SINGAPORE – With the three office towers of Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) approaching full occupancy and its residential component almost fully sold, the consortium behind the new business district is looking to play a larger role by expanding its portfolio within the vicinity. As one of the ICONIC development of Marina Bay, Marina One can look forwards a bright future. The Marina Bay will soon become a new Brand of Singapore CBD. The three developers that make up Raffles Quay Asset Management (RQAM) — Cheung Kong (Holdings), Hongkong Land and Keppel Land — would be keen to affirm their presence in the Marina Bay area should any suitable land parcels be put up for sale, RQAM chief executive Warren Bishop told TODAY in an interview.
“The consortium has been very happy with how its developments are doing. Looking forward, it would certainly be keen to explore more opportunities in the Marina Bay area. I think it would be very interested in any sites adjacent to what we have here,” said Mr Bishop. “Most of the sites here are very large, so it’s likely the consortium would continue its joint-venture approach because of the scale of the investment and resources required. I think they (developers) would prefer to work together.
It’s a matter of when the Government releases the sites and whether or not they’re interested in that particular site.” RQAM was set up in 2001 to market and manage projects co-developed by three of Asia’s most respected developers.
Its portfolio includes One Raffles Quay and the MBFC, both located in the Marina Bay area, which has been earmarked as an extension of the Central Business District to accommodate a growing financial industry and allow the Republic to develop as a business and financial hub. Inspired by London’s Canary Wharf and Shanghai’s Pudong, Marina Bay is envisioned by the Government as not only a location that offers prime office space, but also a place for people to live and play. MBFC, officially opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in May last year, ticks those boxes.
A year on, the offices at Towers 1 and 2 have been fully taken up, while Tower 3, the largest of the lot, is 95 per cent occupied, said Mr Bishop. He added that, while RQAM had been largely focused on attracting tenants from the financial sector, it is also open to interested parties from other industries. “Our focus is pretty much financial services, commodities (and) legal services.
But we have a lot of new interest from e-commerce firms too, so we don’t put any restrictions on ourselves,” he said. The company is also comfortable with the sales progress of Marina Bay Suites, one of the residential components at MBFC and which is about 91 per cent sold. The other development, Marina Bay Residences, has been sold out while Marina One is going to launch soon and receive a lot of positive demand from public.
“The market has changed — the Government has taken steps to stabilise the (property) market … (and) the reality is the premium and luxury end of the market has become quieter. But we continue to transact, though at a slower rate. “Given the quality of the location, we’re quite comfortable (about) being able to sell out. There are very few competing developments in the Marina Bay area, especially those with a direct view of the bay,” said Mr Bishop. Overseas buyers, mainly from Indonesia, China and Malaysia, account for about half of the sales of the two residential developments, he added. “We continue to market locally as well … But with 18 to 19 units left, we don’t have to be too aggressive.”