Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Marina Bay Sands - Update


The Marina Bay Sands is Singapore’s first casino, being developed by one of the world’s biggest gambling companies, Las Vegas Sands, at Marina South in central Singapore. Completion of the Integrated Resort is expected for 2010. The casino and one of the hotel towers was expected to open in December 2009. However, on July 8, 2009, it was announced that the initial phase of the Marina Bay Sands will open early 2010.

Las Vegas Sands has committed to invest S$3.85 billion in the project, not including the fixed S$1.2 billion cost of the 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) site itself, which by most estimates will make it the most expensive casino in the world. The total cost of the development is placed at S$8.0 billion. In addition to the casino, other key components of the plan are three hotel towers with 2,600 rooms and suites, a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) arts and sciences museum and a convention centre with 1,200,000 square feet (111,000 m2) of space, capable of accommodating over 52,000 people. The resort, inspired by card decks, was designed by Moshe Safdie. The company has promised to create 10,400 jobs for the project, 75 percent of them reserved for Singaporeans.

Marina Bay Sands will feature three 55 storey hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers will be connected with a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof. In front of the three towers will be a Theatre Block, a Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block, which will have up to 1,000 gaming tables and 1,400 slot machines. The Art-Science Museum will be constructed next to the three blocks and will have the shape of a lotus. Its roof will be retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and treating audiences to laser shows when opened at night. The Art-Science Museum will be ready by early-2010.

Marina Bay Sands has leased about 75 per cent of its retail space, or 225 units of the 300 stores at the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes. The integrated resort provides over 800,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Sands said about half of the total retail space will be ready by the first phase of its opening in early 2010. And 80 per cent of the stores that are due to open has already been leased. Among them is luxury French fashion house Chanel. The label is boosting its presence in Southeast Asia with a new concept fashion boutique that will occupy 7,600 square feet over two floors of the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes.

However, from my sources, it looks like Resorts World Sentosa could be sstealing the thunder from Sands by having a soft opening in 4Q 2009 as well. As things are shaping up over the last few weeks, it looks like Resorts World Sentosa is looking to be a more viable proposition... we will see....







p/s photo: Vivian Hsu

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