SINGAPORE - The historic Malay district of Kampong Glam has long been a crowd-puller, with a colourful mix of hipster cafes and indie boutiques on Haji Lane and Kandahar Street.
The area, popular with yuppies and students alike, is set for some added vibrancy when Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings' latest offering hits the city centre.
Named DUO, the major mixed development by joint-venture firm M+S will be the largest in the Bugis and City Hall areas.
It will have residential, commercial and hotel components in its vast 1.73 million sq ft of space.
M+S chief operating officer Kemmy Tan said the public can expect DUO's retail offerings to mimic those of Kampong Glam.
With retail space of about 60,000 sq ft, the company is looking to attract tenants with niche and boutique concepts.
"I imagine that the eclectic vibe of Kampong Glam will influence the retail mix," Ms Tan said.
To embrace its surroundings, M+S has incorporated pedestrian walkways and plazas into DUO's design, instead of having a "traditional big box concept".
The firm engaged renowned architect Ole Scheeren to carve out separate spaces to distinguish the project's different components.
For instance, 660 residential units will be housed in a 49-storey block, while offices, retail units and a five-star hotel will be in a separate tower, which will be 39 storeys high. "We're here to complement the area rather than create something out of context," said Ms Tan.
For the residential component, marketing will start within the next month, while leasing activity for commercial units will commence by the end of the year, she said.
DUO is expected to be completed in 2017 and will be managed by CapitaLand and UEM Land Holdings.
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