Investors give positive feedback to the Southern Islands’ development

The committee which oversees the development of the Southern Islands have consulted about 20 foreign and local investors over one year.

These investors, mainly in the resort business, have given mostly positive feedback.

This is revealed after the Singapore Tourism Board announced recently that it wants to develop a cluster of
Southern Islands.

The cluster of Southern Islands includes St John’s, Kusu and Lazarus. These islands have a combined size of about 140 football fields.

Over the last four years, reclamation took place on the islands, with water pipes and power lines set up.

And the islands’ two key assets – space and lush greenery – have caught the investors’ eyes.

“Some of them said that they thought these islands were very attractive from their experience because they are right at the door step of Singapore. One can view the beautiful skyline of Shenton Way with all the lights, and at the back – the natural greenery that is unspoilt,” said Pamelia Lee, Managing Director of Southern Island Development, Sentosa Leisure Group.

Other plus points include clean air and water, and the islands’ relative close proximity to Changi Airport.

After reclamation, Pulau Seringat is now connected to Kias and to the larger Lazaras Island. It is one of the
Southern Islands slated for development to attract visitors and investments, and it is only about a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland.

It has not been determined whether the islands would be sold as one single land parcel.

But once a project has been confirmed and announced, it could take just two years to complete it.

Ms Lee understands that the private sector would want a free hand in planning for the development in the islands.

“When we say we don’t want it as dense as a downtown Singapore, we want it to be low-rise. We want it to have lots of greenery, space – that we do know. But whether it’s going to be attap roof or coral stone or whatever, we leave to the private sector to give us their input.”

Many investors have indicated interest in building up-market and exclusive products on the islands.

But one thing’s for sure – Singaporeans would still have access to some parts of the islands even after development.

“Access should be offered to everybody but for different purposes. The beaches and islands are not big enough to take thousands of people and those who take the trouble to come should be given the opportunity to experience the islands, whether in a low-rise resort or in a beautiful nature belt,” Ms Lee added.

That way, Singaporeans would still be able to enjoy and study the natural gems on the islands.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 30 November 2006 

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