Singapore Marina Bay Mixed-Use Site May Attract Bids Above $800 Million Amid Housing Boom

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will auction a prime waterfront residential and commercial site on the edge of Singapore’s Marina Bay financial district amid surging property demand in the city-state.

The 12,245-square-meter plot at Marina Gardens Lane—overlooking the Marina Reservoir and the Strait of Singapore—can be developed into a residential condominium project with up to 790 apartment units and commercial space at the ground level, the URA said on Monday. The tender for the property will close in June 2023.

Based on the allowable gross floor area of 68,573 square meters, the site could attract bids between S$1.07 billion ($790 million) and S$1.15 billion, according to estimates by real estate broker OrangTee & Tie.

“We expect developers to show keen interest in the plot as it is the first parcel to be launched in the Marina South precinct,” Steven Tan, CEO of OrangeTee & Tie said by email. “As the final bid price will likely cross S$1 billion, developers may form joint ventures in order to reduce the development risk of this site. There may be between two and five bidders for this parcel.”

The site is the latest property to be auctioned by URA in the Marina Bay district since selling a hotel and residential site to Malaysian developer IOI Properties for S$1.5 billion in September 2021. The government is releasing more state land for auction to private developers seeking to replenish their land banks as the Singapore housing market defies a global downturn in the property market amid soaring rents in the Lion City.

“This land parcel is expected to be hotly contested in the tender exercise,” Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, said by email. The project will have unobstructed views of the CBD, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Reservoir and sea views, and offer residents front-row seats to the fireworks at National Day events, at least before other sites in the area are developed, he added.

Home prices in the city-state hit record levels when it jumped 3.8% in the third quarter, after rising 3.5% in the previous three months, in spite of recent property cooling measures. Reflecting robust demand, billionaire Kwek Leng beng’s City Developments and its partner MCL Land, a unit of Hongkong Land, sold all 639 units of the Copen Grand executive condominium project in western Singapore a month after the project was launched.

The Marina Gardens Lane plot, which is located next to the upcoming Marina South MRT station, is part of 45-hectare Marina South district—near Gardens By the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands casino and convention center—that the government aims to develop into a neighborhood with residential apartments, hotels, retail space and some office buildings. When fully developed, the district will have as many as 10,000 residential units.

“Envisioned as a sustainable, car-lite and community-centric residential precinct, Marina South will be characterized by pedestrian-friendly streets, a comprehensive cycling network, a pedestrian mall and an underground pedestrian network connecting the two Thomson East Coast Line stations at Gardens by the Bay and Marina South,” the URA said. “A series of planned elevated pedestrian connections will seamlessly connect the precinct to Gardens by the Bay and to the coast.”

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