Sentosa Cove.

Stretching over 2,000 hectares of land which is about six times the size of Marina Bay, the GSW is poised to be a key game-changer precinct that will cement Singapore’s quest to be a Southern Gateway of Asia, which will be fully realised with a long-term planning of over 10 to 20 years. Possibilities of creative land use zoning across GSW are aplenty and having certain degree of flexibility in development planning, while retaining the overarching goals of progressive urban solutions, will be essential for future real estate to keep up with market trends.

With regards to the impact of climate change on Singapore, PM Lee surfaced the threat of rising water levels at critical low-lying areas at the East Coast and Jurong Island. The government is making plans to strengthen coastal defences by building a second pump house on the opposite end of Marina Barrage, building polders and dykes, and reclaiming a string of islands from Marina East to Changi. Recognising that this will be a long term project stretching up to 100 years and may cost more than S$100 billion, the government will invest in the engineering solutions needed to defend Singapore’s coastlines and protect its infrastructure and people from the effects of rising sea levels.