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    Default URA's geographical definition of Central Region

    This is the URA's definition of what constitutes the Central Region, Prime Districts, Downtown Core, and Sentosa.
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    Last edited by mr funny; 26th January 2007 at 05:41 PM.

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    Default DRAFT MASTER PLAN 2008

    Please refer to [url][/url] for the Draft Master Plan 2008.

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    Default Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you


    Published May 24, 2008

    [B][SIZE="5"]Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]With Draft Master Plan, ambitious concept is taken further afield to Kallang and Paya Lebar[/B]


    (SINGAPORE) The Urban and Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Live, Work and Play mantra has been so successful in the Downtown Core precinct - as evidenced by the rapid development of offices, condos, hotels and leisure hotspots - that plans are now underway to export the concept to outlying districts in earnest.

    The URA has already rolled out ambitious plans to transform Jurong East into a bustling sub-metropolitan hub of parks, offices, hotels, edutainment centres and homes.

    Now, with the launch of the Draft Master Plan 2008 yesterday, it has included similar blueprints for Kallang and Paya Lebar as well.

    The three new hubs - Jurong Lake District, Kallang Riverside, and Paya Lebar Central - all have one objective in common, and that is to balance the elements of Live, Work and Play.

    Speaking at the launch of the Draft Master Plan 2008 exhibition at URA Centre yesterday, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan highlighted three key objectives of the latest Master Plan. Of these, it was the need to 'enhance accessibility and reduce commuting by bringing jobs closer to home' that underscores the need for the three new hubs. Not surprisingly then, Mr Mah added that public transportation has been 'prioritised'.

    The other two objectives are to 'ensure that we have enough land to support economic opportunity', and to 'provide quality housing and leisure options for our people'.

    Currently, the three areas have the potential to be sub-metropolitan hubs as they are, or will be, transportation nodes with the completion of existing and future rail, bus and road networks.

    However, looking at each area reveals that at least one of the three important ingredients of Live, Work and Play is missing.

    In the current Jurong East, for instance, there lacks a central office zone even though it has a relatively large population catchment area. As such, URA has designated 500,000 square metres of office space, 250,000 sq m of retail and entertainment space, 2,800 hotel rooms, but just 1,000 units of new homes for Jurong Lake District.

    Also bringing jobs closer to home is Paya Lebar Central, which is in the centre of another large population catchment area.

    Here, URA is planning for 294,000 sq m of office space, 200,000 sq m of hotel and retail space, but no new housing.

    Kallang Riverside, which is on the fringe of the city is, however, relatively under-populated and will have space for 4,000 new waterfront homes and 3,000 hotel rooms. Being a much larger area and close to the new Sports Hub, it will also have 300,000 sq m of office space and 300,000 sq m of hotel, retail and entertainment spaces.

    So, will it work?

    City Developments Ltd (CDL), which helped kick-start Marina Bay with The Sail, had initially planned the project as being half-commercial. Even then, many market watchers thought that only a complete office would work. Going against conventional wisdom of the time, it was eventually designed as two residential towers in 2003.

    Looking back, CDL managing director Kwek Leng Joo, says: 'Ultimately, we strongly believed that developing the very first residential development in the vicinity - a truly iconic one for that matter, would be most synergistic and truly reflect the 'Live' component of URA's vision.'

    That Marina South remains largely untouched in the Draft Master Plan 2008 suggests that there is more emphasis on decentralisation compared to the previous Master Plan which emphasised the Downtown Core.

    Knight Frank managing director Tan Tiong Cheng said: 'With the new Master Plan, there is a drive to develop areas with potential that have not been previously emphasised.

    'Marina South will be quite easy to roll out because it sits on vacant state land. And when sites are available, they should sell quite fast.'

    URA's decentralisation strategy was first adopted in 1991, with the Concept Plan that maps out the long-term 40-50-year vision.

    The Master Plan, which translates the Concept Plan strategies into detailed statutory land use plans to guide development over periods of 10-15 years, is reviewed every five years and may have different priorities.

    The Master Plan 2008 also goes some way in addressing the widening gap between high-end and mass market homes.

    Jones Lang LaSalle's head of research (South-east Asia), Chua Yang Liang, said: 'The strategy is really a bi-polar one.'

    He explained that the Master Plan has to deal with planning issues that involve communities revolving around manufacturing in the north, and wealthier communities who are choosing to move downtown, especially to waterfront homes in the south. And recently, the disparity between high-end waterfront homes at Sentosa Cove and those in the heartlands has widened.

    As such, Dr Chua notes that much of the new housing that has been highlighted in the outer regions all face the water.

    'This emphasis on providing more waterfront homes would greatly enhance social equity by making such homes more affordable to the regular guy on the street and not limited to just the affluent,' he added.

    If water is the new social glue, then the Rail Transit System (RTS) is its life blood.

