The iconic Golden Mile Complex building, with its terraced facade facing Nicoll Highway, is being proposed for conservation because of its historical and architectural significance, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Friday.
The decision, taken after a two-year-study, starts the process to have it gazetted as a conserved building.
But to help ensure the move will not inhibit a future collective sale, the URA, in an unusual move, is offering developers additional planning incentives, including a one-third increase in floor area with a waiver of part of its development charge (DC) and the option to adjust the boundary of the 1.3-hectare site.
In turn, developers have to abide by the conservation guidelines.
Most importantly, they have to retain the development’s landmark main building that is famed for its signature stepped terrace atop the podium facing Nicoll Highway.
Other key features that have to be kept include the stepped building profile and plinth-like profile on the side facing Beach Road.
The URA, however, assured builders that it said it is open to consider creative design ideas that respect the architectural and structural character of the building.
The decision to conserve the 47-year-old complex comes after two unsuccessful collective sales, both times with the same price tag of S$800 million. Both tenders closed with no bids.
One of the major incentives is the URA letting the development have an increased total Gross Plot Ratio of 5.6 for the site. This one-third increase in floor area is the equivalent of an additional 30-storey tower.
It will sit on the site of an existing multi-storey carpark adjacent to the main building.
Part of the DC for the extra floor area will be waived but capped at 10 per cent of the market value of the entire development, or 10 per cent of the estimated land value based on the current DC rate, depending on the approved mix of use for the development, whichever is lower, the URA said.
Developers will also be given the option to adjust the site boundary to have a more regular-shaped site for optimal layout of the new tower.
These incentives come on top of the typical planning incentives for conserved buildings, in which DCs are waived for enhancement in value arising from a change of site use and a lease top-up to 99 years.
More than 7,000 buildings in Singapore have been conserved, many of which are in historic districts such as Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam.
The decision to conserve the strata-titled Golden Mile Complex comes after inputs gathered over two years by the URA from various stakeholders, heritage groups and industry players.
The 718-unit, 16-storey property in Beach Road is zoned for commercial use under the URA Master Plan 2014.
Golden Mile Complex was completed in 1973 and has about 48 years left on its lease. It was one of the first developments in Singapore to feature offices, shops and residences.
When it finds a developer in a collective sale, Golden Mile Complex will be Singapore’s first large-scale strata-titled conserved development to be sold.