Greater Southern Waterfront and Marina South property investment potential

TP terminal cleared

The Great Southern Waterfront, together with the Marina South District, are key areas in URA’s plan for the Central Area.

These two districts are key focus of the Master Plan 2014, and are areas envisaged to contribute to a dynamic city centre where there are plenty of job and business opportunities.

The Greater Southern Waterfront, which extends from Pasir Panjang to Marina East, will be transformed into a new major gateway and location for urban living along Singapore’s southern coast.

Development will take place in phases, starting with the former Pasir Panjang Power District, Keppel Club and Mount Faber in the next 5 to 10 years

Marina South is the area presently to the South and West of Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay. It is also the area served by the Downtown MRT station, Marina Bay station and Shenton Way station.

Marina south

The Great Southern Waterfront is an area to the South of the Marina South district, starting from the Tanjong Pagar terminal, stretching westward to Keppel terminal, Vivocity and to Pasir Panjang.

Great southern waterfront straits times

Over the next 10, 20 years and possibly even longer, the Central Area will be revitalized a with a mix of residential, retail, office, commercial and hotel uses.

Marina South

According to URA, the Marina South area will be a high-density residential district, with options for city living with 9,000 new homes.

marina south 9000 homes

This was confirmed by The Straits Times which added the homes will be on a 21.5 ha piece of land.

marina south 9000 homes st

Going by present day prices of S$2,500 psf in the Marina area and assuming each new home is approx 1,000 sqft, 9,000 new homes in today’s value will be equal to S$22,500,000,000 (S$22.5b).

However, prices will most likely not be S$2,500 at the point of time the units are sold.

If the homes were sold in 10 years, and assuming prices grow at 7% per year, S$2,500 today would become approx S$4,900 psf!

That kind of per square foot pricing is quite unimaginable if compared to today! However, if one believes in the growth of Singapore, that pricing could well be possible.

One could argue about the 7% growth is a little too high and if 4% were instead used, prices would become S$3,700 psf.

At prices of S$4,900 psf, 9,000 new homes of 1,000 sqft each would be worth about S$44b.

At prices of S$3,700, 9,000 new homes of 1,00 sqft each would be worth about S$33b.

As a ballpark estimate, 7% and 4% assumptions would be proxies of Singapore’s GDP growth + inflation.

If the assumption of each home being 1,000 sqft were reduced to 800 sqft, the value of homes we are talking about would still be in the billions.

This is only for the residential portion of the plan.

If you add retail, office and hotel uses, where the per square foot or per key rates are higher than residential units, the value of property would probably be in the… hundreds of billions?

We could actually hazard a guess.

Conservatively speaking, if there were 4 spanking new office buildings in the likes of Marina Bay Financial Towers and each were about S$2b each, that would amount to S$8b of property value.

If there were 2 new malls at about S$2b each, that would be S$4b of property value.

If there were 2 new hotels at about S$2b each, that would add S$4b of property value.

The total of office, retail and hotel value would be S$16b of value.

But going by the size of the entire Marina South area, there could actually be way more commercial buildings.

With regards to the planning of the Marina South area, URA has four guiding principles in their design.

  • Mixed use streets
  • A stroll and cycle
  • Convival comunities
  • A green space

Overhead view of Marina South

overhead view marina south

The 2014 Masterplan does not have many details on how the Marina South area will turn out, but there are clues as to what some parcels of land will be used for.

Residential units are already earmarked for the area South East of Gardens by the Bay.

The other areas are either marked as White sites (can be used for office, retail, residential or a mix of them) or Reserve sites, where the planners are still deliberating on the land use.

Marina south masterplan

Connectivity in the Marina South region is going to improve once the Thomson East Coast Line (TEL) is operational in stages from 2019 and be completed in 2024.

thomson east coast line

The construction stages are as follows

2019: Woodlands North to Woodlands South
2020: Springleaf to Caldecott
2021: Mount Pleasant to Gardens by the Bay
2022: Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore
2024: Bedok South and Sungei Bedok

The 4 stations along the TEL that are in the Marina South area are Gardens by the Bay, Marina South, Marina Bay and Shenton Way.

These are the central stations along the TEL linking Sungei Bedok in the East to Woodlands in the North.

Shenton Way

Shenton way thomson east coast line
Shenton way artist impression
Shenton way artist impression 1

Marina Bay

marina bay thomson east coast line
marina bay artist impression
Marina bay artist impression 1

Marina South Pier

Marina south pier thomson east coast line
marina south pier artist impression 1
marina south pier artist impression

Gardens by the Bay

gardens by bay thomson east coast line
gardens by bay artist impression
gardens by bay artist impression 1

Once these stations are up, there is going to be a lot of convenience for residents staying in the area.

This is because the TEL can bring them to Outram station to take the East West Line and be connected to other parts of the island, or take the TEL down to the Eastern end of Singapore.

