Pulau Brani to house NTUC’s ‘Downtown South’, attractions akin to Universal Studios Singapore

Pulau Brani is now home to a port terminal, but the island is earmarked to house new attractions similar to the Universal Studios on Sentosa island, as well as a new resort called Downtown South for National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) members.

The land on which Keppel Club in the south of Singapore sits will be redeveloped to build 9,000 public and private housing units with waterfront promenades, greenery and open spaces.

These are part of wider city rejuvenation plans by the Government for Singapore’s southern coastline, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Sunday (Aug 18).

Called the Greater Southern Waterfront, it covers 30km of the coastline from the Gardens by the Bay East area to Pasir Panjang.

It occupies 2,000ha of land, which is six times the size of Marina Bay and double the size of Punggol.

Speaking at this year’s National Day Rally, Mr Lee gave more details on how the Government intends to redevelop the waterfront into residential, commercial and recreational use.

Back in 2013 during the National Day Rally, he had mooted a draft of how the area would be developed.

Plans to move the port terminals of PSA International at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, Pulau Brani and Pasir Panjang to the new Tuas port are already underway.

The city terminals are expected to move to Tuas by 2027, and the Pasir Panjang terminal by 2040.

“This will free up prime land for re-development. It will be an opportunity to reshape the Greater Southern Waterfront into a new place to live, work and play,” he said.


As for Brani Terminal, once it moves out, Pulau Brani could be developed together with Sentosa.

Besides having a new attraction similar to Universal Studio and a Downtown South — which was specifically requested by labour chief Ng Chee Meng for another resort similar to Downtown East in Pasir Ris — Mr Lee said that the southern waterfront will be linked up with its surrounding green areas from West Coast Park to East Coast Park.

Sentosa and the Rail Corridor — which runs from Tanjong Pagar in the south to Woodlands in the north — will also be connected, he added.

“With a new green heart in the centre, Singapore will be even more of a city in a garden,” he said.

For Sentosa, its beach areas will be revitalised and its nature and heritage trails expanded.

“There are many possibilities for fun and recreation,” Mr Lee noted.

Two old power stations in Pasir Panjang, which used to supply electricity in the 1960s but were decommissioned, would be redeveloped.

In April this year, the Government had called for the public to contribute ideas on how to rejuvenate these two power stations.

“We can find creative new uses for them, just like how we made St James Power Station, near VivoCity, into a nightlife destination,” Mr Lee added.


So far, several multinational companies such as Google, Cisco and Unilever already have offices near Labrador Park. More office spaces will be added to the Greater Southern Waterfront area, which will bring in more jobs, Mr Lee said.

Plans for housing projects on the site where Keppel Club now sits will be one of the first developments of the precinct.

In 2014, the Government said that the club’s lease would not get renewed, and it is expiring in two years’ time.

The club’s 44-ha site making way for residential estates was first announced in March this year, when the Urban Redevelopment Authority unveiled its 2019 draft masterplan.

Mr Lee said that there are also plans for more public and private housing in other areas of the southern precinct.

“With the Greater Southern Waterfront the size of two Punggols, you get a sense of the possibilities. Think of it as ‘Punggol by the Bay’,” he said.

The aim is for the precinct to be a place where “people can work near where they live, and live near where they work”.

“This will create life and activity both during the day and at night,” he added.


As part of the Government’s long-term plans to constantly redevelop Singapore’s urban landscapes, the Greater Southern Waterfront “will add yet more layers to the city”, Mr Lee said.

This has been a longstanding practice from when Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore and drew up its first town plans 200 years ago, and Singapore is now made up of “multiple layers and imprints of different eras”, he added.

“Over two centuries, we have built and rebuilt generations of buildings. Today, we have started a new downtown in Marina Bay and created a distinctive city skyline.”

Yet, while Marina Bay is still far from fully developed, the Government is already looking ahead for its next major move, Mr Lee said.

Looking back at Singapore’s port history, Mr Lee described how the various port terminals were built along the southern waterfront as the earlier ones reached its capacity.

Tanjong Pagar Terminal, which was first established in 1972, reached its limits and a decision was made to build a new container terminal at Pasir Panjang in 1991.

A similar change is happening again with the moving of the terminals to the new Tuas port, as PSA is supposedly able to double the volume of containers it handles once the move is over.

“When PSA moves out of the city and Pasir Panjang terminals, these old spaces will once again be vacant, another blank slate. A new generation will have another opportunity to imagine and build part of their vision for Singapore,” Mr Lee said.

He expressed hope that there will be a marker in the future Greater Southern Waterfront to remind Singaporeans that PSA was once housed in the area.

The marker could also be a reminder “that it was the same daring and ambition, the same drive for excellence and determination to prevail, that made PSA a success and will make the Greater Southern Waterfront a reality”, he said.

Source: Today – 18 Aug 2019

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