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More excitment ahead!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dec 8, 2004
Two prime Orchard Road plots to go on market
The choice sites near MRT stations will help bring new vibrancy to the shopping belt
By Tan Hui Yee

THE remaking of Orchard is taking shape, with two prime plots in the heart of the shopping belt to be released for commercial development next year. p> One plot is at the junction of Orchard and Paterson Roads, the other next to the Specialists' Shopping Centre.

Announced by the Ministry of National Development yesterday as part of the government's land sales programme for the first six months of next year, this comes hot on the heels of a plan to 'remake' Orchard Road so it retains its allure.

The 1.87ha plot next to Wisma Atria, above Orchard MRT station, is a green area the size of 2 1/2 football fields and is likely to fetch up to $660 million, analysts estimate.

The site can house a commercial complex of up to 1.35 million sq ft - more than two-thirds the size of Ngee Ann City - which will be linked to Orchard MRT.

Taken in the context of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's recent call for urban planners to transform Singapore's cityscape, this may be Orchard Road's chance to get its own X-factor.


At the other end of Orchard Road, the 0.67ha plot next to the Specialists' Shopping Centre covers a taxi stand and a carpark housing Gluttons Square, where hawker stalls operate in the evening.

A developer can build a 390,000 sq ft complex on this plot, which could fetch up to $210 million, say analysts. Like the Paterson Road site, any future development there will be linked to the MRT station, in this case Somerset.

The two 99-year leasehold plots are expected to be put on the reserve list in March, meaning the land will only be put up for tender if a developer agrees to bid a minimum acceptable price.

Analysts expect keen interest in both, as vacant plots along heavily built-up Orchard Road are rare. Still, Chesterton International director Nicholas Mak says it is not unusual for the Government to retain land around high-traffic areas for future development.

Knight Frank executive director Danny Yeo said about the Orchard MRT site: 'As far as Orchard Road is concerned, this is about one of the choicest plots you can find. It's an exciting opportunity to build something iconic.'

Singapore Tourism Board is also set to introduce new retail concepts next to Faber House as well as the carpark next to the Orchard Building in the shopping belt.

The projected developments at either end of the street will bring new energy to Orchard Road, said DTZ Debenham Tie Leung director Tang Wei Leng. But it will mean the stretch loses one of its few green lungs, lamented Chesterton's Mr Mak.

As a prelude to more changes in the area, Wheelock Properties (Singapore) yesterday announced that it was buying the 12-year-old freehold 24-unit apartment block Angullia View, near Orchard Road, for $43.8 million. The property will be redeveloped into new residences, it said.

Two other sites earmarked for residential development are also slated to be put on the reserve list in the first half of next year - a 2.2ha plot in Tanah Merah Kechil Avenue and a 0.93ha site in Tiong Bahru Road. Both are within walking distance of MRT stations.

Including the four new sites, the government reserve list for the first half of next year will include seven residential sites, three commercial ones, and five commercial and residential sites, plus three 'white' sites for any kind of development. They can yield about 3,300 private homes, about 3.4 million sq ft of commercial space and 350 hotel rooms.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
 

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More excitment ahead!!!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Dec 16, 2004
Orchard site 'needs wow factor'
Analysts say building above MRT station must be 'stunning'

By Tan Hui Yee
DON'T turn Orchard Road's picnic ground above the MRT station - which will soon be available for sale - into yet another cookie-cutter shopping centre.

Instead, break the rules and build something stunning.

This was the call from property analysts, architects and mall owners who were asked what should be done with the lush 1.87ha plot on top of Orchard MRT station.

The prominent 99-year leasehold site, now a tree-lined grassy knoll known as a maids' Sunday picnic haunt, stands at Orchard Road's busiest junction and is considered one of the choicest undeveloped parcels of land in the country.

It is one of four plots along the stretch that will be made available for development in the first half of next year, as part of plans to spice up the shopping district.

The last time the plot was put up for sale - in 1992, mainly as a hotel site - there were no takers. This time round, it has been designated for commercial development, which means it could be an office, retail or convention complex.

