The CBD Incentive Scheme: An Introduction

In 2019, URA introduced the Central Business District (CBD) Incentive Scheme to better support the continued growth and evolution of our CBD as a dynamic global hub, and reposition our CBD as a 24/7 mixed-use district so that the CBD will not only be a place to work, but also a vibrant place to live and play in.

The incentives aim to encourage the conversion of existing, older, office developments into mixed-use developments that will help to rejuvenate the CBD by:

  1. Providing a wider diversity of uses, including more residences, hotels, and creative lifestyle possibilities;
  2. Realising better connectivity to adjacent developments and transport nodes;
  3. Creating a more intimate, people-friendly environment with walkable streets and public spaces that will provide an appealing address for people to live and work in.

The incentives are calibrated to encourage:

  1. The creation of mixed-use neighbourhoods at the CBD fringe areas of Anson and Cecil Street, with greater extent of residential uses supported by a variety of social/community amenities;
  2. A blend of mixed-uses within Robinson Road, Shenton Way and Tanjong Pagar.


See : Straits Times, 27 Mar 2019, URA Draft Master Plan: Higher plot ratios in CBD for converting offices to hotels, homes

See : Straits Times, 27 Mar 2019, URA unveils plan to revitalise Orchard Road, CBD


Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for the scheme is subject to the criteria as outlined:

  • Building Age : At least 20 years old from date of last TOP. Exemptions can be considered on a case by case basis
  • Current Land Use : Predominantly Office Developments Only 
  • Location : Selected parts of 
    • Anson 
    • Cecil Street
    • Robinson Road, Shenton Way, Tanjong Pagar 


Minimum Size

To safeguard the quality of the resultant developments, only sites that meet a minimum site area will be eligible for the incentives. This requirement will vary according to specific considerations within each area to avoid creating a wall-like environment:

  • Anson : Minimum Size 1,000 sqm
  • Cecil Street : Minimum Size:
    • 1,000 sqm for corner sites
    • 2,000 sqm for all other sites
  • Robinson Road, Shenton Way, Tanjong Pagar : Minimum Size: 
    • 1,000 sqm for corner sites
    • 2,000 sqm for all other sites

The CBD remains as one of the currently least densely populated areas of the country. 

CBD Incentive Scheme

CBD Incentive Scheme : Location : Anson

CBD Incentive Scheme

CBD Incentive Scheme : Location : Cecil Street

CBD Incentive Scheme

CBD Incentive Scheme : Location : Robinson Road, Shenton Way & Tanjong Pagar

Benefits of CBD Incentive Scheme 

See : Business Times, 13 Apr 2019 , Rejuvenating CBD with new integrated buildings 'visionary': JLL

Firstly, we believe the scheme will transform Singapore's downtown CBD to meet modern demands. From our work with global corporate clients, we know that employees of today prioritise hospitality, health and lifestyle amenities in their choice of office locations. The scheme can reinvigorate the CBD to meet these needs by encouraging new mixed developments, bringing together new residents, tourists and digital nomads of all ages into the district, and allow for more 24/7 social activities and events.

Secondly, we foresee that the CBD Incentive Scheme could accelerate the decentralisation strategy to enhance sustainability and reduce commuting. As older office stock is withdrawn and redeveloped, office occupiers displaced by the withdrawal of older stock in the CBD will need new premises, giving the government scope to release more land parcels in decentralised gateways, such as Jurong East, Woodlands and Tampines to expedite the development of these hubs.

Thirdly, with limited new supply of office space in the CBD and potential initiation of redevelopment projects over the next five years, we expect office rents to continue to rise, barring any demand shocks. This would likely widen the rental gap between CBD and suburban hubs, and motivate more businesses to consider moving some operations out of the CBD.

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