Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 19, 2008

Kallang to be turned into a lifestyle hub

Filed under: General,Property Add Value — Propertymarketupdates @ 5:16 am

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.’

Source : Business Times – 24 May 2008

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