Singapore (1980-1990) / Incentives and concerns for private owners given by the government

The development of Boat Quay extends beyond the shophouses by the waterfront.  Tall financial buildings, museums and hotels extend behind the shophouses which make up the skyline.  The duality of these two urban conditions have make Boat Quay a fascinating area of intense heritage within the thriving economic driven city and thus has driven a lot of tourism attention.  The question of study is what are the driving forces or restrictions to such development?

 

Perspective of private ownerships

The age and style of the building generally define the type of ownership of the building.  Shophouses that are found along the waterfront and China Town are generally owned by early Chinese migrant settlements.  Many of these migrants have already moved on to new towns and no longer live in these houses anymore.  These houses remain as economic investments for the private owners.  The Urban Redevelopment Authority provides two major incentives for the private owners.  Development charge waivers and waiver of the need to provide car park lots where applicable.

  • Under the Conservation Guideline section 2.1.1.6 Development Charge:

“Under the Planning Act, development charge, equivalent to the difference between the Development Baseline and the Development Ceiling for that land, is payable in respect of any development of the land or when there is a change in the use of the land or building.” (URA, 2011)

Exemptions are granted to owners who follow the conservation guidelines.  This means that the value enhancement arising from proposed use of any changes in the gross floor area of the building can be waived.  Projects must be completed within two years of the conservation permission.

 

  • Under section 2.1.1.7 Carparking:

“Under the Planning Act, development charge, equivalent to the difference between the Development Baseline and the Development Ceiling for that land, is payable in respect of any development of the land or when there is a change in the use of the land or building.” (URA, 2011)

 

Market influence on boat Quay

incentive-graph

(Wang Jingyao, 2006)

 

Since most of the owners already do not live in these shophouses, they will reprogramme it with the most profitable industry.  The Boat Quay being the center of tourism activities, a lot of the shophouses have been turned into small shops, restaurants and pubs.  Night life has become very vibrant in this area as the its former more residential neighbourhood.

Perspective of corporate developers

Boat Quay is a highly marketable area as the cultural heritage of shophouses are already attracting a lot of tourism.  These larger buildings provide a second layer of infrastructure and activities for tourism.  For example the Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Market Street Food Centre, Bank of China have lot larger building masses and modern materials compared to the shophouses.  Their foot prints and GFA are also significantly larger.  No height restrictions makes it much more economically viable to develop the skyscrapers.

 

References

Wang Jingyao; Heng Chye Kiang (2006) “Conservation in Singapore: the experience of Clarke Quay” Accessed on 09/12/16 Available at: http://www.academia.edu/293106/Conservation_in_Singapore_the_Experience_of_Clarke_Quay

 

Urban Redevelopment Authority (2011) “Conservation Guidelines” Accessed on 6/12/2016.   Available at: https://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/uol/-/media/User%20Defined/URA%20Online/Guidelines/Conservation/Cons-Guidelines.pdf

1 Comment on “Singapore (1980-1990) / Incentives and concerns for private owners given by the government

  1. The linkage of Boat Quay with Chinatown and the Corporate (not “cooperate”?) Developers has strong potential. I see there are already a few posts made about Chinatown; can there be similarly posts discussing the relationship of Boat Quay with the downtown area of corporate developers in greater detail?

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