URA seeks to bring ‘24/7′ life to cluster near Bugis

AN EXCITING cluster of shops, homes, entertainment centres, hotel and office space – all set within an attractive garden-like environment in the heart of Singapore’s city centre.

This is the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) vision for the 2.7-hectare green field development site, :bordering Ophir and Rochor roads, it is putting out for tender.

With analysts forecasting a possible land sales price of over $1 billion, this could be the second most expensive plot of government land sold this year, after the $1.2 billion paid by Parkway for a rare hospital site near Novena.

“Every major developer in town will be looking at it,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, director of consultancy and research at Knight Frank.

“But while they may be paying attention, they may not all bid, because in today’s market, getting the necessary financing is difficult. As this is a big one, some might bid in consortiums instead.”

The URA wants to bring some “exciting 24/7″ life to the area.

The site, located behind Parkview Square, is seen as a natural extension from the established convention, office and hotel hub at Marina Centre.

“New developments in the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor will inject vibrancy and activities to this part of the city and form a new office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the existing financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay,” said the URA’s statement.

The site can potentially accommodate at least 570,000 sq ft of mixed-use space.

At least 40 per cent of the area is zoned for office use and at least 15 per cent must be for hotel and hotel-related uses.

Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CB Richard Ellis Research, said: “If awarded, the office development is likely to be ready in 2013 and could offer city-fringe office occupiers an option to upgrade or expand into a higher grade quality building without moving into the central business district.

“There would also be the added benefit of proximity to the Circle Line, which would have been completed a few years earlier, as well as the Downtown Rail Transit System (RTS) line that will be completed around the same time,” said Mr Li.

“Thus, an office development on this site should be attractive to occupiers.”

The site is flanked by the historical district of Kampong Glam. Bras Basah and Bugis are also nearby.

In fact, the future development will have direct basement-level connections to the new Bugis Interchange MRT station, with immediate access to the existing East-West RTS line and the recently-announced Downtown RTS line.

The new development can tower up 40 storeys high, providing panoramic views across the city to Marina Bay and the new Sports Hub at Kallang.

Source : Today – 1 Jul 2008

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