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JLL sees more intensive land use near Buona Vista Station

Area undergoing development to turn it into commercial and R&D hub

LAND use around Buona Vista Station is likely to be intensified to maintain the buzz from the development of one north and optimise the area’s improved accessibility when the new Circle Line intersects with the existing East-West Line.

Making the point in a study on likely changes in Master Plan 2008, Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of research (Southeast Asia) Chua Yang Liang says: ‘Buona Vista is fast becoming the next sub-regional centre for the western region’.

The area is undergoing intensive development to turn it into ‘a commercial and R&D hub’ with social and recreational amenities, as envisaged by official planners.

Property consultants expect more intense land use to be confined largely to the areas close to the existing and adjacent new (Circle Line) MRT stations and to sensitively integrated with lush greenery and colonial-type buildings in places like Rochester Park and Wessex Estate to create a blend of the old and new.

‘In other words, this is not going to be a sterile environment,’ says DTZ executive director Ong Choon Fah. ‘The whole place will be very vibrant, like university towns in the US and UK. MNCs tend to be attracted to where the talent is, where universities are.’

JLL identified several sites in the immediate vicinity of the existing and new Buona Vista MRT stations for its study on anticipated plot ratio changes in Master Plan 2008.

Two vacant state sites flanking the MRT stations, which are currently zoned for commercial use but without plot ratios specified in Master Plan 2003, could see plot ratios of 4.8-5.6 in Master Plan 2008, Dr Chua suggests, comparing them to the URA and MND buildings near Tanjong Pagar MRT Station and Revenue House near Novena MRT Station.

A reserve site – part of which is now used as a bus interchange – could be rezoned for commercial use integrated with a new bus interchange, JLL suggests in its study.

This would be akin to similar commercial buildings with bus interchanges near Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh MRT stations.

Two sites now zoned for Business 1 use (clean and light industrial/warehouse use) could have plot ratios raised from 2.5 to 2.8 to maximise their potential, JLL reckons.

New developments at one-north include Biopolis (the first two phases of which are already up) and Fusionopolis (phase 1 will be ready by the end of this quarter); a mixed use development by United Engineers that will include The Rochester condo, retail podium and business hotel; One North Residences by UOL, Low Keng Huat and Kheng Leong; and right next to the new Circle Line MRT Station, a civic, cultural and retail complex with a 5,000-seat theatre and a mall with mostly food and beverage and entertainment outlets, developed jointly by CapitaLand and Rock Productions. All of these are part of one north, which is positioned as an icon of a knowledge-based economy.

As well, Buona Vista is close to trendy areas like Holland Village and Rochester Park and several academic institutions including National University of Singapore, Insead, Anglo Chinese Junior College and Anglo Chinese School (Independent), and United World College, plus the emerging high-tech area of Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate.


Source: Business Times 10 Jan 08

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