Power Combination
PALACE Magazine|Issue 26
We discover if the way forward in the property sector is to combine the merits of retail, residential and office elements into mixed-use developments
Leong Boon Hoe

When The Sail @ Marina Bay was completed in 2008, it caught people’s attention for several reasons. It was one of the first residential developments in the Marina Bay or New Downtown area. Residents enjoy a magnificent view of the bay and the city. Starchitects Peter Pran and Timothy Johnson with leading design firm NBBJ designed the sail-shaped twin towers. And it was, and still is, one of Singapore’s tallest residential development in the city. What many people may not remember is that it was one of the earlier mixed-use developments where the developer allocated some 29,000 sq ft of the total gross floor area for retail use on the ground floor, created an underground mall that also links to the Marina Bay Financial Centre, and onwards to Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Station.

Mixed-use developments combining residences with other real estate uses have been part of the Singapore property scene for some time. Within the Central Business District (CBD), Concourse Skyline (office/residential/retail), V on Shenton (residential/office), Duo (residential/ office/retail/hotel) and recently Marina One (residential/office/retail) were the new additions to the city fabric dominated by office towers and lately, residential towers. Notably, Duo and Marina One probably signalled the coming of age of massive mixed-use developments with transportation linkages becoming important nodes of Singapore’s city extension and where activities gravitate (both developed by M+S Pte Ltd, a 60:40 joint venture by Malaysia’s strategic investment fund, Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited).

But mixed-use developments are not unique to Singapore’s city centre. In city fringe locations and the suburbs, there are also several of such developments with both residential with retail components, from Watertown in Punggol to Northpoint City in Yishun.

Developments such as Sengkang Grand Residences even combine other community amenities such as a bus interchange or a community club.

Mixed-use developments may also be linked to a vital transportation node, often an MRT station. Examples include Park Place Residences at Paya Lebar Quarter (residential/office/retail) by Australian developer Lendlease at Paya Lebar MRT station and The Woodleigh Residences (residential/ retail) at Woodleigh MRT station.

THE SCENE STEALERS

In the central business district, some significant projects have taken the concept of mixed-use developments to new heights – some in more ways than one. The 290-metre tall Guoco Tower, Singapore’s tallest building, is much more than just about “mixing the different uses”. It is an integrated development – a vertical city with Wallich Residence, its luxury residences sitting on top Guoco Tower, a Grade A office tower. The development also boasts a five-star hotel, a retail mall, and even an urban park. And the project offers a direct connection to the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station.

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