Rejection Of International Plaza's Application For CBD Incentive Scheme

Rejection Of International Plaza’s Application For CBD Incentive Scheme Won’t Impact Other Office Bldgs

SINGAPORE – The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) rejection of the outline application for the proposed redevelopment of International Plaza under the CBD Incentive Scheme, won’t affect other ageing office projects that have applied for the scheme, according to a Business Times report that was updated on Friday morning (19 November, SGT).

“The scheme is targeted at old, predominantly office buildings. With that, International Plaza’s case would have always been borderline given its existing residential component,” said Karamjit Singh, CEO of real estate investment sales specialist Delasa, who added that the mixed-use project was also overbuilt.

A URA representative pointed out that International Plaza’s existing building intensity of 19.24 gross plot ratio is significantly higher than office projects in Tanjong Pagar, such as Springleaf Tower, Guoco Tower, and Twenty Anson.

Queried how the development ended up being so overbuilt, a spokesperson explained that International Plaza’s existing building intensity was due to prior approvals granted for the site, based on prevailing policies in the past.

Before 1 September 1989, the intensity of commercial developments was based on the net floor area (NFA) method. However, this did not take into account common circulation spaces that were constructed. For residential projects, intensity was determined using the population density method or the number of persons per hectare.

Back in 1969, when the authorities sold International Plaza’s site, the authorities stipulated a net plot ratio (ratio of NFA to site area) control of 10.0 for office space and retail premises. As part of the same approval, the project was permitted additional space for residential use to complement the commercial uses within the project.

Then in 1990, the URA allowed the conversion of excess car parks at International Plaza to office use under the NFA system, as the application was submitted before 1 September 1989, during which various methods of determining intensity for different development types were standardised to the GFA method, which includes common circulation spaces.

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