Analysts expect a developer to build shopping space, to tap the sizeable crowds that pass by. And Orchard Road needs not just a fresh retail concept, but also an iconic building that can be an architectural attraction in itself, industry players said.

'It's about time something happened along Orchard Road, something new, something exciting,' said the general manager of investment properties at Centrepoint Properties, Mrs Vivienne Tan.

'We need to do something that would make people proud of Orchard Road, just like what Bullring did for Birmingham or the Guggenheim Museum did for Bilbao,' she added.

The titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum put the spotlight on the Spanish city of Bilbao, while the huge Bullring retail centre in the city of Birmingham in Britain, costing more than $1.6 billion, rejuvenated its city centre.

Those interviewed said the plot at the junction of Orchard and Paterson roads, which is expected to fetch up to $660 million, holds just as much promise. But what it needs is a creative developer and more flexible development rules.

Architects like Mr John Ting, a former president of the Singapore Institute of Architects, feels the future development should retain the character of the site, which is a green lung that also acts as a civic space for people to gather.

The Government can make it easier for the future developer to keep the greenery by lifting height restrictions, he said.

In this way, the developer would not need to clear the trees to fit the maximum allowable floor area of 1.35 million sq ft - more than two-thirds the size of Ngee Ann City - onto the plot.

If the second floor is higher than normal, he said, existing trees can fit into the ground level.

Mr Ting said: 'The greenery would definitely be lost... unless the Government lifts the development parameters.'

The move would be welcomed by shoppers like housewife Pansy Koh, 36.

She said: 'I see building after building in Orchard Road. At least when I come to this area, I can breathe.'

Another architect, Mr Khoo Peng Beng, suggested the building could have a more open design by, for example, having an atrium facing onto Orchard Road to increase the level of street activity.

In addition, the plot should not merely go to the highest bidder, said Mrs Tan and property consultancy Knight Frank's executive director Danny Yeo.

The site will go on the Government's reserve list in March. This means it will be put up for tender if a developer promises to bid a minimum acceptable sum.

To make sure the developer and future retailers there are of a high standard, the Government could consider accepting bids only from developers who can introduce good designs or retail concepts, said Mrs Tan and Mr Yeo.

Mr Yeo added: 'The visual impact of this building must be strong. It should make people go 'Wow'.'

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
 

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More excitment ahead!!!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^
Oh I do hope they build something above Orchard MRT quickly.......the human traffic from Wisma to Taka is "unbearable" om weekends.......:eek:
 

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By Spirit
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25,912 Posts
babystan03 said:
^
Oh I do hope they build something above Orchard MRT quickly.......the human traffic from Wisma to Taka is "unbearable" om weekends.......:eek:
erm..maybe that might help, but it might also make it worse :D

i can still remember Christmas Eve last year at that place - you cannot walk cos its packed like sardines, and you get sprayed with what sticky confetti that was being distributed on the streets :eek:
 

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More excitment ahead!!!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RafflesCity said:
erm..maybe that might help, but it might also make it worse :D

i can still remember Christmas Eve last year at that place - you cannot walk cos its packed like sardines, and you get sprayed with what sticky confetti that was being distributed on the streets :eek:
Muhahaha......I suspect the crowd is a mix of locals(trying to shop) and tourist ( we're hitting 8 millions next week right?? ) :lol:
 

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More excitment ahead!!!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RafflesCity said:
YAY for more tourists! :banana:

the crowd there is a mix of locals, tourists and maids (on Sundays) :D
It will be packed today as there are some festival or something.......but i suspect other suburban hotspots (such as tampines) will be equally packed given that christmas just next saturday(last min shopping)........(the gift wrapping counter at taka seems to be working non-stop)........
 

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218m-tall landmark to boost shopping belt

Panel to study designs for iconic 40-storey skyscraper on top of Orchard MRT
The Straits Times

ORCHARD Road's tallest building is set to rise at the vacant site atop Orchard MRT station with a landmark design that will hopefully make the shopping belt instantly recognisable all over the world.

The skyscraper can be built up to 218m, or about 40 storeys, pushing the 152m-tall Mandarin Hotel into second spot.

