Singapore’s sixth rail line, the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), will have another 11 stations added as of 13 November 2022. This would mean a total of 20 stations out of the 32 planned would be in operation under the third stage (out of five) of construction.
The 11 new stations are Stevens, Napier, Orchard Boulevard, Orchard, Great World, Havelock, Outram Park, Maxwell, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, and Gardens by the Bay. This will initially benefit around 80,000 households along the north-south corridor, with shorter travel times to the city centre.
While this would bring out even better connectivity to some traditional office locations, other less prominent locations would also get boosted visibility due to the TEL. We pick out a few of these office locations where workers in the north-south corridor may now find it more appealing with the opening of these new stations.
#1 (TEL14) – Orchard Road
Orchard Road has long been the heart of Singapore’s main shopping belt. Flanked on both sides by long-standing malls like Shaw House and Lucky Plaza and the newer-built malls like Ion Orchard, it is a vibrant place for both tourists and locals alike.
The TEL 14 – Orchard Station is one of the six interchange stations that would be operational in Stage 3. It will link to the North-South Line (NSL), giving commuters in the north-south corridor an alternative and faster travel route to the city centre.
Some of the office buildings surrounding Orchard Station are Ngee Ann City, Wheelock Place, and Wisma Atria. Office rents in the Orchard area range between $8.00 and $11.001 per square foot (PSF).
For workers, there are plenty of lunch and dinner options, from value-for-money meals at Far East Plaza to posh dining at Ion Orchard. Also, no one is going to fault you if you used your lunchtime to do some window shopping (though you probably shouldn’t!). There also are more than a handful of gyms and fitness centres like Max Out Fitness and PURE Fitness located around the vicinity to work out a sweat for the fitness-conscious employees. It is an exciting office location for shopaholic workers and those who like to unwind with food and drinks after work.
#2 (TEL15) – Great World City
Great World City was once known as the Great World Amusement Park when it was a popular nightlife hotspot in the 1950s. Today, it is mainly a private residential enclave.
The Great World City station, located along River Valley Road, will bring rail connectivity to the previously unconnected area. The train station will have five entry/exit links, including to the Great World City. This will benefit the namesake integrated property development, which has 420,000 sq ft of retail space, 300,000 sq ft of office space, and 304 service apartments. Office rent at Great World City starts at $7.501 PSF.
Workers would be able to enjoy the one-stop convenience offered by the retail podium, which includes a wide range of amenities, including dining options like Tim Ho Wan, McDonald’s, and Food Junction. You could even catch a movie after work at the theatre operated by Golden Village or get in shape at True Fitness, which are all located within Great World City. There are also child-friendly services like a childcare centre (Pat’s Schoolhouse), children’s enrichment centres (Kumon, The Eton Academy), and a toy shop (Toys “R” Us). These amenities might appeal to young working parents, as they may find it convenient to care for their preschool child(ren) close to their workplace.
#3 (TEL 17) – Outram Park And (TEL 18) – Maxwell
Outram Park is one of the oldest commercial hubs in Singapore. Though it’s now more commonly associated with the SGH Medical Campus, consisting of the Singapore General Hospital, Outram Community Hospital, and others, the many surrounding pre-war shophouses are still buzzing with commercial activities.
The new TEL Outram Park station – which is also close to the Maxwell TEL station – joins with the existing interchange station, connecting commuters to both the East West Line (EWL) and North East Line (NEL). For commuters in the north, this is a more convenient and direct rail service as opposed to transferring from the NSL to the NEL to reach Outram/Maxwell.
While there is no major office building of note, there are plenty of shophouses bordering New Bridge Road, Neil Road, Southbridge Road, and Upper Cross Street that are used by small businesses as office spaces. Furnished office space rents in the area range from $7.00 to $14.002 PSF. Unlike typical office locations, there is a different vibe to the Maxwell area, which may feel slower-paced and bring about a nostalgic feeling that is reminiscent of its history.
Though you may not get the modern amenities found in most office buildings, you could still get a wide variety of affordable food options from places like the Maxwell Food Centre and Chinatown Complex Market that should meet the basic needs of most workers. Workers in this location will also not be disadvantaged when it comes to shopping or gym options, with more than a handful of boutique gyms around like CrossFit Urban Edge and Anytime Fitness. The Outram/Maxwell office location might appeal to workers who desire individuality.
#4 (TEL 19) – Shenton Way And (TEL 20) – Marina Bay
The Marina Bay and Shenton Way areas are part of the Central Business District or CBD, where the main commerce activities in Singapore are conducted. Prior to the government’s initiative to bring jobs closer to homes by constructing regional hubs, most people had to travel to the CBD for work.
The new TEL station at Marina Bay will join the existing interchange station, connecting to both the NSL and Circle Line (CCL); whereas, the Shenton Way TEL station, which is sited at Shenton Way and Marina View, would have exits at Asia Square Tower 2 and Marina One West Tower.
The opening of these two stations would give workers travelling from the north south an alternative travel route compared to the current means via the NSL. This would also help to alleviate the passenger load on the NSL, making commuting during peak hours more enjoyable. Office rents in the CBD area range between $8.00 PSF and $14.001 PSF. Marina Bay and Shenton Way are traditional office locations, so the addition of the two stations might just increase their appeal to workers in general as peak morning rush hour transit becomes less squeezy.
1Rents were compiled from OfficeFinder
2Rents were compiled from CommercialGuru
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