Marina One’s urban park premium

October 13, 2014 12:01 PM SGT
SINGAPORE: The developer of Marina One, M+S, is creating a 65,000 sq ft urban park the size of Raffles Place.
The park will sit in the centre of the development, flanked by two 34-storey residential towers and two 30-storey Grade A office blocks.
The urban park will have a 13m water fall, reflecting and mist pools, verdant garden and sky terraces.
These features are expected to create the environment and views not easily replicated elsewhere, and with the same premium commanded by apartments and co-ops with direct views of Central Park in New York.
Henry Steed, principal design director of ICN Design International, has been engaged as the landscape architect for Marina One.
He intends to create a multi-level garden concept, with a forest floor on the first level, filled with overhanging plants and foliage layers sourced from around Southeast Asia.
There will be restaurants on the fourth and 15th levels of the office towers, and Steed intends to create a “cloud forest” on those floors.
Steed likens the roof level of the office towers and penthouses of Marina One Residences to mountain tops, which he intends to turn into elegant gardens of miniature trees.
The “green lung” is a key feature of Marina One, as it enhances the environment and views for residents and office occupiers.
While most units will have park views, there will be some with views of the Straits of Singapore, says Joseph Tan, executive director of CBRE, one of the appointed marketing agents for Marina One Residences.
One of the merits of the development is that it is a fully integrated development, with office, retail and residential components, linked to four MRT lines.
“Astute and seasoned investors looking for a longterm investment will appreciate the potential upside that Marina One offers,” says Kemmy Tan, chief operating officer of M+S, the joint venture between Temasek Holdings and Khazanah Nasional.
The showflat of Marina One Residences will open on Sept 13, and the indicative price is an average of $2,600 psf.
Sources reckon prices will range from around $2,200 psf for low-floor units up to $3,000 psf for high-floor units with premium views.
According to M+S’ Tan, the price is comparable to recent transactions in the Marina Bay area.
At Marina Bay, existing developments such as the 1,111-unit The Sail and the 428-unit Marina Bay Residences are fully sold.
Even the 221-unit Marina Bay Suites is more than 90% sold.
Capital values have doubled or even trebled in some cases at The Sail, especially for those who bought units there when the project was launched a decade ago as the first residential development in Marina Bay.
From June to August, units at The Sail have been trading at prices from $1,742 psf to $3,122 psf, while units at Marina Bay Residences have changed hands at prices of $1,947 psf to $2,753 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Marina One Residences contains a total of 1,042 units.
The first tower of 521 units will be released in the first phase, and will comprise a mix of one- to four-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 657 to 2,250 sq ft.
More than 70% of the units are one- and two-bedroom types.
In Singapore, foreign groups or even public-listed Singapore-based developers with foreign shareholders who purchase private land are subject to the conditions under the qualifying certificate.
One of the conditions is that they have to complete construction within five years, and they are not allowed to lease out the units in the development for investment income.
Another condition is that they have to sell all the units in the project within two years of completion, failing which they will be subjected to a penalty.
In 2010, the government also imposed a project completion period of five years for residential development sites purchased under the government land sales programme.
Developers will also be hit by the additional buyer’s stamp duty of 15% if they do not sell all the units in the development within five years.
This applies to all residential development sites.
“However, Marina One has none of these restrictions,” says a property consultant who declined to be named.
“The developer is therefore under no pressure to sell out the units.” Most developers with new projects in the core central region, such as in the prime districts of 9 and 10, as well as in Sentosa Cove, are struggling with unsold stock.
The punitive property cooling measures in recent years have kept foreign buyers at bay, and left seasoned investors sitting on the fence, window shopping for bargains.
At Marina Bay, there is no known future supply apart from Marina One, points out CBRE’s Tan.
The project is expected to be completed in 2017.
Marina One will also be the only development in the Marina Bay area with its own urban park, and flanked by two other parks — the Marina Station Square and Central Linear Park, says M+S’s Tan.
This article appeared in the City & Country section of Issue 643 (Sept 15) of The Edge Singapore.