Underground shopping at Marine Parade

Underground retail space connecting Marine Parade and Marine Terrace stations

The Marine Parade station is slated for completion in 2023.

Marine Parade residents can look forward to shopping at an underground retail space the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is developing.

The retail space will sit above part of the tunnel connecting Marine Parade and Marine Terrace stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line.

The space, to have 133,000 sq ft of gross floor area in a single storey, is seen as a way of getting more mileage from public infrastructure investment and optimising land productivity, reported The Business Times (BT).

Provisional permission for the proposed retail development was granted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in March.

The Marine Parade station is slated for completion in 2023.

Having underground retail space next to MRT stations is not a new concept - such spaces have been developed at the Raffles Place and Dhoby Ghaut stations, as well as in the linkway between the two stations (East-West and Downtown lines) at the Bugis Interchange.

But Marine Parade is likely to be the first time the concept is being introduced in a fairly big way outside the city, said market watchers.

Large existing malls in the vicinity are not expected to take a big hit from the underground retail space, which is likely to provide ancillary convenience services to commuters on the go.

An LTA spokesman told BT: "To improve connectivity and maximise underground space, LTA will construct an adjoining underground space as part of Marine Parade station.

"The single-storey structure is constructed by taking advantage of the cut-and-cover construction of the tunnels to the east of the station on Marine Parade Road."

She added that the retail space will be handed over to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), the custodian of State properties.

An SLA spokesman said that since the underground space and station will be completed only in 2023, the authority will be looking into how the space can be best managed and utilised.



Mr Danny Yeo, group managing director at Knight Frank, thinks the authorities could adopt one of three possible models in deciding to whom the underground retail space will be handed over.

One option would be to hand over the space to the party that will be given the licence to operate the Thomson-East Coast Line.

"The operator would most likely be keen because of the additional revenue source from the retail rental collection," he said.

Alternatively, SLA could appoint a professional asset-management and/or facilities-management firm to run the retail space on behalf of the state.

"Such a party would bring in the tenants, manage them, collect rentals and do property maintenance in exchange for fee income from the Government," said Mr Yeo.

In the third scenario, the authorities could grant a long lease, say 20 or more years on the retail space to a third party.

Mr Yeo said he did not expect existing malls in the vicinity - Parkway Parade and One KM - to experience significant impact from the existence of the proposed retail space.

"This underground retail space will cater more to the convenience of MRT travellers," he added.

"So there will be some F&B outlets and takeaway stalls, convenience stores, maybe foot reflexology, nail bars, a place one could pick up simple cosmetics, a wellness centre."

Man jailed for attacking ex-girlfriend's friend

He used his ex-girlfriend’s mobile phone to send a text message to two of her male friends at the Tree House condominium at Chestnut Avenue near Bukit Panjang on Sept 27, last year.

When they arrived, part time mover Soh Yuan Qing, now 26, took one of them, Mr Jeremy Nyoe Jie Ming, 24, aside as he wanted to confront him over some text messages he had sent the ex-girlfriend, Ms Denise Heather Ryan, also 24.

Soh suddenly attacked Mr Nyoe and repeatedly punched him until Soh injured his own hand.

Mr Nyoe suffered injuries including a nasal bone fracture and two open wounds above his left upper eyelid.

Soh was jailed for eight months yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

Get the full story in our print edition May 19.

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Man jailed for punching fellow train passenger

Man jailed for attack on fellow train passenger who took time to give up reserved seat

He tried to be a Good Samaritan and asked a fellow train passenger to give up his seat to an elderly woman.

But the situation quickly turned ugly when odd job labourer Chin Poh Heng thought that Mr Chen Zongxi, 32, was slow in getting up from the reserved seat.

Chin, now 49, became agitated and punched the Chinese national several times before kicking him.

He was jailed for two weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to Mr Chen.

An unrelated criminal intimidation charge was taken into consideration.

According to court documents, Chin had threatened to throw a chair at a woman in a Sembawang Vista flat on Sept 24, 2014.

In the MRT incident, which occurred on Sept 2 last year, the two men were on the train heading towards Newton station when, at about 11.45pm, an elderly woman entered their cabin.

Chin tapped Mr Chen's shoulder and asked him to give her his reserved seat.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ryan David Lim said: "Prior to the train ride, the victim had consumed a few cans of beer, and thus informed the accused that he needed some time to stand up.

"The accused perceived that the victim was being slow in giving up his seat to the elderly lady."

Chin became agitated and punched the left side of his victim's forehead several times with his right hand.

Mr Chen covered his head to shield himself from the punches.

But Chin continued attacking the construction worker and kicked him once at his stomach.

Chin tried to get off the train when it stopped at Newton station, but other passengers stopped him.

Mr Chen then pressed an emergency button in the train to alert SMRT staff, who arrived soon after to detain the pair.

Mr Chen was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. A medical report stated that he suffered bruises around his eyes and left forehead, and a cut over the bridge of his nose.

He was given two days of outpatient medical leave.

For voluntarily causing hurt, Chin could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

"The accused perceived that the victim was being slow in giving up his seat to the elderly lady."

- Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan David Lim

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