The redevelopment of Johor Bahru City Centre

As it is, Singaporeans are heading north to Johor Bahru (JB) for business, leisure and even to live. But with massive plans to re-develop JB into hubs of many industries, what impact will it have on the real estate scene there as well as here in Singapore?

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Areas outside of Johor Bahru’s city centre, areas such as Iskandar Puteri and Danga Bay have been attracting many foreign investment dollars over the past few years. But JB’s city centre could be the place that will reveal major yields in the long term as it’s essentially the transport, retail and commercial hub of the city.

So it is perhaps not surprising that the government has put a RM20 billion (S$6.48 billion) plan in place to rejuvenate the ageing district. Launched in 2015, the plan aims to develop JB’s city centre into an international business district, complete with all-new infrastructure – the Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD). The most recent unveiling was the 268m link bridge which is targeted for a 2017 completion. It will connect the JB Sentral railway station and bus terminal to Persada Annexe, an extension of the Persada Convention Centre.

But perhaps the true gem of the project is Coronation Square, a major mixed use development. The RM$3 million project is overseen by Coronation Properties and consists of 6 towers – 2 office blocks, 1 condominium block consisting of 480 high-end apartment units, 1 block of serviced apartments, 1 hotel and 1 tower dedicated for medical purposes. The residential units have not yet been put up for sale, but the developers are so bullish about its potential they have already started the construction process.

AstakaJBAnother large-scale development near the city centre is the One Bukit Senyum project located just off the Tebrau expressway. Aside from a shopping mall, residences and a 5-star hotel, it will also house the Johor Bahru City Council‘s new headquarters. The residential component of the project is The Astaka, with 438 units spread across 2 blocks of 65- and 70-storeys. Already 300 units have been sold and Singaporeans make up more than half of the buyers.

As Singapore and Malaysia continues to improve on their inter-country accessibility, the demand for properties across both borders will remain high.