    Industry players are perhaps a little disappointed that not much has been done by way of increasing plot ratios, a move that usually adds zest to the property market.

    But Savills Singapore director (marketing and development) Ku Swee Yong notes that property values, and possibly even plot ratios, tend to rise around new MRT stations.

    And with the RTS already reported to be doubled from 138 km today to 278 km by 2020, with an addition of over 40 new stations, Mr Ku is hopeful that the next Master Plan review could see more plot ratio goodies. 'I think URA might just be waiting for the new infrastructure to be completed,' he added.

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    Default Re: Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you


    Published May 24, 2008


    [B][SIZE="5"]Plot ratio increases not needed for now[/SIZE][/B]

    THERE are no major plot ratio revisions in the latest Draft Master Plan because there is no need.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Draft Master Plan (MP) 2008 exhibition, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan said yesterday the intensity of plot ratios has to be, 'consistent with the land use'.

    'You look at plot ratios when you want to accommodate a certain quantum of population. And if you add it all up and you find that it is sufficient for the population you are planning for, then there is no need to increase it,' he said.

    Mr Mah's comments come at a time when many Singaporeans are still grappling with the figure of 6.5 million for the long-term projected population, announced last year.

    However, looking at the figure for planned-for new housing in MP 2008, the increase in population does not seem to be expected any time soon.

    MP 2008 allows for 327,200 new homes in Singapore. Interestingly, MP 2003, which was planned before the 6.5 million target was revealed, allowed for 371,000 homes, 13.4 per cent more than MP 2008.

    Also, in 2003 the population was 4.1 million, of whom 700,000 were not Singaporean.

    In 2008, the population increased to 4.6 million, of whom one million were not Singaporean.

    Asked about the fall in the number of planned new homes, a spokesperson for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said: 'The 5.5 million population in Concept Plan 2001 and 6.5 million population for the Mid-Term Concept Plan Review are planning parameters to ensure we have sufficient land for the long term.'

    URA added: 'In the medium term, around 350,000 dwelling units is a comfortable, reasonable number for land safeguarding purposes, which still allows some flexibility to meet market demand. Both MP 2003 and MP 2008 have safeguarded about 350,000 dwelling units.'

    An extra 900 hectares of land added for park space in MP 2008 suggests Singaporeans will not be crowded out soon.

    Mr Mah added: 'Land scarcity is always an issue with Singapore. Yes, we are short of land, but, no, we are not short of space. By creative and innovative planning, we can make a lot of difference.'

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    Default Re: Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you


    Published May 24, 2008


    [B][SIZE="5"]Kallang to be turned into a lifestyle hub[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]Called Kallang Riverside, it will have new homes, hotels and offices[/B]


    THE spotlight has turned from Marina Bay to the greater surrounding district, as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) lays out plans to turn Kallang into the next waterfront lifestyle precinct.

    Called Kallang Riverside, the new growth area is planned as a 'lifestyle destination' and set amid parks and a beachfront promenade, revealed Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan.

    Under the plan, the 64-hectare Kallang Riverside will also become the next commercial hub housing new residences, hotels and offices along the waterfront.

    Speaking at the launch of the Draft Master Plan 2008 exhibition, Mr Mah said: 'Even as we plan for growth area, we are clear that economic growth should not be at the expense of the quality of our living environment.'

    The Kallang River takes centre stage in the blueprint.

    The west side of the river will become an enclave for 4,000 new homes. True to beachfront living, these homes will have a range of storey heights which step down to the waterfront for residents to enjoy scenic views. CB Richard Ellis Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho notes that plot ratios in this area range from 3.5 to 5.6.

    There will also be a new linear park, Central Green, linking Lavender MRT station to the waterfront. New homes in the area may go 'fenceless' to blend in with the lush park setting.

    Apart from residences, Kallang Riverside will welcome a mix of office, retail and entertainment developments as well as 3,000 hotel rooms. There are plans to upgrade the Kallang Riverside Park with beachside lagoons and recreational facilities.

    URA will also conserve the historic Kallang Airport and adapt it to new uses.

    In total, about 6.46 million square foot of commercial floor space will be available. Half will go to offices and the other half to hotel, retail and entertainment developments.

    Located on the fringe of the CBD, Kallang Riverside does seem attractive.

    Knight Frank director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak also noted that property prices are lower in Kallang. However, he believes that prices will rise as Kallang Riverside develops, though it is too early to tell what the extent of the rise could be.

    According to URA's website, the median price for The Riverine by the Park in Kallang reached $1,588 per square foot in July 2007, while that for One Shenton near Marina Bay was $2,007 psf.

    As for the hotel cluster, what sort of potential would Kallang Riverside hold? Singapore Tourism Board deputy chairman and CEO Lim Neo Chian believes that sports tourism could develop in the area.

