Much-awaited Kampong Bugis white site to be released for sale may appeal to large developer

The Kampong Bugis site (right) will be released for sale under the reserve list to a master developer. It is expected to yield 4,000 private homes and 50,000 sq m of space for retail, offices, community uses, serviced apartments, sports and recreatio
The Kampong Bugis site (right) will be released for sale under the reserve list to a master developer. It is expected to yield 4,000 private homes and 50,000 sq m of space for retail, offices, community uses, serviced apartments, sports and recreational facilities.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

9.2ha site allows for range of uses, gives developer chance to create urban ecosystem

The much-awaited white site at Kampong Bugis, to be released for sale under the reserve list to a master developer, is among the most keenly watched sites due to its size and relative novelty, amid current market headwinds, analysts say.

Only a few master developer projects exist here, including Marina Bay Financial Centre and Suntec City.

Located at the mouth of the Kallang River, the 9.2ha Kampong Bugis site, to be completed over nine to 11 years, is expected to yield 4,000 private homes and 50,000 sq m of space for retail, offices, community uses, serviced apartments, sports and recreational facilities. White sites allow for a range of uses.

"The intention is for a single developer to comprehensively master plan the site and implement urban solutions" such as a district-wide pneumatic waste conveyance system and a storm water treatment and water management system, said the National Development Ministry.

Kampong Bugis should be attractive to a large developer or consortium as it offers a rare opportunity to plan and create an urban ecosystem over the long term, said Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International.

But some analysts say there may be limited interest given the sizeable cost of the development and current market headwinds.

Cushman & Wakefield senior manager of research Wong Xian Yang believes the total land cost could exceed $5 billion and "would be prohibitive even for the big boys".

Two other white sites are on offer. CBRE head of research for South-east Asia Desmond Sim said the Marina View site has "a strong focus on in-city living and commercial, while the site at Woodlands Avenue 2 is part of the Northern Corridor identified in the Draft Master Plan 2019".

  • 4,000

    Number of private homes the 9.2ha Kampong Bugis site is expected to yield, among other things.

Credit Suisse analyst Louis Chua said a new hotel site in River Valley Road is expected to appeal to developers given its prime location and robust bids received for a Club Street hotel site that closed in January at $2,149 per sq ft.

Ms Song noted this hotel plot replaced the Sims Avenue hotel site, which would have yielded 575 rooms. The Sims Avenue site has been removed from the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

The River Valley hotel development will be integrated with Fort Canning MRT station, and is walking distance to Clarke Quay and Fort Canning Park. Mr Govinda Singh, Colliers' executive director of valuation and advisory services, said the site presents a good opportunity to establish the Fort Canning area as a major tourist destination, creating additional footfall to Clarke Quay.

"At potentially 560 rooms, this will be a significant project... in addition, a smaller lifestyle property could also be added to enhance the overall development," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2019, with the headline 'Kampong Bugis white site may appeal to consortium'. Print Edition | Subscribe