Friday, June 15, 2012

Big boost for suburban commercial centres


Straits Times: Thu, Jun 14
NEW commercial land sites are to be released for sale to help boost commercial centres taking shape outside the city centre.

The announcement yesterday is part of a strong push by the Government to develop these centres.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) released a slew of land parcels for sale in key suburban areas such as Jurong and Paya Lebar.

For instance, a 1.2ha commercial site in Venture Avenue in the Jurong Gateway area will be available in December as part of the government land sale programme for July to December.

The MND said that this 'will continue the momentum to develop the area into a vibrant commercial hub... and provide the opportunity for the development of more affordable office space that can cater to users who do not need a central business district location'.

Another site in Jurong Town Hall Road, for a hotel with zn estimated 510 rooms, is also being offered on the reserve list.

Confirmed list sites go on sale regardless of interest, zhile those on the reserve list are put up for tender only if developers make an acceptable initial offer.

Other suburban areas earmarked for future growth are also set to see their skylines change, with new sites being offered.

A 2.07ha commercial site in the Paya Lebar area, for instance, is up for sale on the reserve list.

The site, at the junction of Tanjong Katong Road and Sims Avenue, can yield an estimated 86,940 sq m of commercial space, although the developer will also have the option of building some homes on the plot.

Paya Lebar Central is one of the three commercial hubs selected to provide alternative locations for businesses and to bring jobs closer to homes as part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) decentralisation strategy.

The other two are Jurong Lake District and Kallang Riverside.

But residents of Punggol can also look forward to enjoying a new recreational area, with a commercial site at Punggol Point 'envisioned to be developed into a rustic seaside dining destination'.

It will be put up for sale in December as part of the URA's plans to transform the area into an attractive waterfront promenade for sports and recreation.

The MND also said in a statement that, apart from the government land sale, various other agencies are planning to introduce an extra 86,000 sq m of commercial space.

The supply will come partly from various vacant state properties managed by the Singapore Land Authority as well as new commercial space in parks, Housing Board estates, community centres and MRT stations.

One example is the former CID headquarters at Eu Tong Sen Street, which will be tendered out for commercial uses.

Experts say these sites are likely to draw interest as developers are keen to ride on the Government's strategic development plans.

HSR Property Group special adviser Donald Han said that the Government typically releases residential sites, then office sites and possibly hotel sites as towns mature and develop...
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