    'The Boston Marathon, for instance, attracts thousands of people. We could have a similar marathon that includes Kallang and Marina Bay,' said Mr Lim. He added that STB was working with the Singapore Sports Council to create such events.

    So far, most industry observers have reacted positively to the plans for Kallang Riverside. Jones Lang LaSalle head of research (South-east Asia) Chua Yang Liang said: 'The development plan to watch out for will be Kallang Riverside. This area has great potential.'

    Savills Singapore director of marketing and development Ku Swee Yong believes that the extension of waterfront facilities to Kallang Riverside puts the Marina Barrage to efficient use - the barrage is expected to stabilise water levels in the Singapore River and also create more pristine water conditions at the Kallang River. Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han said: 'It looks like where there is water, there is a concerted government effort to create nodes.'

    Yet, with Paya Lebar Central coming up as a commercial hub as well, Dr Chua pointed out that 'the release of commercial sites will have to be carefully monitored to avoid siphoning the development energy out of Marina Bay'.

    Shedding some light on the timeframe for site releases in Kallang Riverside and Paya Lebar Central, URA CEO Cheong Koon Hean said: 'Probably within the next one to two years, we should be developing infrastructure . . . and probably releasing the first site.'

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    Default Re: Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you

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    Default Re: Live, Work, Play at a neighbourhood near you


    Published May 24, 2008


    [B][SIZE="5"]Spotlight falls on Paya Lebar Central as suburban star[/SIZE][/B]


    PAYA Lebar Central is set to become the next suburban commercial hub under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) Draft Master Plan. And if market observers are right, the area may emerge as the newest hot spot for backroom operations and small and medium enterprises (SME).

    Unveiled by Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan yesterday, the 2008 Draft Master Plan is an elaborate land use guide for Singapore in the next 10 to 15 years. To sustain economic growth and bring jobs closer to homes, the plan carves out Paya Lebar Central, Kallang Riverside and Jurong Lake District as the latest commercial and mixed-use hubs.

    Paya Lebar Central will stand out as a commercial node with a unique cultural identity. The URA will set aside 12 hectares of land with about 5.32 million square feet of commercial floor space for development. Of this, office space will take up 3.16 million sq ft, while hotel and retail spaces will occupy another 2.15 million sq ft.

    For new growth areas such as Paya Lebar, plot ratios may increase, said Mr Mah, who spoke to reporters after the launch of the Plan.

    In terms of connectivity, Paya Lebar Central is a 10-minute drive from the Central Business District (CBD) and is linked to major expressways and roads. Come 2010, the area will become more accessible when the new Paya Lebar MRT interchange station for the Circle and East-West lines opens.

    There are also plans to re-align a stretch of the Geylang River so that it runs through new commercial developments along Tanjong Katong Road. The riverbanks will be ideal for office, retail and hotel developments.

    Real estate experts believe that Paya Lebar Central's proximity to town may draw backroom operations from banks and multinational corporations.

    'Just six MRT stations from Raffles Place, Paya Lebar Central may be even more attractive ... compared with the Tampines Regional Centre or the Changi Business Park,' observed director of marketing and business development at Savills Singapore Ku Swee Yong.

    Sharing this view was Colliers International's director of research and advisory Tay Huey Ying. Ms Tay also noted that 'Paya Lebar Central will be a suitable commercial hub for SMEs, especially for those which support light industries in the area'.

    For these SMEs, deputy managing director of Knight Frank Danny Yeo said: 'Rental rates in the CBD may be too high, and some have set up offices in industrial buildings instead. Hence, the creation of a commercial hub at Paya Lebar Central will be helpful.'

    According to Mr Yeo, office rents in the Paya Lebar region range broadly from $6 to $8 per sq ft per month currently. A Jones Lang LaSalle report in April noted that the CBD core Grade A gross effective office rent stood at $17.35 per sq ft per month in the first quarter.

    Mr Mah reassured those who were worried about a potential excess of office space from the upcoming hubs. 'We can set land aside but it is the private investor who will make the final decision,' he said.

    He also did not think there would be an oversupply of office space in the foreseeable future, up to 2010 or 2011. 'Based on projections ... we expect that all the supply that we have already put in place will be taken up.'

    Beyond its business appeal, Paya Lebar Central will also charm with its distinctive Malay character. A new pedestrian mall will be created along Geylang Road to provide more space for stalls during the annual Hari Raya bazaar. The new Geylang Serai Market will also add to the local heritage when it is ready in 2009.

    Next to the market, a new civic centre and plaza will become focal points for community facilities such as a library, and for events such as bazaars.

    To make it easier for workers and shoppers to get around Paya Lebar Central, there will be more covered walkways, underground paths and overhead bridges in the area.

    With upcoming commercial and cultural activities in Paya Lebar Central, market observers expect to see three- to four-star hotels coming up to cater to mid-tier tourists and business travellers. URA estimates that the area can accommodate 1,400 hotel rooms.

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