The Greater Southern Waterfront (or GSW for short) was first announced in 2013. It comprises 30km of coastline stretching from Gardens by the Bay East all the way to Pasir Panjang. That’s 2,000ha of land — twice the size of Punggol, six times the size of Marina Bay and approximately the area of 465 Padangs.
The GSW was thrown into the limelight again after the National Day Rally 2019, when more plans for the Greater Southern Waterfront were announced. Plans for the area include a slew of housing projects, new attractions and offices. Pulau Brani would also be developed into a fun and recreational island, and the two decommissioned power stations at Pasir Panjang would also be redeveloped.
Here’s everything we know about the Greater Southern Waterfront – especially regarding the plan for some 9,000 new homes in the area! (Yup, if these plans materialise, you’ll actually be able to BTO there in future.)
Where is the Greater Southern Waterfront?
The Greater Southern Waterfront stretches from Gardens by the Bay East to Pasir Panjang, comprising these areas:
- Gardens by the Bay East
- Cruise Hub & Coastal Park at Marina South/Straits View
- Keppel & Tanjong Pagar Terminals
- Mount Faber – Harbourfront
- Keppel – Labrador
- Pasir Panjang Power District
- Pasir Panjang Terminal
- Pulau Brani
By taking full advantage of Singapore’s southern coastline, there can be more opportunities to improve how we live, work and play.
This will be done through:
- More private and public housing options with waterfront promenades and open spaces;
- More office spaces to bring about more job opportunities and to benefit those staying in the area; and
- More recreational and entertainment for residents.
Greater Southern Waterfront URA Masterplan overview
Of course, it’s a massive project, and re/development will take place in stages. Phase 1 starts with the former Pasir Panjang Power District, Keppel Club and Mount Faber, to be completed in the next five to 10 years.
According to the URA Masterplan, here are the broad strokes for these three areas:
Powering-up Pasir Panjang
The first was a public call for ideas to transform the former power district of Pasir Panjang into an extraordinary destination for all to enjoy. Participants were tasked to envision future possibilities for the unique site and to celebrate its distinctive heritage. The winning creative submissions were showcased earlier this year.
The URA Masterplan also outlined future plans of connecting various places of interest along the Greater Southern Waterfront via a continuous waterfront promenade. A new funicular system at Mount Faber to carry visitors from the foothills to the hilltop and cable car station is also under study and could be ready by 2023. This would also improve accessibility to the rest of the 10km-long Southern Ridges.
Following the expiry of Keppel Club’s lease in 2021, the site will be redeveloped into a new residential precinct with access to the waterfront, nature, and convenient public transport links.
Related article: What’s New in the URA Master Plan 2019?
Greater Southern Waterfront: What’s in the pipeline?
The full detailed plans have yet to be laid out, but here’s what we know so far about what’s coming up for the Greater Southern Waterfront.
1. There will be 9,000 new homes in the Greater Southern Waterfront — including BTO flats!
When Keppel Club’s lease expires in Dec 2021, the 44ha plot, which currently houses a golf course and club facilities will be redeveloped for housing. About 9,000 housing units, including private residences and BTO flats (yay), will be built on this land.
Looks like we may have more premium HDB flats a la Pinnacle@Duxton to look forward to! These Tanjong Pagar HDB flats were launched in 2004 to overwhelming interest, and the priciest unit was sold at over $600k. Fast forward to today and one unit easily fetches over $1m on the resale market… whoa!
But this time, there may be stricter measures in place. Experts speculate shorter leases and a longer minimum occupancy period.
2. More office spaces will be built in the Greater Southern Waterfront — will it become the next CBD?
Not all the big boys are located in the central business district (CBD) of Singapore. There are already big names such as Google, Cisco and Unilever with swanky offices in the Greater Southern Waterfront.
If you do a cursory search for companies in Mapletree Business City (that’s in Pasir Panjang), you’ll find other brands such as Pfizer, Samsung and software company SAP Asia.
With more office spaces planned for the area, there’ll be space for more of the big boys — which means more jobs for us! In addition, if you’re lucky enough to live and work in the GSW, that means a short commute and more time for things dear to you.
Who knows, the CBD might even be extended all the way up to the Pasir Panjang area in the future.
3. The two old power stations in Pasir Panjang will be developed into… A new club? A park? A creative hub?
Seeing how the St James Power Station was transformed from a coal-fired power station to a (now former) nightlife destination, it’s not a stretch to wonder if the two old power stations in Pasir Panjang will share the same fate since power is going underground, anyway.
It’s anyone’s guess what will become of the area, but if the winning submissions from the ideas competition are a major clue, sustainability and nature are the key themes, with the district to be transformed into a “nature-centric mixed-use precinct with residential, lifestyle and commercial functions intertwined with parks, water features and recreational facilities”.
Another winning idea that received a special mention is one that transforms Power Station A into a creative hub, alongside residential and hotel use.