This is possible because it has been designated a landmark site, allowing it to go higher than the current 30-storey ceiling for Orchard Road buildings.


The site, at the corner of Paterson and Orchard Road and called 'Orchard Turn' after an adjacent road, is the most important of four to be released in Orchard Road.

It is a gateway to the shopping belt and only an iconic design will do for the shopping and entertainment complex, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday when spelling out the development requirements.

It will also appoint a panel to look into design proposals for the site and a second one next to Specialist Shopping Centre, which it does only for special projects.

Design panels had a hand in the development of The Fullerton hotel and One Fullerton complex, as well as the design of the Marina Barrage that will form the Marina Reservoir.

The Orchard Turn complex - which will be lit at night - must have an observation deck on one of its top three floors, an art exhibition space of at least 500 sq m, and a 3,000 sq m space for public events on its ground floor, URA said yesterday.

This is to inject more cultural and civic spaces onto the shopping belt, it said.

Part of the greenery will be retained by allowing buildings to go no nearer than 7.6m of Orchard Boulevard, so that the mature roadside trees now there can thrive.

The complex must also include an underground link, which will be at least 6m wide and also include shops, to Wheelock Place just across the road. Its developer must also upgrade and expand the currently congested link between Orchard MRT station and Wisma Atria.

Up to about 126,000 sq m of space - over two-thirds the size of Ngee Ann City - can be built on the 99-year leasehold plot.

At least 40 per cent of the complex must be used for retail, food and beverage, and entertainment.

The plot is now on the reserve list, which means it will not be put up for tender until a developer commits to bidding a minimum price acceptable to the Government.

An executive director of property consultancy Knight Frank, Mr Danny Yeo, called it the 'mother of all shopping centre plots'.

Analysts expect the plot to fetch between $540 million and $800 million.
 

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By Spirit
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Orchard Turn, Somerset sites up for developer applications

30 Mar 05

THE project that will come up on the site above Orchard MRT Station could be up to 40 storeys high - the tallest in Singapore's prime shopping district.


And to make sure that the public will get a chance to enjoy the panoramic views from a new project on the Orchard Turn site - dubbed the 'Crown Jewel' site of Orchard Road by Jones Lang LaSalle's head of investments sales, Lui Seng Fatt - the developer will have to include an observation deck on any of the project's top three floors.

It is one of two choice 99-year leasehold plots on Orchard Road being made available for application by developers from today. The site had been offered in 1992 but found no takers. The other plot being offered by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is the Glutton's Square carpark site - the Somerset site.

For the Orchard Turn site, the URA is stipulating that the developer must incorporate a 3,000 sq m public event space on street level and an art exhibition space of at least 500 sq m. The development will be integrated with the Orchard MRT Station. The station's present dome-shaped exterior will go, with the entrance incorporated into the new development.

The site comprises 1.8 hectares of land above the MRT Station and an adjoining underground area of 0.3 ha below Paterson Road to be developed into an underground pedestrian mall linked to Wheelock Place. This will complete the subterranean pedestrian network at the Orchard/Paterson Road junction.

The project will have a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of about 1.35 million sq ft, of which at least 40 per cent must be for retail, food and beverage, or entertainment uses. This will amount to the second largest mall on Orchard Road - after Ngee Ann City.

The rest can be used for serviced apartments, strata apartments (for sale), hotels or offices. The neighbouring building owners, including Ngee Ann Development, German insurer Ergo and Wheelock Properties, are expected to be keen on the site. Overseas real estate investors are also said to be eyeing the property. Mr Lui described the Orchard Turn site as one of the last sizeable plots within the prime shopping district, located at one of the most sought-after and popular Orchard Road cross-junctions. It boasts triple frontages, at Paterson Road, Orchard Boulevard and Orchard Road.

Colliers International estimated the site's value at $443 to $487 psf of potential GFA, or between $600 million and $660 million in total. The firm estimates a higher $515 to $541 psf per plot ratio - or an absolute land price of $200-$210 million - for the Somerset site, which can be developed into a 16-storey project with a maximum GFA of about 388,000 sq ft.

