10 ways the URA's Draft Master Plan 2013 will affect your life
By Maria Almenoar
1. The Great South: An entirely new area called the Greater Southern Waterfront will be developed on 1,000 ha on the south coastline once the ports move from Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Pagar to Tuas by 2027.
2. More Marina action: A district called Marina South will take shape next to Marina Bay with eco-friendly features, including bike paths and a 800 metre-long car-free street.
3. Keeping that neighbourhood charm: Holland Village, Jalan Kayu and Serangoon Garden have been added to Singapore's list of "identity nodes" in recognition of their unique, historical charm. Over 70 buildings will be conserved including Alexandra Hospital, Commonwealth Avenue wet market and former military buildings in Seletar.
4. Increasing community interaction: The new Marina South district and an expanded Kampong Bugis will feature fenceless, green housing developments to encourage interaction between neighbours.
5. More homes in diverse locations: Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol have been identified as new housing areas.
6. Mature estates will be rejuvenated: New home options will be injected into Sembawang, Yishun, Hougang and Choa Chu Kang so that those who want to live near their families may do so.
7. Shorter commutes to work: Growing regional employment centres such as Jurong Lake District, Tampines Regional Centre and Paya Lebar Central will mean jobs closer to homes.
8. More job opportunities: New industrial sites at CleanTech Park, Wenya, Jurong West, Tuas, Seletar West and Lorong Halus will offer more job opportunities
9. Green spaces expanded: Close to 90 per cent of residents will live within 400m of a park as the Government extends the park connecter network, Round Island Route and Rail Corridor.
10. A cycling-friendly city: Under a national plan, the cycling network will grow from the current 230km to over 700km. There will be better parking facilities, better lighting and smoother connectivity for cyclists among other things.
WITH THE AIM of building better homes for Singaporeans and improving their standard of living, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched an exhibition of its Draft Master Plan 2013 on Nov 20. Reviewed every five years, the master plan shows the permissible land use and density for every parcel of land in Singapore to optimise the country’s limited space. More interestingly, the plan reveals areas of opportunity for investors to buy stocks that could benefit from the transformation of the city-state.
The draft plan reveals that more housing choices will be made available in the development of new residential estates at Bidadari, Tampines North and Punggol Matilda. In addition, plans are also underway to roll out 15,000 new homes in Marina South, Bugis Village and Holland Village. Marina South, in particular, will be developed into a mixed-use residential district within walking or cycling distance from a string of shops, offices, hotels and restaurants. The new area will be connected by the Marina South and Gardens by the Bay train stations, located on the new Thomson MRT Line.
For that to happen, the current Pasir Panjang Port will be relocated to Tuas, while plans to relocate the Tanjong Pagar and Pulau Brani terminals will be drawn up later. Meanwhile, development of Marina South will begin at Marina Bay and move westward towards Labrador.
More new homes will also be built in established estates such as Sembawang, Yishun, Hougang and Choa Chu Kang. Developed estates will also be rejuvenated. Yishun, for instance, will have a mixed commercial and residential development integrated with a new air-conditioned bus interchange, and a community club at the town centre.
In addition, a range of housing types will be provided in both new and existing estates. For example, the new Build-To-Order (BTO) units launched at Dawson will come with gardens, while the 3Gen flats in Yishun and Jurong West will provide an option for multi-generational families. In total, up to 500,000 new public homes will be rolled out to cater to future population growth, with eight in 10 households located within a 10-minute walk from a train station. JOB DECENTRALISATION Another important aspect of the master plan is the development of new commercial and industrial hubs outside of the Central Business District to enable employees to work closer to home. In Woodlands, the government is developing the North Coast Innovation Corridor, which will have 700km of new commercial space, housing the Woodlands Central retail hub and the Woodlands North Coast business park cluster.
Jurong Lake District in the West will also undergo redevelopment. Spanning 360 ha, the area will open up more than 500,000 sq m of office space, 250,000 sq m of retail space, 1,000 home and 2,800 hotel rooms into the market place when it is completed. In fact, two shopping malls – JCube and JEM – have already opened for business, while the Westgate retail and office development is expected to be completed by the end of this year or early next year.
But that’s not all. The government is also looking to develop the 320 ha Seletar Aerospace Park and consolidate all aerospace-related activities such as maintenance, manufacturing and R&D, creating up to 10,000 new jobs. Meanwhile, the Defu Industrial Estate will be redeveloped to accommodate up 2.1 million sq m of total factory floor space, more than five times its current size.
STOCK PICKS What does it all mean for investors? “We see this plan as having a long term positive effect on developers, construction companies and other ancillary service providers,” says DBS Vickers in a Nov 20 report, “In the shorter term, we see positive impact on stocks with existing landbanks in the [targeted] growth areas.” In this regard, the brokerage’s top picks are Mapletree Commercial Trust, Keppel Land and Frasers Centrepoint Trust.
DBS Vickers is also bullish on Pan-United owing to its exposure to the construction sector, where activities are likely to intensify over the next few years. It also recommends Centurion Corp, the local operator of foreign worker dormitories. “The stream of development projects announced will ensure that the demand for foreign workers will still be strong,” says DBS Vickers.