MBS Expansion Aerial View

MBS gets URA approval to build 587-room fourth tower, down from previous 1,000-room plan

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has secured approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to proceed with the development of its fourth tower, signaling an expansion of the renowned integrated resort. The approved plans include a hotel and retail development located adjacent to the existing three towers, encompassing an empty plot between Bayfront Avenue, Sheares Avenue, and Sheares Link.

Details of the Approval: The URA’s data, as of the fourth quarter of 2023, reveals that the new tower will feature 153,100 square meters of hotel space with 587 rooms and an additional 12,185 square meters designated for retail space. Notably, this contrasts with MBS’s previous announcement in April 2019, where plans initially outlined a fourth tower housing 1,000 all-suite rooms.

MBS Expansion Plans: While the number of rooms has been adjusted, MBS declined to provide further details. The integrated resort, opened in April 2010, currently spans a gross floor area of 581,400 square meters, hosting approximately 1,850 rooms and suites alongside around 74,000 square meters of retail and dining space. The expansion project’s budget and timing are subject to revisions based on factors such as the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other considerations.

Parent company Las Vegas Sands (LVS) stated in its Q4 2023 earnings presentation that project costs are anticipated to surpass the initial estimates of US$3.3 billion made in 2019 due to factors like inflation, the pandemic’s impact, increased labor and material costs, and other variables.

Construction Deadline and Project Components: MBS had received an extension until April 8, 2024, to commence construction for the expansion. The fourth tower, expected to be completed by April 8, 2028, will comprise all-suite rooms, a live performance arena for at least 15,000 spectators, additional MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) capacity, and luxury retail offerings.

Comparisons with Resorts World Sentosa (RWS): URA’s approval for MBS follows the green light given to Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Q3 2023 for its own expansion plans, including a hotel and retail development at Sentosa Gateway. RWS’s parent company, Genting Singapore, has approved an investment of about S$6.8 billion, up from the initial commitment of S$4.5 billion in April 2019, reflecting the growth and rejuvenation of the integrated resort.

Conclusion: MBS’s approval for the fourth tower signifies a strategic move towards enhancing Singapore’s tourism and leisure offerings. The adjustments in room numbers and ongoing considerations related to the Covid-19 pandemic underscore the dynamic nature of large-scale projects in the current economic landscape. As Singapore welcomes an increasing number of visitors, the expanded facilities at MBS and RWS are poised to contribute to the country’s tourism recovery.

The Business Times

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