URA Draft Master Plan: Higher plot ratios in CBD for converting offices to hotels, homes

Visitors viewing the exhibition on the Draft Master Plan 2019 at The URA Centre on March 27, 2019. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will offer an increase in gross plot ratio for areas within Singapore's Central Business District (CBD) to encourage the conversion of existing office developments to hotel and residential uses, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Wednesday (March 27).

That change will fall under a new CBD Incentive Scheme that is part of a broader plan to boost the live-in population within the city's central area, with a variety of homes and amenities in places such as Downtown, Marina South and Rochor to enable more people to leave near workplaces and amenities.

The CBD Incentive Scheme will apply to the Anson Road, Cecil Street, Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Tanjong Pagar areas.

As part of its Draft Master Plan 2019, the URA also envisages opportunities to inject unique, short-term uses for vacant state properties and land to bring about greater vibrancy and create public spaces for more to enjoy.

"For the CBD, the vision is to continue to transform it into a well-connected and vibrant mixed-use district offering a dynamic and innovative business environment," the URA said on Wednesday morning.

"Agencies are also studying the possibility of transforming Robinson Road into a transit-priority corridor for public transport and active mobility." For instance, more space can be given to buses, cycling paths and pedestrian walkways.

Furthermore, active and convenient commuting within the city will become a reality by 2021, with the addition of more than 5km of cycling paths to the existing 22km network in the Central Area.

"Building owners are being encouraged to provide facilities such as bicycle parking, showers and lockers to make travelling to work - via active mobility - more conducive," the URA added.

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