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M+S’ Duo to be centrepiece of Bugis rejuvenation in S’pore

SINGAPORE: M+S Pte Ltd’s new development Duo is set to be the centrepiece of the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority’s initiative to rejuvenate the Bugis district in Singapore.

M+S is a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Temasek Holdings. The company was set up in 2011 to develop four parcels of land in Marina South and two parcels in Ophir-Rochor in Singapore as Marina One and Duo integrated developments respectively.

According to a recent statement, Duo is designed by internationally acclaimed architect Ole Scheeren and has a gross development value of S$4 billion (RM10.2 billion).

Sited on 26,688 sq m, the integrated development comprises a 49-storey tower of 660 premium residences with views of Marina Bay, Raffles Place and Kampong Glam. There is another 39-storey tower comprising Grade A office space, a five-star hotel and a retail gallery — all set within a park-like environment. The office space is designed to meet a Green Mark Platinum rating.

Piling for the two towers was recently completed and expected to be ready by 2017.

“With an individual’s personal and working life getting busier, integrated developments that offer connectivity and convenience right to the doorstep are fast becoming the new lifestyle choice, rather than standalone residential developments,” said M+S chief operating officer Kemmy Tan.

“Duo was conceived as the future civic nexus of Bugis, set in a park-like environment with seamless connectivity via the Bugis MRT station serving the East West and upcoming Downtown lines, and nearby expressways,” he said.

Duo was conceived as the future civic nexus of Bugis.

Reflecting the global shift towards inner-city living, Singapore’s Bugis district is set to be the go-to centre for young professionals who want to live, play and work in a dynamic new hub. 

The once sleepy area has seen a major transformation over the past 10 years — the renaissance of the neighbouring historic Kampong Glam; the establishment of a key education precinct with the Singapore Management University at its centre; an increasingly bustling art and entertainment scene at Bras Basah; and the Beach Road conservation area.

“As the largest integrated development within the Bugis area, Duo will become the centrepiece of a vibrant business cluster designed to complement the Marina Bay and Raffles Place financial districts.

It is also a rare opportunity for anyone to own a piece of this historical collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore,” said Tan.

According to Knight Frank Singapore executive director (residential services) Tan Tee Khoon, Singapore’s proactive and holistic approach to chart future economic growth strategies fosters investor confidence in the country’s long-term economic stability.

“To support these long-term strategies, the various land development plans unveiled by the government recently provide impetus for new real estate opportunities for developers, citizens and foreign investors,” he said.

According to Knight Frank’s research, while cooling measures introduced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore have stabilised the property market and prepared it for external shocks, properties in the city-state are likely to be more resilient in the face of changes in the macroeconomic landscape.

It noted that Singapore property owners are less subject to the vagaries of currency exchange fluctuations in view of a stable and strengthening Singaporean dollar.

CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Singapore also supports the long-term outlook for residential properties there.

Duo has a gross development value of S$4 billion.

“Compared to the real estate investment markets of other countries, Singapore has no capital gains tax and mortgage rates are lower at 1% to 1.5% compared with average loan rates of 3% to 4% elsewhere. For those taking a long-term view, Singapore has no estate duties or inheritance tax,” said CBRE executive director (residential property) Joseph Tan.

CBRE is the marketing agent for Duo, while UEM Sunrise Bhd and CapitaLand Ltd are the project managers.


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 1, 2013.


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