Developers and businesses to enhance vibrancy in nine precincts

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/ EdgeProp
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September 21, 2018 3:30 PM SGT
Nine precincts will participate in URA’s pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme, where businesses and community stakeholders play a more active role in placemaking, transforming the precincts and enhancing the public spaces within them. The nine precincts are China Place, City Hall, Jurong Gateway, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, Marina Centre, Paya Lebar, Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar. They are a mixture of historic, civic and mixed-use precincts within and outside the city centre.
In September last year, URA invited stakeholders to submit preliminary business plans with proposed initiatives and collection of membership fees to fund the proposals. The government will support the pilot BIDs and provide dollar-for-dollar matching of membership fees collected by each BID, up to $500,000 a year for the first four years, to help BIDs implement their business plans.
China Square Central by Frasers Property Singapore is one of the anchor developments in the China Place BID (Picture: Frasers Property Singapore)
“With more active participation by stakeholders, the public can look forward to more vibrant districts and attractive public spaces,” says Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development. He was speaking at URA’s annual Place Management Seminar on Sept 17.
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Lifestyle and heritage
The first pilot BID that was formed was Singapore River One, in 2017. At the time, it was motivated by the negative reputation of the Circular Road and Boat Quay areas, owing to touting and overcharging, the minister says. The stakeholders of Singapore River One introduced car-free zones on weekend evenings; improved outdoor areas; and initiated signature events such as the annual St Patrick’s Day Street Festival, as well as introduced heritage trails, all of which have successfully transformed the area into a vibrant waterfront district, Wong notes.
Some of the latest pilot BIDs also want to capitalise on their districts’ heritage to help revitalise their precincts. In the Paya Lebar BID, Lendlease, which is developing the landmark integrated development Paya Lebar Quarter, and other stakeholders envision a precinct with a “distinctive cultural identity, reflective of the rich history and culture of Paya Lebar”, says Ng Hsueh Ling, CIO of Lendlease Asia. Lendlease has set aside 100,000 sq ft of green public spaces at PLQ for event spaces to be used for festive and community events.
The China Place BID will be driven by Frasers Property Singapore, Far East Organization (FEO), Great Eastern and Capital Square, which is jointly owned by NTUC Income and ARA Asset Management. The companies will form a consortium to lead a four-year placemaking project that they hope will turn the Chinatown district into an integrated space with heritage and lifestyle elements.
The consortium wants to introduce better wayfinding signs and repurpose existing laneways into useable spaces for vendors and activities. There are also plans for car-free initiatives on weekday evenings and weekends. Other pilot BIDs such as Kampong Glam and Tanjong Pagar have proposed more car-free zones to create a more connected pedestrian community and utilise the space as a marketplace. Two new hotels in the Chinatown district, Capri by Fraser and The Clan by FEO, will be completed by 2020 and cater for business travellers seeking a work-play environment.
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Championing place management
With its diverse property portfolio across Singapore, CapitaLand is involved in the largest number of pilot BIDs. It chairs the Raffles Place BID, co-chairs the Jurong Gateway BID and is participating in the City Hall BID. It has also been chairing Singapore River One. The developer has outlined plans for the Jurong Gateway BID, where it is a fellow stakeholder together with Lendlease.
Some laneways around Far East Square by FEO will be repurposed into useable spaces for vendors and activities (Picture: Far East Organization)
The BID will work on improving the social aspects of the common space, maintaining accessibility throughout the district and enhancing interaction between the community and businesses with events and initiatives. It hopes these initiatives will make Jurong Gateway an attractive business and lifestyle destination, says Lendlease’s Ng. CapitaLand has three properties in the Jurong Gateway BID — Westgate, IMM and JCube — which offer more than 600 shops. Other stakeholders include Lendlease, which manages JEM mall, and a consortium comprising Low Keng Huat and Sun Venture that owns Westgate Tower.
Apart from CapitaLand, stakeholders in the Raffles Place BID include Bank of China, Keppel REIT’s Ocean Financial Centre and City Developments Ltd’s Republic Plaza. Capita- Land has three properties in the area, including the upcoming 51-storey integrated development CapitaSpring. In addition, CapitaLand has two integrated developments in the City Hall BID — the iconic Raffles City Singapore, comprising a shopping mall, office tower, convention centre and two hotels; as well as the upcoming Funan integrated mall, which has retail, office and co-living serviced residence components.
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The upcoming Funan integrated mall will help turn the City Hall precinct into an attractive live-work-play hub (Picture: CapitaLand)
CapitaLand says that along with other stakeholders such as Capitol Singapore, Carlton Hotel (Singapore) and Raffles Hotel Singapore, it will turn the precinct into an attractive live-work-play hub.
Distinctive sense of place
“We believe an integrated and unified precinct is greater than the sum of its parts,” says Lendlease’s Ng. Coordinated efforts by stakeholders under the pilot BID programme can transform selected districts into dynamic regional business hubs with enhanced connectivity, inclusive community spaces and a distinctive sense of place, she says. Such ground-up urban regeneration initiatives “put communities at the centre of decision-making” for placemaking.