Anita Gabriel | The Straits Times |Sunday, Sep 08, 2013

Japanese construction giant Obayashi and South Korea’s Hyundai and GS Group have bagged $2 billion worth of contracts to build two mixed developments here.

The tenders were awarded by M+S, of which 60 per cent is owned by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings holds the rest.

Obayashi will build the DUO project in Ophir-Rochor. It will comprise a 49-storey block of 660 flats, a 39-storey commercial and hotel complex and a retail gallery with basement carparks.

The Korean consortium of Hyundai Engineering & Construction and GS Engineering & Construction will build Marina One in Marina South, which comprises two 30-storey office blocks and two 34-storey residential towers, with 1,042 apartments in all.

Marina One also includes four basement levels, an underground pedestrian network and an ancillary road network.

The awarding of the contracts to “three reputable contractors” marks a milestone for the development of DUO and Marina One, said M+S chairman Azman Yahya in a statement yesterday.

Construction on the projects is expected to start this year with completion due in 2017.

Initial piling works at DUO have been completed and piling for Marina One is scheduled for completion this year.

The projects, with a gross development value of $11 billion, arose from a historic land swop between Singapore and Malaysia over the KTM railway site.

While highly anticipated, not least because of their location and offerings, industry watchers expect “some challenges” as the various rounds of property cooling measures could affect sale prices.

“These measures effectively have taken out much of the speculative elements in the property market. Transaction volumes in the high-end segment somewhat reflect that,” said an analyst.

A source close to the project said that while the curbs have made the development more challenging, they have also made it “more interesting”.

“You need some talent and innovative ideas. Some of what M+S plans to do are going to be very different and creative,” said the source.