Singapore’s Vision Exchange shaping the Jurong Gateway landcape
25-storey commercial tower is part of an effort to modernise Jurong by developing a second CBD
Vision Exchange, a stunning new 25-storey commercial tower, will shape the landscape of the Jurong Gateway, as Singapore’s new western commercial hub, is known. The tower will offer 740 units comprising 640 offices, 53 medical suites and 47 restaurants, and it is ready for occupation now.
Part of the government’s 2008 plan to identify sites for public and commercial development, Vision Exchange is part of an effort to modernise Jurong by developing a second central business district (CBD) in which government and commercial entities can establish a presence and allow residents to be nearer their workplaces.
Developer Sim Lian Holdings was quick to bid for the site when the government first put it on sale.
“The site went on sale at a time when the area was in its early days of reaching maturity,” says Lim Song Hai, head of investments for Sim Lian Holdings. “The site presented an excellent opportunity, due to its location and its large size, and offers the flexibility to develop a signature project and to tap into the government’s efforts to create a second CBD.
“At that time, Jurong was also considered a plausible location as [a] train station for the high-speed rail line to Kuala Lumpur. Once realised, the site could be a major exchange for local transport and cross-border transport.
“Growth after independence started in Jurong as a pivotal industrial estate launching Singapore’s growth into a first world economy. Fifty years on, Jurong was again selected as the launch pad for Singapore’s thrust into the future, as its second CBD, recognising the transformative requirements of business of the future.”
The 57-hectare Jurong Gateway has seen ventures such as JCube, Jem, Westgate, Big Box, the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, and Genting Hotel Jurong completed. The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospitalopened recently, offering health care services and care for the community in the west of Singapore.
All buildings and public transport in Jurong Gateway will be connected via walkways at ground level and J-Walk, a second-storey elevated pedestrian network.
The development of Robertson Quay by RB Capital is another major project. It comprises a five-star InterContinental Hotel while the area has been redesigned to focus on food & beverage outlets and lifestyle offerings.
SCDA Architects were commissioned to redesign the quay, which was occupied by squatters, hawkers and manufacturers in the 1970s. The architects were asked to design something “quaint and stylish” to give the Singapore river an artistic feel.
Kishin RK, CEO of RB Capital, says: “I want to build up a community of artisanal offerings. The area won’t lose its casual vibe, but remain a family-friendly place. Restaurants, while chic, will be very approachable, encouraging customers to savour their time and enjoy the riverfront.”
The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and will include a 20,000 sq ft private members’ club called 1880.
“What came out of the research we conducted was the need to focus on the fine-casual dining sector,” Kishin was quoted as telling the Singapore media. “This influenced how we positioned The Robertson Quay Project. I didn’t want a commercial development mindset or to go in with a shopping mall F&B approach.”