Tag Archives: Ang Mo Kio

Plotting the ‘high life’ at low cost

ARCHITECT Tan Cheng Siong has come up with a grand scheme that he says could triple Singapore’s land space by creating a vast network of elevated decks.

182921__1412220901This vision, which he calls “Skyland”, involves elevated decks of about 20m wide or more, built to link MRT stations above the rails and available for use by cyclists and pedestrians.

Affordable homes could also be built on the decks, said Mr Tan, who designed Singapore’s first condominium (Pandan Valley) and its first super high-rise (Pearl Bank Apartments).

This vast project would free up enough space to ensure there is no need to increase plot ratios or even have people living underground to cope with the rising population, Mr Tan told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

“We have all this space in the sky, which can provide Singapore with low-cost land for the next 50, 100 years.”

He has been displaying his vision at the inaugural architecture exhibition ArchXpo at Marina Bay Sands over the past three days.

He said the authorities are aware of his plans but will, of course, require time to consider the massive proposal.

Under his plan, the Government would repossess HDB land in more mature estates where old flats would need replacing.

Above these areas, the Government would build elevated decks to link MRT stations, or community malls. The cost, he believes, would be at about $100 million for every 1km, or $60 per sq ft (psf).

This is money that a central authority – likely the Housing Board – may recoup by tendering the newly created space to developers, at about $100 psf.

Citizens may buy a 1,000 sq ft plot to build their home at about $150 psf, with a renovation budget of $50 psf. This would bring the total cost to $200 psf, or $200,000 per 1,000 sq ft unit.

The land below the decks may be re-zoned for enterprise use or communal, low-rise facilities for sports, schools or other amenities.

In this way, business space could be more affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises as well, Mr Tan said.

He added that with the safe separation of cyclists and pedestrians from cars, Singaporeans could also save on travel costs.

So instead of having super high-rises, Mr Tan hopes these homes will be a maximum of 50m to 80m high, or 15 to 20 storeys.

He said a good place to start would be older HDB towns such as Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio or Toa Payoh.

However, he envisions linking up the largely residential north as a “north constellation of hubs”.

Under his proposed master plan, the green spaces in central Singapore could be preserved, as there would no longer be any need to eat into them.

Mr Tan also has plans for some of the major trade and communications infrastructure.

He proposes what he calls the “south world corridor” – which includes the airport and ports and will take time to evolve – “built to engage the world and present the best with tourist icons”.

Additions he is suggesting include V-shaped office towers, which would allow more open space below, and a Marina South extension to Gardens by the Bay which will again leave ground space for public use.

“We built a city with low- cost housing. I’m sure we can build a future with low-cost land,” said Mr Tan.

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Successful relaunch of The Panorama

The relaunch of The Panorama in Ang Mo Kio witnessed robust interest from buyers, after the developer cut prices by 12 percent, said media reports.

Out of the 95 units released for balloting, Wheelock Properties sold 80 to 85 units as of 7:30pm last Friday, said Tan Tee Khoon, Executive Director of Residential Services at Knight Frank, the project’s marketing agent.

The figure is notably more than the project’s total sales registered since its initial launch in January when it moved 58 units, or just eight percent of the 698 units available, at an average price of $1,343 psf.

By the end of April, URA data showed that the project sold 56 units, implying that buyers returned some of the units.

Although there the sales breakdown for the relaunch was not available, agents revealed that one-bedroom and two-bedroom units emerged as the most popular.

A price list showed that a 431 sq ft one-bedder go for $564,080 to $629,200. This translates to around $1,309 to S$1,460 psf, the highest psf price on the list.

A 775 sq ft two-bedder plus study had the cheapest psf price at $1,127 psf, or slightly over $873,000.

Analysts noted that the condominium’s new pricing was attractive, considering that it is located in a part of Ang Mo Kio which is known for landed housing.

“It has a more exclusive feel and is a good location for home buyers and investors… Once they priced it right, people who were waiting on the sidelines saw their opportunity,” said Christine Li, Research Head at OrangeTee.

The success of The Panorama’s relaunch could also see other developers relaunch their projects, said analysts. A recent report by HSR showed that at least eight projects on the market here have sold less than 10 percent of their units, with some none at all.

Source : PropertyGuru