AWARDS: M+S enhances work-live-play lifestyle

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/ EdgeProp
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October 12, 2018 3:08 PM SGT
M+S is 60% owned by Khazanah Nasional and 40% by Temasek Holdings, and was set up in 2011 to develop two mega integrated developments in Singapore — Marina One in the Marina Bay Financial District, and DUO in downtown Bugis. The company was named one of the recipients of the Top Developer Award for its development and management of Marina One and DUO, at the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards 2018 on Oct 3.
Marina One comprises two residential towers with 1,042 luxury units, 1.88 million sq ft of Grade A office space in two office towers, and a 140,000 sq ft retail podium. DUO is located beside the Bugis MRT station and comprises one residential tower — the 660-unit DUO Residences — and a second tower consisting of 20 floors of Grade A office space spanning 570,000 sq ft, as well as the five-star, 342-room Andaz Singapore hotel by Hyatt.
M+S is behind the development of the integrated developments DUO (above) and Marina One (Pictures: Samuel Issac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Both developments were completed last year and have become iconic architectural developments in their respective areas, says Kemmy Tan, CEO of M+S. Beyond that, she is happy that a community has begun to develop around both developments, comprising residents, office workers, and weekend shoppers. The wide variety of retail and entertainment options available in Marina One and DUO has transformed the way office tenants and residents work, live, and play, as they spend most of their time in and around the developments throughout the day without having to step out.
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Following the completion of the integrated developments, M+S is now fully focused on stabilising the operations of the various residential, retail, and office components, and optimising their commercial value, says Tan. Only a handful of residential units at DUO remain unsold, while the office space is almost entirely committed. The Andaz Singapore hotel has also seen its occupancy increase, and the retail podium has become a dining destination in the area. At Marina One, 90% of the office space has been committed and 80% of the retail space leased, while more than half of the residential units are sold. Both projects have “exceeded expectations”, she says.
M+S will do more to foster the community bonds within our developments, so that residents can truly experience the lifestyle of an integrated development, says Tan.
“We are now able to devote more time and resources towards enriching the well-being, lifestyle and experience of our community,” says Tan. This will be done through placemaking efforts such as organising activities, participating in district-wide events, and championing social and environmental causes. M+S is playing its part in ground-up urban placemaking efforts, and is one of the major stakeholders in URA’s pilot Business Improvement District programme for the Marina Bay district. Announced on Sept 18, this programme encourages stakeholders like corporations and community members to take an active role in transforming districts and activating public spaces.
In the Marina Bay area, where Marina One is located, M+S is collaborating with seven other stakeholders to organise heritage trails, and arts and fitness activities. They will also set up regular pop-up stalls and hold activities at public spaces within the development such as The Promontory and The Lawn to enhance the area’s vibrancy and attract crowds to the district in the evenings. Other joint efforts include enhancing the pedestrian connectivity between developments in the area through better wayfinding signs, as well as implementing joint marketing platforms among stakeholders.
The four-bedroom show unit at DUO Residences
The developer is also improving the quality of service it offers tenants and residents by utilising the latest property technologies to connect Marina One and DUO. It engaged Habitap to develop a proprietary application called MySphere, which allows office tenants and residents to not only book facilities in their own development, but in the other as well. For example, office tenants at Marina One can use the app to book a meeting room or ballroom at Andaz Singapore in DUO. Likewise, office tenants at DUO can use it to book the auditorium at Marina One.
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The app also makes it convenient for visitors to the office buildings, as they will be authorised by the office owners or tenants with a code on their smartphone to access the security gantries. Other features include contacting maintenance staff or the concierge service at the respective developments, as well as making reservations at any restaurant in DUO or Marina One.
Many office workers in both developments have lunch in the various F&B outlets within the developments. They also frequently hold meetings in the shared spaces such as the hotel lounge at Andaz in DUO, and the Green Heart at Marina One, Tan adds. The Green Heart is a verdant sanctuary surrounded by the tall buildings within Marina One, and has a waterfall and reflecting pool. After work, many also enjoy entertainment and activities held in the communal spaces, such as yoga classes in the Green Heart, or an outdoor movie at DUO’s plaza. “Residents are truly experiencing the lifestyle of an integrated development,” says Tan of M+S.
After work, many office workers enjoy activities held in communal spaces at Marina One, such as yoga classes in the Green Heart (Picture: M+S)
Buyers and tenants have responded positively to the projects despite the latest property cooling measures implemented in July. The timing of the measures was a surprise, Tan says, as she feels that buying momentum in the property had been gradually picking up since 3Q2017. “But the measures will ensure the long-term stability of the market for owner- occupiers,” she says. Since the measures mainly target the investor segment, Tan adds that these buyers will become more “astute”, and will seek out properties with “bankable attributes” like a prime address, ready pool of tenants and limited supply in the short to medium term in the area, as well as good accessibility and transport links.
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While M+S’s accomplishments have been recognised by the EdgeProp award, Tan says “we can do, and will do, more to foster the community bonds within our developments, so that residents [and office tenants] can truly experience the lifestyle of an integrated development”.