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New peak as one less crane dots Singapore skyline

Singapore's canyons of skyscrapers have a new peak with the opening of the Tanjong Pagar Centre on the fringes of the central business district, sitting atop one of the wealth city state's busiest train stations.

The complex has been dubbed a "vertical city" marks the revival for an area of the business core of Singapore, about a kilometer away from the three soaring burnt-glass colored towers at the Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) complex built on land reclaimed from the sea and adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino.

With office, retail, residence, hotel, fitness, and even an urban park, the new complex will be home to more than 150,000 square feet of green community space. The Tanjong Pagar site at 290 meters high pips its nearest rivals by just 10 meters, with three other building in Singapore at 280 meters high, One Raffles Place, UOB Plaza One and Republic Plaza.


But it comes at a time that Singapore's office and retail vacancy rates are rising and online shopping gathers pace with the arrival of a Singapore-based unit of China's massive e-commerce firm Alibaba and the expected launch of new services by U.S.-based Amazon.

"The approach of an integrated development solves the congestion problem so that we minimize travels. It also helps people do more things within the same location," Cheng Hsing Yao, Managing Director of GuocoLand Singapore told CNBC Asia during a tour of the property.

GuocoLand Singapore

The towers promise 32-percent in energy savings compared to similar code-compliant buildings by using glazing and directional shading which reduces the sun's glare from Singapore's year-round tropical climate.

The project--which includes nearly 30 floors of office space--comes to market as a time when Singapore's office vacancies has hit its highest levels in more than four years and been on its longest stretch of declines since the financial crisis.

"The market has been challenging in terms of the leasing, because of the economic situation as well as the supply, but we're quire fortunate to experience a very strong tick up rate of our office as well as our retail and f-and-b (food and beverage)space," Cheng said.

Guoco says office space for Tanjong Pagar Centre is already more than 85-percent leased and the retail space is more than 90-percent. Still, there are no signs of inventory slowing down.

Next year, Marina One, adjacent to MBFC, is expected to open which will bring nearly 2-million square feet of space to market, and Singapore's government is reportedly selling prime land in the Marina Bay financial district, making it the first such sale in nine years.

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