Properties that are presently in the Marina South area include Marina One residences and Marina Bay residences.

Just at the cusp of Marina South and the traditional Raffles Place and Shenton Way CBD is The Sail, Marina Bay Suites, One Shenton and V on Shenton.

Prices for these projects are mostly above S$2,000 psf, with Marina Bay Residences reaching S$3,000 psf.

Marina One: S$2,500 psf
Marina Bay Residences: S$2,000 – S$3,000 psf
The Sail: S$,1800 to S$2,200 psf
Marina Bay Suites: S$2,000 psf
One Shenton: S$1,500 to S$2,200 psf
V on Shenton: S$2,000 to S$2,500 psf

Marina Bay Cruise Centre

Add the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, and the Marina South district becomes a hive of bustling activity.

Marina bay cruise centre

Great Southern Waterfront

The Great Southern Waterfront is another of URA’s grand plans to transform the Southern part of Singapore.

The plans involve the consolidation of operations at the City Terminals (Tanjong Pagar, Keppel) and Pasir Panjang port terminals to Tuas, the transformation of the area currently used by Keppel Golf Links and possibly Harbourfront Centre and some parts of the Pasir Panjang neighbourhood.

Great southern waterfront straits times

Overhead view of City and Pasir Panjang Terminals

Overhead view of city and pasir panjang terminals

With the freed up space, the government has a blank slate to design and execute their plans for the Great Southern Waterfront.

The Great Southern Waterfront is arguably larger and wider than the Marina South Area since it spans the area just adjacent of the Marina South Area, all the way westwards to the Pasir Panjang terminal area.

The planned relocation of the City Terminals and Pasir Panjang Terminals will free up 325 and 600 ha of waterfront land respectively.

The total of 925 ha is about three times larger than Marina Bay.

From City and Pasir Panjang terminal to Tuas

From the Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pasir Panjang terminals to…

city and pasir panjang terminals
southern waterfront city

To Great Southern Waterfront

There are 6 themes that URA is exploring in their design and planning of the Great Southern Waterfront area.

  1. New opportunities to live, work and play
  2. Extend the city to Greater Southern Waterfront
  3. Expand the network of public spaces
  4. Capitalize on our Blue Assets
  5. Create a continuous waterfront
  6. Connect green and open spaces

These 6 ideas were drawn from 2 consultancy firms. 1) Greater Southern Waterfront Design Consultancy by Urban Strategies Inc. 2) Sustainable Development Framework Planning and Design for Marina Bay and Greater Southern Waterfront by AECOM Singapore Pte. Ltd.

AECOM and URA’s plan on the Marina Bay and Greater Southern Waterfront development framework

City (Tanjong Pagar) port terminal shifted ahead of schedule

Late in 2017, Straits Times reported that the Tanjong Pagar terminal had been cleared ahead of schedule.

The relocation is therefore moving ahead and may be completed well ahead of the port’s lease expiry in 2027.

With the relocation of 500 staff from the older Tanjong Pagar Terminal to the newer Pasir Panjang Terminal, URA can start making measurements and drawing up plans for this part of the Greater Southern Waterfront.

TP terminal cleared

Great Southern Waterfront Masterplan

Based on URA’s masterplan, all of the space presently used by Keppel and Tanjong Pagar Terminal is yellow in color, indicating that it is a reserve site.

This means these are areas the specific use of which has yet to be determined.

great southern waterfront keppel tp terminal

Further south, the land presently used by Keppel Bay Tower, HarbourFront Tower 1 and 2, the Cable Car station and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Harbourfront is zoned Commercial, but “Subject to detailed planning”.

This indicates that URA may be doing studies on what to do with the space.

This area is older compared to the two neighbouring buildings i.e. Corals at Keppel Bay and Vivocity.

In addition, the Keppel Golf Links is zoned residential but “Subject to detailed planning”.

Will the authorities be thinking of siting residential units in this area?

If so, this will be very prime residential units and even closer to the sea than the Telok Blangah Heights HDB flats that are presently closest.

great southern waterfront vivo area

The 2 screenshots of the Great Southern Waterfront area do not yet show the Pasir Panjang Terminal area, which is much larger than the area of Keppel, Tanjong Pagar Terminal, Harbourfront Centre, Keppel Golf Links combined.

With the shifting of Tanjong Pagar terminal ahead of schedule, the area is certainly shaping up to be a very exciting part of Singapore’s future.

Time to market

However, the devil’s advocate in me would look at the Marina South and Greater Southern Waterfront projects and say that it is very ambitious and would require a lot of manpower, money and time to execute.

The Marina Bay area took about 20 years to conceptualize and be partially executed (and as of 2018, is not yet fully complete), so I think the two combined projects will take that amount of time at least, and more to be complete.

Nevertheless, the projects herald a very exciting time of Singapore’s development.


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