More innovative industrial developments from JTC

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can look forward to more innovative industrial developments from JTC Corporation.

Outlining its plans for the future, JTC says the 16 projects it is working on are expected to add 800,000 square metres of multi-user space by 2017.

JTC also expects industrial rents to continue to moderate in the coming years.

JTC is the lead industrial infrastructure developer in Singapore. It owns 81 percent of the 9,100 hectares of industrial land in Singapore as at the fourth quarter of 2013.

Over the years, JTC Corporation has developed specialised land for key business clusters, including the Seletar Aerospace Park, as well as providing space with shared facilities to help companies become more efficient.

To further intensify land use in the future, JTC is looking at developing integrated multi-user factories for the oil and gas sector, with provision for housing more than 1,000 foreign workers.

“We want to provide a facility where we have land-based factories, where if you need higher floor loading for heavy manufacturing, you can put it on the ground floor,” said Png Cheong Boon, CEO of JTC.

“We will have a warehouse; we can have light manufacturing space above it. We can have office space above that, as well as foreign workers dormitory too. So that way, a company that requires different types of space can locate there, including housing for their foreign workers.”

Another initiative that JTC is studying is “decking” over major roads and highways.

One example cited was the Ayer Rajah Expressway, which currently separates NUS and the Science Park from one-north.

“We want to build an integrated connected community,” said Mr Png.

“If there is a way for us to deck over AYE, and not just an overhead bridge but to build buildings across it, then it provides a contiguous space for people who are working or studying at NUS or Science Park to flow over to one-north and vice versa, and hopefully through this aspect we can build a more connected, integrated work-life and play community.”

JTC is presently in discussions with industry partners and trade associations on the development of innovative space and land.

JTC adds that its small footprint factories have seen good demand from SMEs, and that it is working on providing more of such spaces which could be ready by 2016 to 2017.

As a key player in the sector, JTC says industrial property prices have moderated since the introduction of seller’s stamp duty and loan curbs (TDSR) last year.

The prices rose by 3.5 per cent in 2013, compared to 9.7 per cent in the previous year. During the fourth quarter of 2013, JTC says the prices fell 1.4 per cent when compared against the third quarter of 2013.

JTC says about two million square metres of space will be added annually from 2014 to 2016, which is actually double the annual demand. It is hoped that this supply will help to moderate industrial rents going forward.

Mr Png said: “We think that the softening will continue in the first few quarters of this year, but a lot also depends on how well the economy is doing… Generally speaking, we think the rental prices will continue to be moderated in view of large supply coming on stream.”

JTC says currently the private sector owns about 85 per cent of multiple-user industrial space in Singapore, which are commonly used by SMEs.

This is up from 69 per cent in 2008 before JTC divested some of its industrial space.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 1 Apr 2014

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