ALIBABA and a Perennial Holdings-led consortium’s proposed mixed-use project on the former AXA Tower site opposite Tanjong Pagar MRT station is poised to overtake Guoco Tower as Singapore’s tallest development.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has approved a maximum height of 305 metres for the proposed 63-storey office, retail, residential and hotel project at 8 Shenton Way. This exceeds the 290-metre height URA approved for Guoco Tower, an integrated mixed development completed in phases between 2016 and 2017.
URA’s spokesperson confirmed that the proposed development at 8 Shenton Way is the only project that has been given the nod to be taller than the 290 metres Singapore Height Datum (SHD) approved for Guoco Tower.
“The approved building height of 305 m SHD (for 8 Shenton Way) is the highest that URA has granted for developments in Singapore.
“The allowable building heights are subject to technical requirements as well as evaluation based on respective site context,” she added.
The maximum height for the proposed project on the former AXA Tower site was stipulated as part of URA’s grant of written permission for the project issued in July.
The proposed scheme will comprise a 63-storey tower block with a 2-storey podium for shop and restaurant use. The first storey of the development will have lobbies for the office, hotel and residential components, as well as plaza space. The project will have 4 basement levels.
The retail (including F&B space) is expected to be in basement 1 and on levels 1 and 2. Offices are expected to make up slightly more than half of the project’s gross floor area (GFA). Above the offices will be an all-suites hotel (comprising just 11 suites), and above that, 215 apartments for sale.
The project will also incorporate sky terraces.
URA has approved a maximum GFA of nearly 1.6 million sq ft for the AXA Tower redevelopment, reflecting a maximum 13.51 plot ratio based on the nearly 118,230 sq ft site area. This is a significant jump from the former AXA Tower’s GFA of about 1.03 million sq ft, translating to 8.7 times the land area.
The nearly 1.6 million sq ft GFA is inclusive of 25 per cent additional GFA (amounting to 310,350 sq ft) granted under the CBD Incentive Scheme beyond the maximum permissible GFA of 1.24 million sq ft based on the site’s 10.5 plot ratio in URA’s current Master Plan.
Rolled out in 2019, the scheme aims to incentivise owners of older, predominantly office buildings in specified areas within the central business district to redevelop their properties into mixed-use projects and inject more buzz into the area.
The proposed project’s scheme appears to comprise 60 per cent commercial uses (offices and retail in this case) with 40 per cent non-commercial uses (in this case, residential and hotel).
Besides the additional CBD Incentive Scheme GFA, URA has granted about 46,155 sq ft bonus GFA under incentive schemes relating to balconies, residential private roof terraces and private enclosed spaces, indoor recreational spaces and rooftop outdoor refreshment areas (ORAs).
The bonus GFA for the ORA will be at the second storey podium rooftop and is on 10-year temporary permission.
The project will entail payments to the state for differential premium (for being allowed to build a bigger project), as well as lease extension premium to top up the site’s lease to 99 years. The site’s 99-year leasehold tenure started from July 1982, leaving a balance of about 59 years.
The site is owned by Perennial Shenton Property, which is wholly owned by Perennial Shenton Holding, which in turn is equally owned by Alibaba Singapore Holding and PRE 13.
Perennial Holdings, its controlling shareholder Kuok Khoon Hong, and Wilmar International : F34 0% collectively control 58 per cent of PRE 13. The remaining 42 per cent is collectively held by Chip Eng Seng Corporation : C29 +0.8% and Sing-Haiyi Emerald. Gordon and Celine Tang are the controlling shareholders of SGX-listed Chip Eng Seng; the duo wholly own Sing-Haiyi Emerald.