By Lynda Hong | POSTED: 20 Nov 2013 23:46 | CNA

SINGAPORE

The Marina Bay area looks poised to be Singapore’s new financial and business district.

That is the view of property experts based on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Draft Master Plan 2013.

The new Master Plan also aims to decentralise job centres to other parts of Singapore.

As Singapore grows as a global financial hub, the centre of its business and financial district needs to expand as well.

Based on URA’s Master Plan, analysts expect the very core of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) to shift to Marina Bay, in about 10 to 15 years.

Marina Bay will offer at least another one million square metres of office space within the Central Area.

This is in addition to the 6.5 million square metres that is already available.

Getty Goh, director of Ascendant Assets, said: “The traditional CBD, for example your traditional Cecil Street, Robinsons Road – these are very small office spaces, and in time to come, this could translate to higher vacancy rates for the traditional CBD location.”

A new retail and entertainment spine will also be created at Bayfront Avenue under the new Master Plan, bringing additional job opportunities and buzz to the bay.

The Master Plan also aims to decentralise job centres and create new hubs for businesses.

This means bringing jobs closer to homes and away from the CBD.

The first business park cluster will be in the Woodlands Regional Centre.

This forms part of a larger commercial belt called the North Coast Innovation Corridor.

Alan Cheong, research head at Savills Singapore, said: “The north coast region – I would think that the development has to progress according to market forces. Because with our population size, it will take a while to develop our commercial space there.”

Some analysts said that with the slow population growth in Singapore, such regional business centres could take about 20 years to develop.

Another commercial space will also be developed in Punggol, mainly as the learning corridor and creative cluster.

Some analysts said this will likely boost rental rates in the area which is fast becoming a suburb for private condominiums.

– CNA/ms

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/marina-bay-area-could/894000.html