We all know Paya Lebar Airbase will be moving out around 2030. And we can build 5 Toa Payohs in that area(Hi5!). But how will that affect Singapore and how will things around there change? Or more importantly, can I take advantage of this and make a make a Real Estate Investment that takes advantage of the exciting changes, and also gives you financial security when you invest in Paya Lebar?
You can start here, District 15. There will be 3 major condominium projects that will be launched in 2023:
The Continuum at Thiam Siew Ave, Jalan Tembusu and Dunman Road. These 3 exciting new projects are set to change D15’s facade forever.
Paya Lebar’s Rich History
Paya Lebar has been inhabited since the early 1830s. The name of the area is derived from two Malay words – ‘paya’ meaning swamp and ‘lebar’ meaning wide. In the 1830s, a survey map was made by the Straits Settlements, a British-governed colony in charge of Singapore, Penang, Malacca and Dinging (now called Manjung District in southwestern Perak). According to the National Archives, Paya Lebar was populated with rural communities and farms by the 1890s. Squatter districts were extensively present in the area, and locals engaged in activities such as growing market produce, pig and poultry farming.
In the early days, many of the people living in the Paya Lebar area were Malays, who had settled there from the nearby Geylang district. The name Geylang is thought to have come from the Malay word kilang, meaning mill or factory, as there were a number of such places in the region at that time. Geylang and Paya Lebar share a common history of development, and as of 2018, fall within the same planning area determined by the URA Master Plan.
Commercial Hub 2008
In 2008, the URA Master Plan designated Paya Lebar and Geylang to be redeveloped into a sub-regional commercial centre, with the goal of shifting businesses from the densely populated CBD to this city fringe hub. Paya Lebar Central, close to the Paya Lebar MRT Interchange Station, was meant to include a mix of commercial, retail, and hotel buildings. The addition of the MacPherson MRT Interchange Station, one stop away from the Paya Lebar MRT Station on the Circle Line, improved transport links for commuters to the Downtown Line. The $3.7 billion Paya Lebar Quarter development, built by Australian developer Lendlease in 2019, is part of the URA’s plan to transform the 12-hectare Paya Lebar Central area into a sub-regional business hub.
Located at the intersection of Paya Lebar Road and Sims Avenue, this project encompasses the PLQ Mall, three state-of-the-art office buildings and three residential blocks as part of Park Place Residences. Additionally, PLQ Mall provides direct access to Paya Lebar MRT Interchange Station, which services the East-West and Circle Lines.
The Paya Lebar district and its neighboring areas are in line for more changes. This is because the relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base is planned to take place in the year 2030. This would free up a piece of land measuring 800ha, which is bigger than both Bishan and Ang Mo Kio. This space is presently taken up by the airbase and the industries around it, and it is expected to be converted into a new town.
Paya Lebar Airbase 2022
The Urban Redevelopment Authority released a decennial long-term plan review on June 6 2022 at a public exhibition to reveal the most recent updates to Paya Lebar Air Force Base and its surrounding industrial areas. URA collected public opinions in 2021 on how Singapore’s land could be repurposed for the next 40 to 50 years in order to achieve greater sustainability, self-sufficiency, and pandemic readiness, in addition to how land use could be optimised to achieve these aims.
URA recently unveiled the latest updates for the progressive redevelopment of Paya Lebar Air Base and its surrounding industrial areas on June 6, 2022 at an exhibition for the decennial long-term plan review. The review, which was completed in 2021, collected opinions from the public on how Singapore’s land could be repurposed over the next 40 to 50 years in order to ensure greater sustainability, self-sufficiency, and pandemic readiness, was reviewed.
All Good Things takes Time to Build
According to URA Chief Planner and Deputy CEO Hwang Yu-Ning, development will take place over the next two to three decades on 800 hectares of air base and surrounding industrial space that will be freed up when the Republic of Singapore Air Force relocates offsite by 2030.
Land from the area is expected to be the first to be released to serve the public housing market, followed by one to four land parcels annually under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for private housing.
Paya Lebar New Town will be transformed into a regional centre similar to Woodlands, Tampines, Punggol Digital District, and One-North as developers are introduced. Residents who live far away from the city centre will be able to benefit from a more accessible work-life balance as businesses are drawn out of the Central Business District and brought closer to home.
The site’s history as a national airbase will be honoured through the 3.8-long runway, which will also function as a town centrepiece. According to Wilfred Loo, president of the Singapore Institute of Planners (SIP), vistas could be created by positioning vantage points on the sloped runway to emphasise natural geographic contours. Using greens and other amenities, the runway might be divided into distinct sections with distinctive characteristics and purposes.
SIP and the Singapore Institute of Architects are proposing the transformation and integration of former passenger buildings, control towers, and bunkers into housing and leisure facilities, to create towns optimised for remote work and future industries.
The authorities are also thinking about splitting the area into civil quarter, tech quarter, creative quarter, transitional residential areas, and a heritage lawn, among other things. In addition to emphasising the importance of green elements for the futuristic live-work-play town of Paya Lebar, National Development Minister Desmond Lee also emphasised their importance.
Paya Lebar Real Estate Market to Change Forever
There has been much speculation about whether the plot ratios in Paya Lebar Air Base’s surrounding areas will be lowered once the restriction on military flight training is lifted. Around airports and air bases, height restrictions are put in place to prevent buildings from interfering with flight paths.
Developers will have more freedom when it comes to optimising and rejuvenating land space, thanks to the removal of height restrictions. For example, many more floors may be added to older properties during development, resulting in more space for amenities or housing units. In addition, the old units in the area may be redeveloped via en-bloc.
So What do I do now?
With all that happening in Paya Lebar, its difficult to see how this year’s 3 big projects in District 15 can be anything but good investments for the mid to longer term.
If you like to be one of the first to come see the projects do let us know. We’ll be happy to book a previewing of these projects. Contact Kai