COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

What to expect from the future Jurong Lake District

A so-called ‘Sentosa Cove in the suburbs’ is one thing.

Although the area around Jurong East has been rapidly developed in recent years, with new shopping malls, offices, a hotel and a hospital, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Eugene Lim, key executive officer of ERA believes that more developments are upcoming, including the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Terminus, Jurong Region and Cross Island MRT lines. Moreover, being Singapore’s 2nd CBD, it will also be home to many high quality commercial projects.

Christine Li, research director at Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) meanwhile adds that the success of Jurong Lake District as the second CBD will also provide MNCs and local enterprises an alternative if they do not wish to be operating from the more expensive CBD locations.

Li notes that Singapore's CBD is fairly built up with the exception of Marina Bay, but the occupancy cost is also the highest there compared to other parts of the CBD and suburban decentralised locations.

“Given a town as big as Bishan will be developed in Tengah over the next decade or so, along with its next door development of the Jurong Innovation District, Jurong regional centre is envisioned to be not just a centre for economic and administrative activities, but also a centre for culture, sustainability, education, health and recreation, allowing its residents to access professional, educational and recreational facilities at their door step,” she said.

Going forward, Lim believes it is likely that the Jurong Lake District will transform into an even more desirable living destination than it is today in the next 10-15 years.

“Going forward, we can expect more employment opportunities as increasingly more jobs will be created in the years to come. As the area grows in importance, we can expect housing demand to increase as well; and this will enhance property values in Jurong as a whole,” he said.

But in order to realize a better future for Jurong Lake District, C&W’s Li that the success of smart city is essential. “We reckon that the government could expand things like smart mobility, smart taxis, intelligent transport system to make it more friendly to non-drivers. Office buildings could also go towards more campus-like environment with the aid of smart mobility devices,” she said.

Li adds that the success of smart city could further attract technology companies which have already achieved certain sizes and would like to move to cheaper locations for Research and Development (R&D) activities.

“We could possibly see things like Airbnb campus, or Facebook institution sprung up in the vicinity, given the close proximity of the district to the tertiary institutions,” she noted.

Likewise, Li sees a possibility of injecting another business hotel, with a convention centre to capture transit travellers when the HSR terminus is up. Jurong Lake District, she said, could try to incorporate a range of landed and low rise condominiums with smart elements and waterfront views as their selling points, giving rise to perhaps a more affordable “Sentosa Cove in the suburbs”.

“Over the longer term, the diversity of commercial activities and housing options could help to underpin demand for residential housing markets,’ she said.

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