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High-density homes may complement Paya Lebar hub

Study says they may come up on sites that are currently industrial estates

(SINGAPORE) The development of vacant state sites already zoned for commercial use immediately around Paya Lebar MRT Station will spearhead the transformation of the area into a commercial hub.

More interestingly, however, high-density homes may also come up slightly further away on sites currently occupied by industrial estates to support an expected influx of population as Paya Lebar shapes up as a subregional centre.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in a recent study of likely changes in the upcoming Master Plan 2008, identified three sites – two currently part of Eunos industrial estate owned by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the third also in an industrial estate but privately owned – that could be developed into high-rise homes, whether public or private. Despite the fact that the three plots are currently being used as industrial facilities, two of these sites are actually zoned for residential use under the existing Master Plan 2003, while the third is slated for reserve use.

The need to inject a bigger live-in population to complement the development of Paya Lebar as a sub-regional centre may see HDB offering the three sites for development into housing, especially if the plots are accorded relatively high plot ratios of 3.5 to 4.0 to optimise their proximity to Paya Lebar MRT Station, which will be an interchange station, at the cross section of the new Circle Line and existing East-West Line.

JLL argued these plot ratios – which reflect the ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area – are similar to the plot ratios granted for housing projects in the Tiong Bahru vicinity. ‘Injecting more homes in the Paya Lebar area will help maintain a balance between residential and commercial uses in the location,’ JLL said.

And with the increased live-in population will arise the need for having more schools, which can be developed on a plot already zoned for education under the current master plan, JLL’s study suggests.

The property consultancy also suggests that two sites currently zoned for Business 1 (suitable for clean and light industrial/ warehouse use) – one each in Aljunied and Eunos industrial estates – are likely to be rezoned to Business Park or Logistics Park to better complement the proposed commercial developments that will be built closer to Paya Lebar MRT Station.

The plot ratios of these two sites are also likely to be raised from 2.5 currently to 2.5 to 2.8, JLL said.

‘The improved accessibility of the Paya Lebar location that will result from the area serving as an interchange between two MRT lines will boost the location’s image and attractiveness as an alternative office location in the longer term,’ JLL said.

The property consultancy does not envisage a plot ratio increase for the vacant state sites currently zoned for commercial use immediately around Paya Lebar MRT Station, as their existing 4.2 plot ratios are in sync with the Tampines Finance Park.

Last year, the government said Paya Lebar will be developed into a business hub to provide space for Singapore’s continued growth as a global business centre. Plans for its transformation are expected to be fleshed out in Master Plan 2008, which will be ready later this year.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan in June last year ruled out massive, across-the-board hikes in plot ratios islandwide in Master Plan 2008.


Source: Business Times 8 Jan 08


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