Ophir-Rochor to see mix of residential & commercial development: analysts

The Ophir-Rochor area is touted as the next downtown district, with plans for it to be an extension of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).

It will now be developed by a Singapore-Malaysia joint venture, following Monday’s land swap between the countries.

After years of negotiation, Singapore and Malaysia finally agreed to a deal on Malayan railway land that cuts through the heart of Singapore.

In exchange, Malaysia has accepted six land parcels in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.

One analyst estimates that under current market conditions and based on recent land sales, the Marina sites could be worth between S$3.5 billion and S$5 billion, while the Ophir parcels could fetch S$2 billion.

The two land parcels at Orphir Road have been designated as “white sites”, which means the land can be used for high-value commercial, hotel or residential projects, thus allowing for greater flexibility.

With the financial and shopping districts within close proximity, analysts said the sites will likely be used for a mix of residential and commercial developments.

“The government has in the last 1 to 1.5 years been focusing mainly in the Marina Bay area to service the financial district. Now they are looking at overall development, at expanding the tourism areas,” said Colin Tan, director of Research & Consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International.

The Singapore government has not released details of the land it receives from the deal.

But analysts said beyond the value of the Malayan railway land, Singapore will also gain from the potential value unlocked in the areas surrounding these sites.

Nicholas Mak, executive director of Research & Consultancy at SLP International said: “Some of these other sites will also benefit, because now they can be amalgamated once the railway track is removed, and this will allow greater flexibility in its development and allow the land which is currently adjacent to the railway track to realise their full market potential.”

And with Tanjong Pagar slated to be developed into a waterfront city once the port’s lease expires in 2027, analysts said ownership of the railway land will allow for better long-term planning.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Sep 2010

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