One-north district sees healthy growth but traffic woes persist

The one-north district has been a bright spot for real estate development in Singapore this year.

Launched in 2001, the business park is now home to more than 400 companies with about 46,000 workers.

Earmarked as Singapore’s technological and innovation centre, one-north started out as a Biotechnology hub before expanding to include Information Technology and Media.

One-north’s master planner JTC Corporation said about 1.7 million square metres of office space has been built in the area and the park now spans across Biopolis near Buona Vista to Fusionopolis and Launchpad near Ayer Rajah Cresent.

The occupancy rate for office space is averaging more than 90 per cent for the whole district.

Director of JTC’s New Estates Division Aaron Tham said: “The office take up rate is quite good. In Biopolis we are doing more than 80 per cent. In Fusionopolis and Launchpad areas here where all the startups are, we are doing well over 90 per cent.”

Analysts such as International Property Advisor CEO Ku Swee Yong said that the One-north template has been positive as large corporations act as anchors for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“By and large this area has been very successful in not just capturing the multinational companies to set up a strong base… but also researchers, supply chain partners of these large companies and startup companies who are supplying content and services to these large companies.

“So overall I would say the community has been built up very well. The entire ecosystem is probably matured enough to have this entire science park and industrial estate sustain itself very comfortably,” said Ku.


Despite its rapid growth, there are still some growing pains.

Traffic congestion is one issue for the business park – worsened by the ongoing construction.

Developer JTC said it recognises the problem and has been working to improve connectivity over the past year.

Mr Tham said: “We think hard about adding supply into the system… For example, we put in place the one north rider in July 2016. It’s a high capacity shuttle bus.

“Another measure we are taking is the building of the Mediapolis flyover, which is located at one end of Mediapolis, near Portsdown Avenue. We are almost 50 per cent done in constructing this flyover and it should be ready by the middle of next year. It will help the cars to get in and out of Mediapolis even quicker,” he added.

Looking ahead, JTC added that it is still barely half-way into one-north’s 40 years masterplan development.

“There is still the whole of Ayer Rajah industrial estate where there is a lot of empty land that we can keep for future developments,” said Mr Tham.

“We are fortunate that we are given a 40 year development time frame and not required to quickly develop one-north within 5 years. With this development time frame we can prepare for the future better,” he added.

In keeping up with its focus on cutting edge technology, JTC has also opened up one-north for the test-bedding of autonomous vehicles this year, with deployment targeted for 2020.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Dec 2016

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