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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Jurong Lake District development to create 100,000 new jobs

Sectors that will benefit are maritime, infrastructure, and technology.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) unveiled the draft master plan for Jurong Lake District (JLD), aiming to achieve a Central Business District (CBD) with adaptable spaces for the future economy.

According to Cushman & Wakefield director for research Christine Li, URA intends to leverage on JLD’s proximity to the High Speed Rail terminus and Tuas mega-port to create 100,000 new jobs in the maritime, infrastructure and technology sectors.

"Given the standard space provision of 90 sq ft/worker, this would translate into a requirement of approximately 9 million sq ft of new office space," she said.

She added, "As there is currently only approximately 1.6 msf of office space in Jurong, this would result in a more than 5 times increase of office stock in the area. There is also the question of whether URA will reduce the future supply of land parcels in Marina Bay to reduce the risk of an oversupply of office space islandwide."

Meanwhile, JLL head of research and consultancy Tay Huey Ying said most businesses still need that financial push to locate outside the CBD.

"Drawing from Hong Kong’s experience, a rental gap of at least 60% between the CBD and outside CBD Grade A rents would be necessary to motivate businesses to consider an outside CBD outfit," she explained.

One way to reach this gap, she mentioned, would be for Singapore to moderate the increase in the supply of Grade A office space in the CBD while at the same time, ramping up the supply outside the CBD.

"In this regard, given Singapore’s small economy and the lack of hinterland to leverage on for demand of office space, it would be desirable to concentrate efforts in developing a few as opposed to many growth areas at a time," she said.

She furthered, "This approach will facilitate the building of a critical mass of supporting businesses and amenities, as well as live-in population – all of which are important locational criteria for businesses. The successful development of the Tampines Regional Centre can be attributed largely to this targeted approach which the URA adopted in the 1990’s."

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