November 12, 2012 by Guest Contributor
Freshly painted bubblegum stripes sweep down the right hand corner of Block 71, while cartoons adorn the walls on the first floor. Color? Wall art? Creativity? These are things you do not usually see at the otherwise drab Ayer Rajah industrial estate.
But Block 71 is no ordinary building.
Rescued from the bulldozers by the Media Development Authority (MDA), which leased the seven-storey building from national industrial infrastructure developer JTC Corporation, it was relaunched in April 2011 as “Mediapolis Phase Zero”, an incubation centre and prototype of Mediapolis — the future media hub of Singapore.
Spanning an area of 19 hectares (about 26 football fields), Mediapolis is still largely under construction. But the transformation of the formerly sleepy area is already in the works. National broadcaster Mediacorp has already announced its move to Mediapolis by 2015, where they will occupy a 1.5 hectare complex while property management firm Ascendas announced in February last year the construction of a 10-storey building to be developed at a cost of SGD 60M (USD 49M).
Walking out from the newly-built One North subway station, to the mostly pallid Ayer Rajah industrial estate which at present remains home to a large number of small and medium enterprises, three food courts, a minimart, and one medical centre, one is reminded of how quickly industrial landscapes can change in a country that leaped from the third world to first in less than half a century. Read more