Hundreds flock to see the future

Hundreds flock to see the future
GRABBING EYEBALLS: Much of the curiosity and buzz over the URA's blueprint for the nation was about Marina South - the upcoming snazzy neighbourhood that could become a magnet for the well-heeled.

SINGAPORE - Just hours after the Urban Redevelopment Authority's latest blueprint for the nation was unveiled, hundreds of people flocked to an exhibition at The URA Centre for a glimpse of the future.

Some were there out of curiosity, some to look for investment targets, and many were from the real-estate industry, doing their homework and figuring out how the landscape of the future would change.

Much of the curiosity and buzz was about Marina South - the upcoming snazzy neighbourhood that could become a magnet for the well-heeled.

Mr Edwin Pang, 37, who works for a real-estate company, said: "It would be a dream to live in that area, a totally different ball game. But the pricing could be expensive."

According to experts, the pricing is only half the story.

"Marina South will be an attractive residential precinct with excellent location and recreational facilities surrounding it. In the future, demand for homes in this area will likely be high," said Ms Alice Tan, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore. "They are now making use of Gardens by the Bay as a catalyst, as a unique selling point for residential homes next to it."

Mr Ethan Ang, 30, a property agent, said: "The whole concept of eating, playing and working around the same area (Marina South) is very attractive. That is likely to attract foreign investments too."

Holland Village, with proposed high-rise living, pedestrianised streets and al-fresco dining, also grabbed eyeballs.

A Holland Village resident, Mr Heng Yih Jer, 44, made a lunch-time trip to see how his neighbourhood would shape up. He had been aware of the developments and liked the concept, but said: "I'm looking forward to more details."

Civil servant Aloysius Chong, 29, who lives in Seletar, visited the exhibition to see how the city was shaping up. He said that Holland Village could be a "potential investment" opportunity and he found the area "more liveable" than many others.

While many were there alone or with their spouses, some - presumably potential investors - came in groups to suss out areas to park their money in.

The exhibition, which includes sprawling three-dimensional models and artist's impressions, helped many visualise the developments. It is on till Dec 19.

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