URA Master Plan Hot Spot: Kampong Bugis

When the Draft Master Plan 2019 was unveiled in March 2019, Kampong Bugis was identified as one of the Urban Transformation projects. These are “key growth areas that will encourage economic growth, and bring jobs and amenities closer to residents.”

Spanning an area of around 17.4 ha (1.873 mil sq ft), the Kampong Bugis precinct is strategically located at the mouth of Kallang River. It is bounded by Kallang Road and Crawford Street, with a 1.1 km of water frontage to Kallang River and Rochor River. Envisioned by the government planners to be an attractive waterfront residential precinct that will be car-lite, community-centric and sustainable, the intention is to look for a master developer to redevelop the entire site to include the following features:

Focus on active mobility

Kampong Bugis is located within walking distance from the Lavender and Kallang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations. A new underpass and footbridge planned across Crawford Street and connecting to Sims Avenue will make walking to Lavender and Kallang MRT stations easier and faster. With reduced dependency on cars, less space will be needed for roads and carparks and more space can be freed up for parks and community spaces.

Enhancing the blue and green

The Kallang Riverside Park will be a vibrant waterfront park where cyclists and joggers can stop for a rest under the lush shady trees. To keep our waters clean, developments here will also have a network of greenery and water sensitive features that will store and cleanse rainwater before it is discharged into the Kallang Basin.

One-stop waste collection

Kampong Bugis will be the first private residential precinct to pilot a district-level pneumatic waste conveyance system. There will be separate chutes for waste and recyclables, which will be collected at one central station through an enclosed ‘vacuum’ system. This will minimise the number of refuse collection trucks plying the precinct.

When completed, Kampong Bugis will be a precinct comprising 4,000  private residential units and 50,000 sqm (538,200 sq ft) space for complementary uses such as retail, offices, community uses, serviced apartments and sports and recreational facilities.

The entire Kampong Bugis precinct is estimated to be completed over 9 to 11 years. Riverine By The Park and Kallang Riverside are two residential developments within the precinct, as well as the Sri Manmatha Karuneshvarar Temple. These will not be affected by the new plans for Kampong Bugis.

Artist’s impression of Kallang Riverside Park waterfront

To start the ball rolling, the government has placed on the Reserve List of the H2 2019 Government Land Sales Programme a site at Kampong Bugis for sale to a Master Developer. This is a 9.2 ha (990,288 sq ft) site which can be developed into 1,000 residential units and 10,000 sqm (107,640 sq ft) of commercial space. More details on the site will be made known in December 2019.

As this site is on the Reserve List, it will only be released for sale by tender when an interested developer submits an application and indicate the minimum price that he is prepared to bid for the site. If this price satisfied the government’s reserve price, the site would be released for sale through an open tender. Even if developers did not submit a satisfactory price, the site could still be released for tender if there was sufficient indication of interest for the site. It is likely that the final formal tender for Kampong Bugis will be based on the two-envelope Concept and Price (C&P) tender system which allows other qualitative factors like architectural and urban design and business concept, to be taken into account in the award of the site.

For such a big site which is integrated with several land uses and environmental considerations, the tender is likely to attract a consortium to take up the challenge. As a rough guide to current land prices in the vicinity, a residential land parcel with commercial use on the first storey located at Tan Quee Lan Street garnered a top bid of $1,535 psf/plot ratio in September 2019. Prior to that, in April, a neighbouring site with similar land uses but fronting Middle Road, was awarded to the top bidder at $1,458 psf/plot ratio.

As for residential prices, the following table illustrates the average prices of transactions in and around Kampong Bugis:

It could be another three to five years before the first residential project is launched for sale. By then, home prices would have moved from these levels.

That said, Kampong Bugis looks set to attract homebuyers based on what it promises to be by the time it is fully developed. The vision is for Kampong Bugis to become a smarter, greener and more sustainable housing ecosystem that supports active mobility, environmental sustainability and fosters community interaction bodes well for the future eco-conscious generation.