A new housing development comprising 9,000 residential units - about 6,000 public housing flats and about 3,000 private residential units - will come up on the 48-hectare site of Keppel Club on Singapore's southern waterfront.
The first build-to-order (BTO) HDB flats on the site, expected to be highly sought after, are slated to launch within 3 years; the remaining units are scheduled for launch in the next 3 to 5 years, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Whether these flats will come under the Housing and Development Board's Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model will depend on factors such as "the project's locational attributes and market values", said HDB.
National Development Minister Desmond Lee said at a briefing on Tuesday (Apr 12): "As the site is quite close to the city centre, we will bring homes closer to jobs. This is part of our effort to move towards having more housing options and mixed-use development in our central region."
The development plans, first mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his 2019 National Day Rally speech, are in line with the government's longer-term plan to transform the Greater Southern Waterfront into a live-work-play locale; this includes plans to redevelop the former Pasir Panjang Power Station buildings into a vibrant mixed-use district.
At Tuesday's briefing, no timeframe was given for when the plots might be parcelled out for tender for private residential development. Keppel Club’s 30-year lease on the land, which ended last Dec 31, has been granted several extensions. The latest was till Mar 31, 2023, to facilitate clearance and reinstatement of the site. The property was zoned Residential under the URA 2019 Master Plan.
"We will calibrate the pace of both residential and commercial space supply release carefully, and offer more details when ready," said URA on Tuesday.
Market watchers expressed excitement when the vision was unveiled in 2019, with some projecting that the BTO flats there might be priced as high as S$1 million. Nearby in Bukit Merah, the median resale prices of 5-room HDB flats was S$750,000 in March; the median for 4-room flats in the resale market was S$735,000, going by the latest data from 99-SRX.
Property consultants say the prices will vary according to whether the units fall under the PLH category. Based on prices of Telok Blangah Beacon, a nearby BTO project launched in May last year, Huttons Asia senior research director Lee Sze Teck expects flats at the Keppel Club site to reach between S$400,000 and S$450,000 for 3-room flats, and S$720,000 to S$850,000 for 4-room flats.
If the site falls under the PLH scheme, prices could go down to between S$360,000 and S$405,000 for 3-bedders, and S$650,000 to S$760,000 for 4-bedders, he noted. “This is not far from River Peaks BTO prices when the time difference is accounted for, he said, in reference to the prices of PLH development River Peaks, which was launched in November last year.
Meanwhile, Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie senior vice-president of research and analytics, expects prices for 3-room flats to reach between S$400,000 and S$520,000, and 4-room ones to cost between S$600,000 and S$720,000.
Under the PLH subsidy, this would fall to S$380,000 to S$480,000 for 3-room flats and S$500,000 to S$700,000 for 4-room flats, she said.
Sun expects some upcoming flats along the Greater Southern Waterfront to be under the PLH model, while others may not.
In the private residential market near the Greater Southern Waterfront, 983 units at the upcoming 1,074-unit condominium Avenue South Residence in Silat Avenue have been sold at a median price of S$2,071 per square foot (psf), according to data from URA's Realis platform. It is being developed by UOL Group, its subsidiary, United Industrial Corporation (UIC), and Kheng Leong Company.
Given the Keppel site's proximity to important nature areas such as the Labrador Nature Reserve, Southern Ridges (which includes Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park), as well as coastal habitat Berlayer Creek, HDB will set aside close to 10 ha or about 20 per cent of the site area for parks and open spaces. This includes:
- The Central Corridor: A central green park running through the centre of the site.
- Berlayer Corridor: A 30 metre-wide extension along Berlayer Creek to protect an existing mangrove forest.
- Henderson Corridor: A linear park along the eastern boundary of the Keppel Club site, which also serves as an avian connectivity path.
- The Northern Corridor: A landscaped linear green connecting the other 3 corridors.
HDB said: "Green roofs on lower rise blocks can supplement the green spaces and serve as additional habitats for butterflies and smaller urban bird species."
Minister Desmond Lee added: "We will engage specialists to develop an environmental management and monitoring plan to minimise and to mitigate any environmental impact arising from the development works."
The green corridors in Keppel Club will be part of the new Labrador Nature Park Network announced on Tuesday. Aimed at enhancing greenery in the surrounding areas, the Labrador Nature Park Network will comprise more than 200 ha of green spaces that include the Labrador Nature Reserve, Labrador Nature Park, Berlayer Creek and Pasir Panjang Park, and the mature secondary forests along the Southern Ridges.
To buffer Labrador Nature Reserve and core areas against impacts of the development, the National Parks Board (NParks) will introduce several new green spaces along Alexandra Stream, at Berlayer Creek and at King's Dock. NParks will also add a waterfront extension at Pasir Panjang Park. Together with the new parks at the Keppel Club site, there will be more than 25 ha of new green spaces altogether.
To ensure that its development plans are sensitive to the surrounding terrestrial and coastal environments, MND conducted an environmental impact study (EIS), which has been published on HDB's website.
Minister Lee encouraged members of the public to provide their feedback on the EIS report in the next 4 weeks until May 11.
Credit: Business Times