The 45-year-old International Plaza was notably launched for collective sale on 1 September 2021 for a $2.7 billion reserve price. Source: Google Maps
International Plaza’s outline application for redevelopment under the Central Business District (CBD) Incentive Scheme has been rejected by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), reported The Business Times.
Notably, the 45-year-old development was launched for collective sale on 1 September with a reserve price of $2.7 billion. Its marketing agent, Edmund Tie, believes the development meets the qualifying criteria for the CBD Incentive Scheme, in terms of site area, building age and current land use.
However, URA’s spokesperson explained that the qualifying criteria serve as a framework to guide detailed evaluation, which will also consider specific site context and existing ground conditions.
For International Plaza, she pointed that the development currently has a good mix of uses, which range from residences to food and beverage (F&B), retail, personal services and offices.
In its refusal for the outline application, URA noted that “unlike most mono-use office-centric developments in the CBD, International Plaza has a good mix of uses, including a significant residential component that occupies more than 20% of the total building floor area”.
In addition, the building intensity or development intensity of the current development at 19.24 gross plot ratio is “substantial and considerably higher than the surrounding developments” within Tanjong Pagar like Guoco Tower (which have a gross plot ratio of 10.53, including bonus GFA for balconies), Springleaf Tower (9.65) and Twenty Anson (9.24), said the spokesperson.
“Hence, even without redevelopment under the CBD Incentive Scheme, International Plaza is already in line with the planning intention, and is in fact functioning as an amenity centre for the area,” she told BT.
International Plaza’s 19.24 gross plot ratio, based on its existing GFA of almost 1.45 million sq ft, is nearly twice the gross plot ratio of 10.5 allocated for commercial-zoned sites under the 2019 Master Plan.
While URA’s decision came as a surprise for some observers, they do not see wider implications for other office buildings which qualify for the scheme.
“International Plaza is unique in that it’s massive, built well over Master Plan, and it has a reasonably-sized residential component,” said Karamjit Singh, Chief Executive of property investment sales specialist Delasa, as quoted by BT.
The 50-storey development is nestled in a site that was released under the government’s third sale of sites, way back in 1969.
“There are many buildings in the CBD with existing GFA reflecting an equivalent plot ratio similar to or higher than what’s specified in Master Plan 2019 but the difference is not to the extent as what we see at International Plaza,” said JLL Executive Director of Capital Markets Tan Hong Boon, as quoted by BT.
“Also, these buildings comprise predominantly offices.”
The outline application submitted for the proposed redevelopment of International Plaza under the URA CBD Incentive Scheme was based on “commercial use with 40% non-commercial uses such as residential”.
It proposed a 62-storey project with a plot ratio of 24.05 (1.8 million sq ft GFA) comprising 698 strata office units and 175 strata retail units (for the 60% commercial component); 778 units of strata apartment (30% residential component); and a 368-room hotel (10%).
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.