What was once open and unblocked land that presented a wide view of Paya Lebar’s City Plaza, the Tanjong Katong Complex and beyond is now a hodgepodge of construction, surrounded by fencing and punctuated by incessant drilling.
The once familiar green plots of land, the canal and a thoroughfare from the MRT station to the bus stops at Tanjong Katong Complex are now part of a greater ensemble collectively known as Paya Lebar Quarter.
Purchased at a staggering $1.67 billion bid at a government tender, Lendlease has detailed plans to develop the mixed-use area into a ‘vibrant, pedestrian-friendly city precinct’ to the tune of $3.2 billion.
Paya Lebar Quarter will be a retail/commercial/residential development, with over 200 stores and entertainment options located throughout its seven buildings. In addition to the shops, the three Grade-A office towers totalling one million sqft and three residential towers with 429 homes, about 100,000 sqft of green public space roughly the size of 20 basketball courts and a covered event space just outside the mall measuring 20,000 sqft will connect the disparate parts of the development into a cohesive whole.
The residential towers will be separate entities and linked to the offices and retail towers by covered walkways and overhead bridges. All towers have their accesses to Paya Lebar MRT station.
There is plenty more about Paya Lebar Quarter and Park Place Residences – its residential component – to make up an entire review or article on its own. The massive development is a combination of many things but what it means for the district and for the rest of Singapore is arguably more poignant.
Paya Lebar Quarter is one of the first examples of decentralising the CBD we will truly see.
Already, over 200 jobs are expected to be made available to denizens of Paya Lebar and nearby. The grade-A office towers are also likely to attract reputable companies to set up business which in turn will funnel into the retail elements with a large concentration in one anchor tenant, Kopitiam. The FairPrice Finest and nine-screen cinema which are also anchor tenants are both beneficial for the professional crowd and residents.
Paya Lebar Quarter is basically taking the best of Orchard Road and settling them into a 3.9-hectare site.
Its focus on green public spaces also adheres to a long-standing government policy on adding more connected parkways, lined with pedestrian and bicycle paths to promote active living in a garden-like city. Paya Lebar Quarter is looking like a green city built from scratch, with an eye toward achieving a BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. This award is the highest one can achieve and to attain that would make Paya Lebar Quarter truly a sustainable and environmentally friendly development.
So the question of what Paya Lebar Quarter means for the district has many answers. It is a new beginning, a fresh start. It is a means to increase the value of the district, as well as its status. It is a new Orchard Road or Bugis. It is a new CBD-lite area.
It is all these things and more but what it arguably is most of all, is the district’s renaissance.