Thursday, January 13, 2011

Devt opportunities from railway land swap

THE railway land swap agreement between Singapore and Malaysia is expected to boost property development opportunities in Tanjong Pagar, Spottiswoode and Bukit Panjang, said DTZ in a fresh report.

Malaysia and Singapore in May 2010 agreed to shift Malaysia's Tanjong Pagar railway station to Woodlands in the North. The site will be swapped for other parcels of land in Singapore, which will be jointly developed by both countries.

The reversion of the railway land will allow Singapore's authorities to amalgamate the track land with adjacent sites and bring about more optimal use of the land, DTZ said.

But the property firm expects that most of the sites will not be developed immediately as some of the adjacent lands are already in use. In addition, there is no urgency to develop the large tracts of vacant land that are next to the tracks.

For now, the site holding the railway station at Tanjong Pagar has the greatest redevelopment potential, given its size and the government's plans for this district.

'The once sleepy Tanjong Pagar area is perking up with newly completed and pipeline offices, hotels and apartments. Higher rents and prices are being achieved and more investors are becoming interested in the area,' said DTZ.

Nearby, Spottiswoode, the area north of the railway station, is also expected to be a more immediate beneficiary.

Three old residential developments in Spottiswoode - the former Oakswood Heights, Spottiswoode Apartment and Dragon Mansion - have already been sold collectively by the owners to developers for redevelopment.

While the rest of the returned land is unlikely to be developed anytime soon, one area that is likely to see some developments soon will be Bukit Panjang, where an MRT station - to be ready in 2015 - will provide some impetus to develop the vacant land around it, said DTZ.

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