M-S likely to seek joint venture with established developer

With the land swap agreement between Singapore and Malaysia settled, market watchers have said the company in charge of developing the land parcels would likely seek a joint venture with an established developer.

The joint company, M-S Pte Ltd, is 60 per cent owned by Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional. The rest of it is owned by Temasek Holdings.

The Marina South site will be among the six land parcels to be jointly developed by M-S Pte Ltd. The other site is at Ophir-Rochor.

Both areas are white sites, which means they can be used for mixed developments like a combination of retail, residential and office space.

Market watchers said the sites could be put up for sale but they believe M-S Pte Ltd would prefer a joint venture with an established player.

SLP International executive director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said: “(The) M-S development will probably have a more active role after the two parcels of land are injected into its portfolio, so they can still participate in the development of these two sites and perhaps guide in the future development.

“Another reason is that there will be other joint ventures in Iskandar Malaysia, between Singapore and Malaysia. So (these) two sites can also be part of that bigger portfolio”.

The four parcels at Marina South have up to a gross floor area of 341,000 square metres.

Experts said this could accommodate a 50-60 storey building with a gross plot ratio of 13.

The two land parcels at Ophir-Rochor have a gross floor area of about 160,000 square metres. This could possibly accommodate a 25-storey building with a plot ratio of six.

Observers also expect developments at the Tanjong Pagar area once the railway station is relocated to Woodlands by July next year.

“The present railway track cuts across Singapore from north to south,” Mr Mak said.

“With its removal, there will be parcels of land formerly divided (by) the railway track (that) could be amalgamated, and their true market potential could be realised.

“For example a larger parcel of land could have greater flexibility in its development and therefore realise a higher market value.”

The land swap deal is part of the Points of Agreement (POA) signed in 1990 between Singapore and Malaysia.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Sep 2010

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