Posted November 27

Singapore’s CBD transforms into health-conscious work, live and play destination

A new trend towards sustainability in mixed-use developments incorporating healthy lifestyles and wellness is driving retail concepts in Singapore’s Central Business District.

In Singapore’s Central Business District, an area dominated by skyscrapers and office towers, a growing consumer demand for health and wellness choices is driving contemporary retail concepts and new thinking about urban lifestyles.

The island nation, dubbed the ‘Garden City’ for maximising open space within its urban environment, is seeing a new trend towards mixed-use developments incorporating retail and food and beverage (F&B) components. The result is a demand for products and services, such as gyms, juice bars, organic gardens and new F&B concepts that meet the needs of the growing number of health-conscious consumers.

The trend includes F&B outlets with gardens to grow their own produce, organic foods, cold-pressed juice bars and menus that are made to order for the growing health and lifestyle market.

“Singapore consumers are becoming more aware of their lifestyle choices what they eat and where their food has been sourced as well as placing more emphasis on their fitness regimes” says Gary Nonis, JLL’s National Director for Retail in Singapore.

Healthy lifestyles form an inspiration for Downtown Gallery, a new mixed-use development completing in Q4-2016 that will combine fashionable shopping and nutritious food choices with boutique gyms such as pilates, martial arts, yoga and spinning classes, as well as healthy living and eating options.

“A lot of food operators are looking at bringing in more healthy food concepts to meet the growing demand and operators and developers are looking at sustainability, such as development around urban parks and green spaces and how these can be incorporated into the healthy lifestyle.”

Singapore’s government, whose urban planners are always thinking about and planning for a sustainable future, has put an emphasis on transforming its CBD into a more holistic area.

The vision is ‘Work, live, play’; that is, mixed-used developments that allow people to live, work and have fun within the same neighborhood – in essence, a micro-city. Greenery, sustainability and a healthy lifestyle are key components in Singapore’s new smart growth emphasis.

Examples of this trend can be found in the new developments of Tanjong Pagar Centre and South Beach. Both developments are mixed use projects incorporating Office, Residential, Hotel, Retail and F&B accommodation in meeting this “Live, Work and Play” requirement. Tanjong Pagar Centre will contain a 100,000 sq ft Urban Park surrounded by F&B units as part of it’s retail component and South Beach contains F&B and retail accommodation under a sustainable microclimatic canopy further enhancing both developments sustainable credentials.

While Singapore’s CBD has long been a popular destination for F&B and convenience retail, the move to ‘Work, live, play’ means there’s new consumer demand from its urbane, health-conscious denizens. F&B operators are no longer catering to crowds limited to weekday lunch hours only.

“The landscape in the CBD has changed,” said Gary Nonis, JLL’s National Director for Retail. “Prior to today it was simply offices and office workers. Now there is a big residential component coming in, in line with the government’s ‘Work, live, play.’ And they value a healthy lifestyle, open space, green credentials and sustainability.”