[url]http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/money/story/star-vista-set-dazzle-buona-vista-20120922[/url]

[B][SIZE="5"]Star Vista set to dazzle Buona Vista[/SIZE][/B]

[B]First major mall in area offers about 100 shops, adds buzz to one-north[/B]

Published on Sep 22, 2012

By Amanda Tan


THE one-north area is fast taking shape with the new Star Vista mall.

The CapitaMalls Asia outfit - the first major mall in Buona Vista - has about 100 shops, including some that are new to Singapore, like eatery Morganfield's.

The Star Performing Arts Centre, owned and managed by New Creation Church's Rock Productions, is above the mall.

Star Vista is within Vista Xchange, a cluster next to Buona Vista MRT station that houses Rochester Mall, Park Avenue Rochester Hotel and the upcoming Metropolis, which will have two office towers and retail space.

Lifestyle hub Rochester Park, with its trendy eateries, has been open for several years. Rochester Mall and the hotel are already operating, while the Metropolis is expected to be ready next year.

The one-north area - on the boundary of Buona Vista and Dover - is near the Buona Vista and one-north MRT stations. It is known for the science and research clusters Biopolis and Fusionopolis. Some phases of these two spots are completed, but more buildings will be added in future.

Mediapolis, which will house MediaCorp and other firms, is another cluster nearby that expects its first tenants soon.

Besides those, the Ministry of Education is headquartered in the area, as is Nanyang Technological University's Alumni Club.

The one-north development in its entirety will be finished in about 15 years, but the changes are already boosting condominiums in the area while rents are being sustained by the many enterprises, private and public, there.

Property consultants say there is "great investment potential", given the area's accessibility, limited new supply of units, capital appreciation and leasing demands.

There is a dearth of private projects, with the fully sold The Rochester, which was completed last year, being the newest. The 405-unit One North Residences was completed in 2009, while Dover Parkview and Heritage View are more than a decade old.

As far as experts know, there are no more projects to be launched in the one-north area. There are also no government land sales there this year.

But investors who already own units are singing a happy tune, with resale prices increasing about 3 per cent to 6.8 per cent in the last three years, said Knight Frank research head Png Poh Soon.

Dover Parkview's resale prices have risen 3 per cent to about $949 per sq ft (psf) this year, while Heritage View next door posted an uptick of 6.8 per cent to around $1,093 psf.

The newer One North Residences saw resale prices inch up 3.6 per cent, averaging $1,436 psf.

Based on five-year trends, private home prices there have increased 2.9 per cent annually since 2007, beating the 2.2 per cent rise at condos in the neighbouring Holland and Farrer areas.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said leasing activity in the area has been "very buoyant" in the last three quarters.

There have been at least 50 leases signed in the first two quarters this year at One North Residences, with monthly rents from $3.90 to $4.50 psf.

"The long-term outlook for residential properties there is encouraging... The work-live-play concept is also rapidly taking shape and private homes there are expected to continually garner interest from investors," Mr Ong said.

Mr Png said the one-north area is "seen as the next up-and-coming attractive spot for property".

Businessman Clement Kang, 29, is considering buying an investment home there.

"It is exclusive because there are not many other developments there. Rochester Park and the nearby Holland Village are big draws... it is also very accessible by car or public transport."

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