At least 60 per cent of this must be for retail, food and beverage or entertainment use. The plot comprises 0.6 ha of land, part of the Stamford Canal and a 0.2 ha underground stretch to be built as an underground pedestrian mall linking Centrepoint Shopping Centre to Somerset MRT Station.

Centrepoint Properties (owner of the namesake mall) and OCBC Properties (which owns Specialists' Shopping Centre next to the site) are expected to place strong bids for the site, said Mr Lui.

The two companies, both part of the OCBC stable, have been looking at the Somerset site for years for a comprehensive project incorporating a redevelopment of the ageing Specialists' Centre.
 

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Pubescent Singaporean
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can they also touch up those decrepit obiang towers along the street? esp ck tangs, its so haw par villa. touch up not enough, need surgery. look at nanjing lu in shanghai, they have 290m tower now, and many many nice nice edifices. is raffles plaza there too now? and 50 events a year sounds nice. i say roll on mardi gras, nation parties and let gays storm chingay. i also say pedestrianise the road, manicure the foliage and build high end condo towers in between the shopping complexes so balconies and plant box shrubbery will hang over orchard road. i also say let the new landmark have significant advertising frontage. so we can have a billboard edifice over orchard road like times square and ginza and the junction of xi men ting.
 

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Pubescent Singaporean
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actually how to make orchard road placeable amongst such famous roads like champs elysee, ginza and ximenting requires the cultivation of a whole new reputation besides shopping.

champs elysee was born from a megalomaniacal scheme reinventing urban paris in the 1800s. megalomaniacal lavishing = from palais to musee to generous boulevard to landmarks like arc du triomphe on one end and musee du louvre on the other. her trump is no-hold-barred pomp and unbeatable paris chic.

ginza is staggering for her neon lights and urban corridor, her buildings so hemmed in like a canyon. her association with blade runner fame! therefore her emblematic representation of the tokyo urban experience. her legacy IS tokyo's legacy. they feed off each other.

ximenting, likewise, does not boast the most luxurious of brands nor the nicest of buildings but because she is so familiar with the taiwanese legacy of idol dramas and manga street gang comics she comes to mind immediately with the most iconic of taiwan's culture exports.

Times Square, because she is synonymous with Manhattan for her urban fabric and the congregation of radiocity and that billboard building and everything to do with the new york experience: broadway and hotdogs. plus the birthplace of neon billboards.

Meanwhile Orchard in SG and Causeway in HK don't incite the imagination because no doubt their premium on shopping but they don't offer very much else in terms of urban image and subtler but no less impactful things like lifestyle or cultural nuances.

Orchard's stumbling blocks:
1. mediocre urban image: some shabby trees and good but not great signature buildings. the only thing mythic about orchard is actually the preponderance of faded 80s condos that in their heaving mass (when viewed from the higher floors of elizabeth hospital) suggest a panorama unique to an esoteric audience. (not even mainstream wow).

2. unsensational stakes: the lack of signature stores like Prada edifices in Tokyo New York Paris. Gucci in HK. no complete lifestyle complexes catering to niche crowds like the ultra sophisticated or like for teenagers in Shibuya.

3.weak media representation. beyond your tourist promotion drives (which is ultimately cheap and debilitative to the brand name of any self deserving thoroughfare). i know a short story on orchard road appeared once waxing lyrical about her heady urban experience but that was written in the 80s, no one took notice anyway i forgot the author liao.

4.dunno how to hold a party. does anyone actually know what chingay is about outside of singapore? its not enough for it to be about the largest contingents of floats or the most eclectic of participants. something more raw and evisceral about its identity is necessary. like thousand lantern festivals in taipei. or brazil carnivals in tokyo - such an paradigm for quirky! even national day propaganda rallies would make for a more compelling parade to appreciate as an urbanist. gay parades also immediately put a locale on the map!

ok here i will stop.
 

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baqthier said:
Singapore's so lucky!

BTW, is it at this spot?

Yeap its there. Well what makes me excited is that there will be an observation deck on top as a requirement! :D

Btw, you guys got subscribe to ST online ah??
 
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