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The Straits Times

Friday June 27th 2003

 

 

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A recently vacated site [ former Outram Park HDB Estate ] adjacent to Outram Park MRT Station lies just below Pearlbank Apartments

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Pearlbank hugs the Pearl's Hill Park

PEARL'S HILL, YORK HILL
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The hills will come alive with 5,500 new homes

Plan will offer people chance to live in city without having to give up green surroundings

By Vladimir Guevarra

THE lush and quiet Pearl's Hill area overlooking Chinatown is to be transformed into a swankier and more vibrant place to live in over the next 15 years.

A new master plan for the central region, including Pearl's Hill and the York Hill, will include 5,500 new homes being set in hillside blocks and condominiums soaring 40 storeys high.

The blueprint includes hillside streets and pathways linking Duxton Plain Park to the Singapore River through Pearl's Hill and York Hill.

A 200m-long landscaped deck - a first in Singapore - will be built over the Central Expressway tunnel to connect the two hills.

A former police building that sits on the site of the original Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Pearl's Hill, may be conserved.

A reservoir built in the 1800s will be kept to retain the area's old-world charm.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority's vision is to offer people a chance to live in the city while enjoying the natural environment of the hills.

URA chief executive Tan Yong Soon describes Pearl's Hill as 'a rare gem' with huge development potential.

Property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle expects that the area will see a new buzz with a fresh infusion of residents.

Its country head, Mr Terence Tang, believes the new high-rise buildings will give a 'more upmarket' feel to the place.

Next to the Outram MRT station down the slope from Pearl's Hill is a mixed-use site intended for a huge residential cum office and retail development.

With such plans laid before them, some residents could hardly contain their excitement.

This is especially so for those who live in the Pearlbank Apartments, next to the mixed-use site, who see the value of their homes shooting up.

Mr John Tan, 52, who chairs Pearlbank's management corporation, said: 'These improvements are definitely good for our community.'

He hopes that the redevelopment will boost the apartments' resale value 'by around $50,000'.

Based on sales transactions from the URA website, some Pearlbank units measuring about 1,400sq ft were sold recently for under $300,000. 

Madam Pauline Koe, 51, who runs a childcare centre in Pearlbank, said: 'It would be good for our business if the families who move to this area in the future send their kids here.'

Mr Albert Seah, 35, the administration manager of nearby Outram Secondary, is particularly happy about a landscaped deck to be built next to the school.

'Soon, our students will have a place to go to after school, to read their books,' he said.

Jones Lang LaSalle's Mr Tang said that the mixed-use site, once released, could fetch a land price of around $400 per sq ft of the total floor space which can be built.

Assuming that a building the size of the Centrepoint mall can be built there, the land price may be around $164 million.

Singapore Institute of Architects president John Ting said he found the redevelopment plan impressive.

He added: 'Many people don't even know that Pearl's Hill exists.

'With this plan, the URA is sharing one of Singapore's best-kept secrets.'

Outram Park MRT Station > Direct link to the new North-East line MRT at upper left of photo

former Outram Park HDB Estate 

Photos : ©pearlbankapartments.com

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