Public encouraged to inject new ideas into old buildings under URA, SLA reinvention scheme

Shophouses at 45 Sultan Gate before and after restoration, the first state properties to be launched for tender. PHOTOS: SLA

SINGAPORE - Ever had a burning ambition to transform a fire station?

Six sites in Singapore - both existing buildings and state land plots - are being put up for tender, with bidders encouraged to come up with innovative proposals for their enhancement.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched a new programme called Reinventing Spaces into Vibrant Places (RSVP) on Tuesday (May 14), encouraging business owners, architects and designers to team up and test their business concepts in these selected spaces.

The first state properties to be launched for tender are two shophouses earmarked for conservation at 45 Sultan Gate, located in the heart of the Kampong Glam Historical District and which have been recently restored by the SLA.

The remaining sites - Old Bukit Timah Fire Station, 30 Maxwell Road, 15-31 Hindoo Road, Old Kallang Airport, and Marina Bay land parcels - will be put up for tender progressively.

Leases will be granted on a three-year basis and renewable for up to two terms.

The objective of the programme is to "encourage community interactions and create shared memories", said the agencies.

"The overall concept and proposed uses of the site should complement other offerings in the precinct to enhance the visitor experience and add to the vibrancy of the area through suitable programming," the agencies said.

The SLA and URA said they will continue to identify potential sites across the island for concept tender under the programme, such as shophouse units, standalone buildings, utility infrastructure and public spaces.

"A city is more than a sum of its buildings and infrastructure; it is a place where people live, work and hang out with friends and family," said Ms Chou Mei, group director of conservation and urban design at URA.

"We hope the programme will help to create endearing and loveable places that everyone will enjoy."

The proposals will be assessed on their ability to "reinforce and complement the unique charm and character of the area, and enhance visitor experience through suitable and innovative programming and place-making efforts".

Bids for the site at 45 Sultan Gate will be assessed with equal weightage on price and quality of concept.

The tender submission period for 45 Sultan Gate is open from now till July 23 this year. For more information, visit the SLA and URA's websites.

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