Government to release more sites for office use to meet demand

The government is set to release more sites for office use through its land sales programme to meet increasing demand.

Besides land sales, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the government would also consider releasing existing sites.

And this includes freeing up vacated government office sites in the city area.

In land-scarce Singapore, releasing space for office use requires careful planning.

To meet the growing demand, the Central Boulevard and Beach Road sites have been released.

The National Development Minister said if those sites are not enough, more downtown sites would be put up for sale.

And if there is still a need for space after that, the government will consider providing “transition office space”.

Mr Mah said: “I think all of these moves will deal not just with the immediate problem but also with the longer term issue of supply and demand.

“Rest assured that there is sufficient space for expansion of the commercial sector and the office sector in the longer run. But we need to deal with the immediate term as well and this is what I want to emphasise.”

He was speaking to reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for a new bridge at Marina Bay.

The bridge will be built at a cost of S$90 million (US$59 million).

When completed in 2009, it will be open to vehicles and pedestrians who will enjoy a 3.5km walking route around the bay.

Mr Mah said: “I think the bridge groundbreaking ceremony that we have today is another significant development in the series of development that we are seeing around the bay.

“We already have the flyer; we’ve the IR (Integrated Resort), BFC (Business and Financial Centre), the Sail and Collyer Quay. So the bridge is, in a way, starting to tie up all these developments together and when it is completed, it will physically tie everybody together.”

The bridge is part of the government’s S$2 billion (US$1.3 billion) investment in infrastructure to develop the area.

To make Marina Bay more vibrant, a series of sporting events will be held there every year.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 30 March 2007

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