Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

April 30, 2008

Two new gems at classy locations

Filed under: 1 — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:14 am

IN Singapore, marinas are usually associated with being in out-of-the-way places at the extremities of the island’s coastline, and in commercially undesirable land far away from the city. The two latest marinas to open, however, have put paid to this notion.

Sentosa Cove’s One Degree 15 Marina Club and Keppel Land’s Marina at Keppel Bay are designed to be intrinsic parts of the waterfront living developments they are located close to. One Degree 15 was first off the mark with its official opening last September while Keppel’s marina opened in January.

One Degree 15 is located right at the heart of the prestigious Sentosa Cove waterfront district on Sentosa island which has a canal-and-lock system running right through the development. House owners who are lucky, or wealthy, enough to own a property with their own private jetty, can bring boats of up to 40 feet in length right up to their housefronts. However, if you own a boat bigger than this, or if you live in one of the condominium projects with shared facilities, then the marina is the natural place to berth your boat.

The marina, however, is more than just a place to put a boat. The clubhouse is designed as an ultra-modern cool place to hang out with a range of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as full facilities like an infinity pool, members’ lounge and gym. The club acts as the de facto centre of all high-end marine leisure-related activities in Sentosa Cove although it is a membership-based club.

The backdrop against which the club is set is a natural attraction for the jet-setting glamour set that have come to make Sentosa Cove their home and playground. As such, the scene tends to be geared more towards big motor yachts and glamorous high-class living on the seas. Expectedly, the powerboat crowd is a major force here.

Sail boats, while present in significant enough numbers, tend to be the quiet minority at this club. Of course, having a marina entrance that leads straight out into the fast-flowing Buran Channel with a busy shipping lane at one end, and high-speed ferries zooming across to Batam at the other end, makes it less than amenable to sail boats with their slower speeds and more restricted manoeuvrability. Events held at the club are also aimed at maximising the prestige factor. Early next year the marina will host the Singapore stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Marina at Keppel Bay, in contrast, is meant primarily to serve as a marina for the residents of Keppel Land’s developments in its Keppel Bay precinct, which encompasses its Caribbean and Reflections condominiums. The marina’s emphasis has been on establishing good basic principles to ensure a well-run operation that caters to the needs of premier international and local boaters. At the same time, it provides a classy location for marine leisure activities for the residents of its waterfront developments.

Among the advantages of the well-thought-out infrastructure are a top-class pontoon system built by Bellingham Marine Industries, all marina staff trained in marina management by Marina Industries Association of Australia (MIAA) and twinning privileges with the Nongsa Bay Marina and Resort in Batam.

The marina’s good location close to the city and within an area that is rapidly becoming a prime waterfront location on the southern coast is also drawing many of the fashionable party-going crowd and it is developing into the place to be seen on weekend nights.

But, beyond just the surface image, Marina at Keppel Bay’s commitment to a sustainable and growing industry is also seen in it achieving MIAA certification as the first and only marina in Asia to be awarded a ‘Clean Marina’ status under the Clean Marinas Australia Programme, a voluntary accreditation system for marinas, yacht clubs, boat clubs, slips, boatyards and associated industry operators that originated in Australia. The marina believes in keeping the environment that boaters and all marine leisure industry players use clean through putting in place systems and procedures that ensure its readiness in tackling marine hazards that could potentially impact the environment.

The scene here is a mix of new boaters among residents keen to take up the lifestyle and the more experienced who like the convenience, security and good location it offers, as well as aspiring boaters getting out on boats to see if they like the experience. Marina at Keppel Bay has also had its share of big events – it hosted the Clipper yachts on their Singapore stopover during the Clipper 07/08 Round the World Yacht Race in January. The tie-up with Nongsa Bay Marina also attracts cruising and more adventurous sailors with the lure of a base to make explorations further afield. Drawbacks, however, include being located near the busy cruise and ferry terminal where one has to run the gauntlet of ferries and cruise ships before reaching open water.

As the waterfront lifestyle takes off in Singapore, marinas like these are set to be the place to be, whether getting out on the water on a boat or just chilling out by the water’s edge.

Source : Business Times – 24 Apr 2008

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