4. More public transport links in the Greater Southern Waterfront — new MRT stations coming up
Right now, the western GSW area is served by MRT stations on the Circle Line (CCL) and North East Line (NEL). But there’ll be even more MRT stations coming up, with the construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and the upcoming link on the Circle Line to, well, make it come full circle.
Existing MRT stations in the GSW: Harbourfront (NEL/CCL), Telok Blangah (CCL), Labrador Park (CCL), Pasir Panjang (CCL), Haw Par Villa (CCL).
There are also some MRT stations that are relatively nearby, such as Tanjong Pagar (East West Line), Downtown (Downtown Line), Bayfront (DTL/CCL) and Marina Bay (North South Line).
Upcoming TEL MRT stations in 2021/2023 are Marina South, Gardens by the Bay and Tanjong Rhu. By 2025, the Circle Line will literally come full circle, with MRT stations Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward Road on board.
5. A mini “Sentosa” on Pulau Brani?
This one is really exciting: One of the plans announced is to redevelop Pulau Brani — aka that island between Singapore and Sentosa — into a mini Sentosa clone.
Related article: 10 Cheapest Sentosa Cove Bungalows—Are They Actually Affordable Now?
Pulau Brani currently serves as home to Port of Singapore’s Brani Terminal and is being used as a container port. The port lease for Brani is due to expire in 2027 and this terminal, along with PSA’s other city terminals, will relocate to Tuas by 2040.
As announced by Sentosa Development Corporation in September 2019, Brani will have a new waterfront park and the island’s port heritage will be retained through markers. There will also be a futuristic discovery park as well as a nature and heritage trail (Ridgeline) that connects Mount Faber, Pulau Brani, Mount Serapong and Mount Imbiah to Fort Siloso.
There will also be a resort likely called “Downtown South” built on Pulau Brani for NTUC members. Similar to Downtown East, the major recreational area could have a resort, amusement park, event spaces and shops.
6. Step aside newcomer Brani, Sentosa will also get a facelift
Just because there’s a new kid in town doesn’t mean longtime attraction Sentosa will be out of the spotlight. The Sentosa-Brani Masterplan also outlines major rejuvenation to Sentosa Island in the years to come.
The first milestone project is a $90 million, 30,000 sq m multi-sensory walkway that is expected to be completed in 2022. The two-tiered Sentosa Sensoryscape walkway will be about the size of 5.5 football fields and will connect Sentosa’s southern beaches to Resorts World Sentosa on the northern part of the island.
The Brani-Sentosa precinct will also be redeveloped according to five zones: Vibrant Cluster (festive, attractions, performance space), Island Heart (literally the “heart” of the island, it will boast both indoor and outdoor attractions with views of Mount Serapong), Waterfront, Ridgeline and Beachfront. Each zone will have customised digital exhibitions and light events.
Sentosa’s golden beaches will also be in for a facelift. The beach promenade will have sheltered event spaces and a major beach event space featuring a water show. There will also be new family-friendly water and beachfront attractions, alongside new bars and fairgrounds.
In addition, Sentosa will have an enhanced transport network for better accessibility — this includes the new funicular system at Mount Faber serving the foothills to the hilltop cable car station that could be ready by 2023.
7. More green spaces, nature trails in the Greater Southern Waterfront, with better accessibility to these verdant landmarks
Back on the mainland, there will be more trails connecting the various parks and reserves in the GSW for better accessibility to these green spaces.
These connecting trails will be linked to a continuous waterfront promenade, and this linkway would comprise green lungs such as a future Pasir Panjang Linear Park to connect Labrador Nature Reserve with West Coast Park, through Pasir Panjang’s working container port and Power District.
In the future, other connections would link up places of interest along the waterfront to the hilltops — possibly to Mount Faber or other points along the Southern Ridges, for a seamless connection to Brani-Sentosa and other areas in the GSW.
Just like the Round Island Route, hopefully we can jog/walk/cycle from end-to-end of the GSW and to other parts of the island in the future.
The possibilities are endless, especially with the much-anticipated 24km Rail Corridor opening in phases from 2021. The Tanjong Pagar railway station end falls within the jurisdiction of the GSW, so we could also potentially head up from the GSW, onto the Rail Corridor route all the way up to Woodlands.
No need to wait with bated breath for developments in the Greater Southern Waterfront
There’s much potential for the Greater Southern Waterfront area, not just for property owners but for Singapore residents and tourists from all walks of life. However, we’ll need to be patient as planning and development for such a large-scale project takes time.
Meanwhile, waterfront living in Singapore is still totally possible. Check out these 6 condos with stunning waterfront views. Or be a first-mover and find a property in the Greater Southern Waterfront area now.
Many of us might be well into my silver years once the Greater Southern Waterfront fully takes shape post-2040, but are still excited for what’s to come in the next five to 10 years. How about you?
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This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.