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Bayshore may see 6,000 new HDB flats as URA seeks makeover for precinct

SINGAPORE — The prime Bayshore precinct is set to yield 6,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats — a first for the vicinity — as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) called for private consultants to submit a blueprint for a makeover to create a “vibrant and sustainable garden neighbourhood” aimed at capitalising on its proximity to East Coast Park.

Bayshore may see 6,000 new HDB flats as URA seeks makeover for precinct

As a comprehensively planned new precinct withinBedok planning area, Bayshore Precinct will house approximately 12,500 dwelling units (DU) with a mix of 6000 DU of public and 6500 DU of private housing. Photo: Google Street View

SINGAPORE — The prime Bayshore precinct is set to yield 6,000 Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats — a first for the vicinity — as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) called for private consultants to submit a blueprint for a makeover to create a “vibrant and sustainable garden neighbourhood” aimed at capitalising on its proximity to East Coast Park.

In a Request for Proposal (RFP) put up last month, the URA has called for master planning and urban design consultancy services for a new precinct which will house about 12,500 families in a mix of 6,000 public and 6,500 private housing units — a proposal which analysts said will attract much buyers’ interest but strain infrastructure in the area.

Bordered by Upper East Coast Road, East Coast Parkway, Bayshore Road and the Bedok military camp, the 60ha plot currently comprises parks and land zoned “residential” under the URA’s 2014 Master Plan.

Households here will be served by the Bayshore and Bedok South MRT stations — along the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line — which are expected to be up by 2023.

“The proposals for Bayshore precinct shall thus capitalise on the existing greenery and transport connections to create an attractive living environment, with emphasis on environmental sustainability, car-lite strategies and a strong sense of community,” said the URA in its RFP.

Consultancy teams have up to Feb 9 to indicate their interest. Up to five shortlisted teams are to develop a concept master plan and urban design proposal for the precinct by May 11.

The consultant will be appointed by the middle of this year, after a planned exhibition to gather public feedback.

In response to TODAY’s queries on its plans for Bayshore, a URA spokesperson noted that “making and reviewing future development plans is routine work in URA”.

“The number of public and private housing units (in the future Bayshore precinct) has been projected as 6,000 public units and 6,500 private units, and is still under study. Parts of the area will be used for the construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line for a number of years; implementation will not be in the near future,” the spokesperson said.

Responses from property analysts and home buyers to the URA’s plan were mixed. R’ST Research’s director Ong Kah Seng said the plan will draw keen buyers’ interest, especially among young couples, due to the area’s “upmarket image” and its proximity to East Coast Park. “(It) ensures equity and that buyers in the sandwiched class are not edged out in future strategic development plans,” he said.

The URA has a similar vision for the Greater Southern Waterfront, he added, where prime land is planned to cater to public use.

“The new developments will bring the current Bayshore’s character closer with its neighbouring Marine Parade precinct … But because (Bayshore) will be comprehensively planned, it will not be paling in comparison with its current private residential units,” Mr Ong said.

However, Mr Ku Swee Yong, chief executive officer of International Property Advisor, felt that the high density of new housing units will add to the current strain on infrastructure.

“This number of 12,500 residential units is a surprise. The traffic density will be even higher, and I doubt that Upper East Coast Road can take the additional car traffic,” he said.

There could be a negative impact on pricing for private residences as the area “may lose some of its idyllic identity”, Mr Ku added.

A home buyer, who wanted to be known only as Lionel, felt that the URA proposal may prompt a backlash from current residents in the area.

“More developments will block the seaview and sea breeze that residences in this area (are proud of) … The area is also already getting congested with the new private developments now.”

Still, the 26-year-old who currently lives in Siglap, said young couples would “jump at the chance” to get affordable housing in a good location.

“I would give it a shot if not for the long time frame,” said Lionel, who is looking to buy a flat in the next year or two.

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