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  Straits Times Forum 21 Dec 06
Don't build all the resorts in town area. Consider Punggol 21 and Coney Island
Letter from Jyanzi Kong

Now that we have settled on who will build the two integrated resorts in Marina Bay and Sentosa, it's time to look further into the future. The two resorts will rely heavily on the existing infrastructure, plus the Circle Line and Downtown Extension (DTE) that are being built.

Future sites for the next resorts may have to be built in the outlying coastal areas with good links to the existing infrastructure. The development could be more cost-effective. Land use is maximised, and the future resorts could tie in with the existing infrastructure.

A potential site is the coastal area of Punggol 21 and Coney Island. The area, with its LRT, is linked directly with the NEL to Harbour Front, the new Sentosa resort, and an easy transfer to Marina Bay. The site offers a variety of activities due to its coastal geography. Across Coney Island is Pulau Ubin, which is still covered with a rainforest. The new integrated resort on such a site may take on a jungle and marine theme.

If we are to become the City of Mists and Rainforest, we ought to look at the island nation holistically and develop it in relationship with its linkages rather than just contextual influences.

Theme parks, casinos, turf clubs usually can function on their own without much surrounding influences, especially when the customers are from the region. For customers who arrive by air, the future northeast integrated resort will be the most accessible from the airport.

There may be a need to connect the existing lines from Pasir Ris and Punggol with a new 'Northern Line' with stops at Ikea, Giant, Courts megastores, where one can shop enroute to the airport.

Such development will inevitably increase the value of real estate in the northeast.

Instead of concentrating value-added projects in the town area, we ought to stimulate value throughout the island. The new resort projects will spur more private development in an otherwise sparse and under-developed northeast, specifically the Punggol 21 area.

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