By Felda Chay
The Marina Bay area will see a new addition to its skyline come 2017 with the completion of the $7 billion Marina One - a Khazanah-Temasek mixed development project which had its ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.
Marina One is one of two projects undertaken by M+S Pte Ltd, the 60:40 joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings, as part of a land swap deal between Singapore and Malaysia. Together, the projects have a development value of $11 billion.
Some $5 billion in financing facilities have been secured from eight banks for the projects, according to Azman Yahya, chairman of M+S.
They include Singapore banks DBS, OCBC and UOB; and Malaysia's CIMB and Maybank. ANZ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi will also be providing loans.
"I think it's probably one of the largest property financing projects ever raised in Singapore for a company," Mr Azman told journalists after the ground-breaking ceremony.
When completed, Marina One will comprise four buildings which together will house offices, homes and shops.
Linking the four towers is a garden right in the heart of the development.
The two office towers will be 30 storeys high, while the residential towers will boast 34 storeys.
M+S said that Marina One will "be eventually linked" to the Marina Bay and upcoming Downtown MRT stations.
Some 60 per cent of the 341,000 square metres of gross floor area will be devoted to office space, while residential units will take up 35 per cent.
The remaining 5 per cent of space will be devoted to retail outlets.
Mr Azman said that piling works have begun for Marina One, with the main building contracts to be awarded next year.
"The schedule of the development is on time, on track. So we are very happy with the progress of the development."
He added that tenants being targeted include financial institutions and MNCs. M+S has already started to reach out to potential tenants, who have given "preliminary indications" on their interest.
And while nothing is confirmed yet, "we are pretty confident of securing good tenants for our project", said Mr Azman.
The launch of Marina One is scheduled for October. M+S's second project in the Ophir-Rochor area will be unveiled in September, and "we've got the design already done, we've put in the submissions for approval", said Mr Azman.
While the development of the two projects has political roots, he made clear that M+S is a "very commercial organisation, with commercial objectives".
"Our objective is actually to create as much value as possible from the land that we have," he said.
Mapletree Investments and UEM Land Holdings are project managers of Marina One, while UEM will partner CapitaLand to manage the second site in the Ophir-Rochor area.
This article was first published in The Business Times.