Marina Bay Sands gets approval to build 587-room fourth tower, down from previous 1,000-room plan

An artist's impression of Marina Bay Sands' fourth tower. - MARINA BAY SANDS

SINGAPORE: Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has received approval from the authorities to develop a fourth tower, paving the way for a planned expansion of the integrated resort to be carried out.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) data for commercial projects with development approvals as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, MBS was given the green light for a hotel and retail development next to its current three towers on an empty plot that is flanked by Bayfront Avenue, Sheares Avenue and Sheares Link.

URA’s data, released on Jan 26, indicates that the new tower will have 153,100sq m of hotel space over 587 rooms and 12,185sq m of retail space.

MBS previously announced in April 2019 that its fourth tower would house 1,000 all-suite rooms.

Asked about the discrepancy in room numbers, MBS declined to give more information.

The integrated resort, which opened in April 2010, currently has a gross floor area of 581,400 sq m, including about 1,850 rooms and suites and about 74,000sq m of retail and dining space.

On Jan 24, parent company Las Vegas Sands (LVS) said in its earnings presentation for the fourth quarter of 2023 that “the budget and timing of the MBS expansion are subject to revision based upon the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors”.

LVS added that project costs are expected to “meaningfully exceed” the initial US$3.3 billion (S$4.5 billion) estimates – inclusive of land – that were made in 2019, due to “inflation, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, higher labour and material costs, and other factors”.

Design, development and programming work for the fourth tower “remain ongoing, with a focus on increasing the leisure and business tourism appeal of Singapore and MBS”, LVS said.

It was reported in March 2023 that MBS had been given until April 8, 2024, to commence construction for the expansion – the second extension of a construction deadline under a development agreement LVS signed with the Singapore Tourism Board in April 2019.

MBS now has until April 8, 2028, to complete its fourth tower, on land it has leased until August 2066.

The tower is to comprise all-suite rooms, and will be accompanied by a live performance arena that seats at least 15,000 spectators, as well as additional Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) capacity and luxury retail offerings.

A sky roof with a swimming pool and “other tourist attractions” will top the new tower, said LVS.

URA’s approval of MBS’ development plans follows the agency’s approval in the third quarter of 2023 of an expansion to Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

RWS has permission from URA to erect a hotel and retail development at Sentosa Gateway, comprising 66,995 sq m of hotel space over 700 rooms, and 21,243 sq m of retail space.

RWS’ parent company Genting Singapore said in November 2023 that the waterfront development’s construction will begin in 2024, and that its board had approved an investment of about $6.8 billion to expand and rejuvenate the integrated resort, up from the $4.5 billion it had originally committed in April 2019.

In the first 11 months of 2023, Singapore received 12.37 million visitors, about twice the 6.31 million who visited in 2022.

Annual visitorship hit a record 19.12 million in 2019, a number the country has yet to return to since the pandemic.

Separately, the Ministry of Education was in the last quarter of 2023 granted development approvals for an office and retail development in North Buona Vista Drive.

The development is to have 58,627sq m of office space and 762 sq m of retail space. ST has asked the ministry, whose building is located at 1 North Buona Vista Drive, for more information on the project. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Marina Bay Sands , tower , fourth


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