Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bustling Waterfront Living For Punggol

Source : The Business Times, December 13, 2008

PUNGGOL, which started out as a sleepy fishing village, will get a new lease of life from 2010 onwards, with thousands of waterfront HDB flats and private homes planned alongside the soon-to-be bustling 4.2km Punggol Waterway.

FRESH LOOK - Surbana and Sen beat the field to win a competition to design a masterplan for the waterway's landscape

'HDB plans to offer about 3,000 flats for sale annually in Punggol, subject to demand,' said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan yesterday. 'By end-2011, there will be about 23,000 flats completed. Our plans to launch the first sale site at the Town Centre for a mixed commercial and private residential development are also on track. We will be launching this waterfront site by 2010/2011.'

Right now, there are about 17,000 HDB flats in Punggol. Since August last year, HDB has launched over 5,000 flats under seven Build-To-Order (BTO) projects in the town.

Some of the new flats will be located right next to the Punggol Waterway, which will be developed according to the vision of Singapore's Surbana International Consultants and its Japan-based partner Sen Inc.

The two firms beat 10 other entries to win a competition held to design a masterplan for the waterway's landscape. Mr Mah announced the winners yesterday.

Surbana and Sen's masterplan includes features such as a bio-pond that will be a repository of floral and fauna; a recreation zone with water-based play spaces for children and families; and a pedestrian 'kelong-like' bridge built to recapture the idyllic mood of old Punggol with its fishing villages. The bridge will lead to a heritage trail, which will follow the alignment of the existing Punggol Road.

Construction on the $25 million project to revamp the waterway will begin next year and be completed by 2010, HDB said.

After that, plans for special housing designs that will capitalise on the views along the waterway will be developed, Mr Mah said. The idea, he said, is to bring the waterway closer to residents. 'With the waterway landscape proposals completed, we can focus on another important milestone in our Punggol journey: shaping the housing along the Punggol Waterway.'

With this in mind, HDB yesterday launched a new design competition for Punggol's Waterfront public housing. Competing firms will have to come up with a masterplan for some 6,000 HDB flats during the first stage. Five finalists will be chosen to proceed to the second stage, where they will have to come up with a more detailed plan for a smaller plot of land, with an estimated 1,300 units, within the bigger site.

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