New retail, hotel & office project on Orchard Road

Singapore’s Orchard Road will be adding another new face to its shopping belt.

A retail, hotel and office development will soon come up at the sites of the former Specialists’ Centre and Hotel Phoenix, as well as Orchard Emerald mall.

The project, costing some S$700 million, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2013.

A groundbreaking ceremony on Friday marked the start of the redevelopment of three neighbouring sites on Orchard Road.

Where the former Specialists’ Centre and Hotel Phoenix used to be, a new 4-star hotel with about 500 rooms will come up, along with nearly 21,000 square metres of retail space.

United Engineers (UEL) is the developer of the site, which is wholly owned by OCBC.

Across the road, the former Orchard Emerald site will contain around 3,500 square metres of office space and 2,700 square metres of retail space. The site is wholly-owned and developed by Great Eastern Holdings.

The two sites will be connected by a glass overhead bridge across Orchard Road, which developer UEL said is the first in Singapore.

UEL is not concerned that its new development is a relatively latecomer in the saturated Orchard Road shopping strip.

Jackson Yap, CEO, United Engineers Limited, said: “We are the last of the jigsaw that would make this into a significant shopping area. The key to this is connectivity.

“You can go seamlessly in bad weather and so on, into the three shopping malls. You can cross the street, and also shop on the other side of the road.”

The new development will also be connected by passageways to its neighbours 313@Somerset and Orchard Central. Its Basement 1 will also be connected to the Somerset MRT station.

UEL said it is confident it can generate decent foot traffic.

Mr Yap said: “Phoenix Hotel has always been well-occupied, partly because of its location and also its proximity to many shopping malls. So we expect the hotel to be full and the hotel is full because we have good shopping tenants!”

A key tenant will be a new Singapore Visitors Centre, but the developers are keeping mum on the retail mix for now.

Observers say the new development may also feature some high-end brands, given Orchard Road’s reputation as a premier shopping belt.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 16 Jul 2010

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