Property analysts have said the location of the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) terminus at Jurong East is strategic to future commercial developments.
But even as Jurong East is being envisioned as the second Central Business District, some analysts said the area is unlikely to replicate the downtown core. Instead, the area may see more manufacturing companies moving in, especially firms that have production plants in the Iskandar development zone, or further into Malaysia.
The terminus is located about 600 metres away from Jurong East MRT interchange, and also lies adjacent to land parcels zoned for hotel and other commercial developments. But the terminus will only occupy 20 per cent of the site.
Authorities have said there are plans for the remaining 80 per cent to include offices, retail space and maybe even homes.
"Other than manufacturing, I think tourism and education businesses could also look at Jurong. Because for Jurong Regional Centre, there is also the leisure part which is the lake districts. There will be hotel elements,” said Ms Christine Li, research director at Cushman & Wakefield. “There will also be an education hub across the border at Nusajaya, so that could also attract some related businesses in education."
Authorities have announced plans for 2,800 hotel rooms in the area, with the recently-opened Genting Hotel Jurong the first to enter the fray.
CONCERNS WITH DISTANCE
However, there are concerns that the high speed rail terminus may still be some distance away from the Jurong East MRT station.
"The distance between the HSR station and the Jurong East interchange is expected to be around 600 metres, that is equivalent to be about 1.5 rounds round the stadium track. For people who are disabled, old folks, children or even people with luggage, that can be quite an inconvenience,” said Mr Ku Swee Yong, CEO of Century 21 Singapore.
“We would have expected this interchange to have a more seamless connection to the interchange so that there is convenience for those coming from Kuala Lumpur straight into the city centre, Orchard Road, or even to Changi Airport,” he added.
Authorities said the detailed connectivity to the Jurong East interchange and other future train lines - the Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line - has yet to be worked out. For now, the focus is on the land acquisition process for the terminus.
The Singapore Land Authority said compensation will be based on market value for the acquired land.
Mr Ku said: "The valuation of golf clubs is not straightforward because there are no frequent transactions we can compare against. Of course, we then estimate the land value based on recreational land value that the chief valuer has set for various parts of Singapore.
"We also should look at the current operating cash flow and profits of the Jurong Country Club itself, and then take into account the fact that the club could remain operational for the next 20 years."
The lease for the site originally expires in 2035. The country club now has to hand over the land by November next year.