New vision for Kallang Riverside

New vision for Kallang Riverside

 

The area is set to evolve into the next prime area at the edge of the city, say NICHOLAS MAK and TEO JUNRONG

 

THE Kallang planning area, positioned along the picturesque Kallang River and within close proximity to the Central Business District (CBD), has enormous development potential. Made up of nine sub-zones, it covers a land area of about 920 hectares that includes 101 hectares of water body.

 

Since the announcement of the 1998 Master Plan, planners have envisaged the Kallang area as an urban waterfront district. This vision includes it being a centre for sports, recreation and leisure with residential developments flanking the riverbanks. There were also plans to transform the Kallang planning area into a major commercial centre to capitalise on its proximity to the Central Area.

 

In particular, under the 1998 Master Plan, Kampong Bugis, a sub-zone of the Kallang planning area, was slated to be a transition between the Central Area and the sports and recreation areas at Kallang Basin.

 

High-density residential buildings along with recreational facilities will be orientated towards the river to take advantage of the waterfront view. Some of these plans have already materialised. Waterfront residential developments, such as Pebble Bay and Camelot, can now be found facing the Kallang Basin.

 

The latest Master Plan aims to build on the earlier vision for Kallang. The new planning sub-zone will be the Kallang Riverside, which refers to the areas on both sides of the Kallang River, bounded by Nicoll Highway, Kallang Road and Sims Way. With a total land area of 64 hectares available for development, Kallang Riverside is to be transformed into a new lifestyle district, offering waterfront homes with an exciting mix of retail and entertainment facilities.

 

In addition, the area will also be developed into a commercial hub outside the city centre, providing various business alternatives and employment opportunities. Kallang Riverside will embrace the nationwide vision to make Singapore a great city in which to live, work and play.

 

Work

 

As mentioned earlier, Kallang Riverside aims to become a major commercial hub outside the city centre. There will be over 200,000 square metres of new office space added to the area. Its proximity to the CBD will be an advantage, as it will provide an alternative location to the existing CBD. The resulting projected increase of 21,000 office workers in Kallang could provide the necessary pool of demand for the upcoming retail and entertainment outlets.

 

Live

 

Homes with waterfront views usually command a premium and the prices of some of these homes fall within the high-end price segment in Singapore. Distinctive waterfront homes within a lush park setting are planned to be developed on the western side of the Kallang River.

 

The proposed 4,000 new waterfront homes will have a range of heights to ensure that scenic views of the beachfront will not be obstructed. For instance, there will be varying residential plot ratios of 3.5 to 5.6 under the 2008 Master Plan for the area to the west of the Kallang River. Future developments can also adopt a resort-style design, to take advantage of the beaches and water edge location. These new homes could also be relatively more affordable and could be priced in the mass market and mid-tier segments.

 

In order to allow the water features and landscaping elements to seamlessly extend the lush park setting, developments here will be encouraged to go ‘fenceless’. This will be similar to one-north Residences, where such a fenceless environment was created to enable pedestrian connectivity and interaction among the community.

 

This will also pose challenges and opportunities for architects, as they need to create this seamless environment for the developments in Kallang Riverside without compromising on the security of the residents.

 

With the presence of the various live-work-play elements, together with its waterfront location and proximity to the CBD, these developments are likely to be attractive to homeowners and investors.

 

Kallang Riverside will also take advantage of its distinctive tropical character and surrounding water features by forming a substantial hotel cluster to cater to family and business travellers. Under the 1998 Master Plan, the area to the east of the Kallang River had been zoned for residential purposes. Under the 2008 Master Plan, the zoning has now been changed to hotel and white sites.

 

The hotel zoning will have plot ratios ranging from 2.1 to 3.5 while the white sites zoning will have plot ratios ranging from 1.5 to 4.9. There are plans for up to 3,000 hotel rooms available along the banks of the Kallang River.

 

Due to tourism initiatives such as the Formula One race, Youth Olympics and the integrated resorts, the number of visitors to Singapore is anticipated to rise over the medium term from the 10 million in 2007 to about 17 million by 2015. As a result, more hotels are needed to meet the rising demand. Tourists should find hotels along the Kallang Riverside an attractive choice, with their scenic views, proximity to the CBD as well as major tourist attractions.

 

Play

 

Kallang Riverside will go through a metamorphosis to become a new lifestyle hub, with a vibrant mix of retail, food and beverage outlets, and entertainment facilities. It is close to key attractions such as the Sports Hub and the Illuma entertainment centre.

 

Costing some $1.2 billion, the Singapore Sports Hub would be completed by 2011. The integrated complex includes a 55,000-seat capacity stadium with a retractable roof, a 6,000 capacity aquatic centre, a multi-purpose arena and over 41,000 square metres of commercial space. It will be Singapore’s premier land and sea sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub, hosting major international events and playing a critical role in taking sports in Singapore to a new level. Due to its close proximity, the Sports Hub is likely to add vibrancy to Kallang Riverside.

 

Illuma, located in the Bras Basah-Bugis district, is slated to be Singapore’s first urban entertainment centre. Spanning a site area of 8,921 sq m, the complex aims to provide an exciting mix of arts and entertainment facilities all in one location, drawing both locals and tourists alike.

 

Within the development, public spaces will be provided to serve as venues for street performances, bazaars and open-air concerts. Likewise, this upcoming project would be something that the residents in Kallang can look forward to.

 

With its sandy beaches, waterfront views, and close proximity to the city, Kallang Riverside is indeed situated in a unique spot in Singapore. As the Master Plan gradually materialises, Kallang Riverside will evolve into the next prime area at the edge of the city. The growing population in the area would provide the critical mass to support these upcoming residential and commercial developments. In time to come, Kallang Riverside might become one of the places in which residents can truly live, work and play.

 

Source: Business Times

 

 

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