17 Sep 2018
The China Place precinct is strategically located within Chinatown and the Central Business District (CBD), anchored by China Square Central, Far East Square, Great Eastern Centre and Capital Square.
Led by the consortium formed by Frasers Property Singapore, Far East Organization, Great Eastern, and Capital Square Pte Ltd (which is jointly owned by NTUC Income Insurance and ARA Asset Management Limited (“ARA”)), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has selected the proposal for China Place to participate under the pilot Business Improvement District (BID) programme.
This project is a collaboration between the consortium and various partners to revitalise the China Place precinct, to bring added value to the business community, shoppers and culture seekers.
Frasers Property Singapore, Far East Organization, Great Eastern, and Capital Square Pte Ltd today unveiled their joint plans to revitalise a key business precinct in Singapore, “China Place”, comprising developments such as China Square Central, Far East Square, Great Eastern Centre and Capital Square.
As one of the precincts selected to participate in the URA pilot BID programme, the companies will form a consortium to lead a four-year placemaking project that will transform the China Place area into a destination synonymous with a work-live-play culture. Some highlights for China Place will include signature lifestyle events and educational heritage trails that evoke the rich history of the area and its quaint, old-world charm of shophouses, amidst its current urban setting.
The BID programme is a formalised placemaking framework that encourages local stakeholders, such as businesses and private property owners, to transform public spaces into vibrant community spaces, enhancing the precincts, injecting vibrancy and making it more appealing for visitors. Placemaking has been gaining momentum in community-centric Singapore, with businesses striving to enliven, reimagine, and reinvent private and public spaces.
Mr Low Chee Wah, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Retail and Commercial Division at Frasers Property Singapore, who chairs the taskforce, said, “Placemaking is an integral part of any real-estate enhancement strategy. We aim to shape and enliven the spaces we operate in, by tapping into our familiarity with the local identity and our understanding of the needs of the precinct. The BID programme provides stakeholders with a platform to come together and through a shared vision, draw on each other’s collective experience to champion the rejuvenation of a much-loved district. Our vision for China Place is to reflect the rich history of the precinct as well as the dynamism of Singapore’s CBD, so it will become a vibrant and unique destination for the business community, leisure shoppers and visitors alike.”
Old meets new
Strategically located within Chinatown and the CBD, China Place brims with historic charm. During the day, the area is a beehive of activity with office workers looking for a quick bite in between meetings; and in the evenings, the space transforms into pockets of after-hours gathering spots for recreation and F&B.
The collective vision of the consortium is to transform the space into one that delivers bespoke experiences not only to the business community, but to leisure shoppers and culture-seekers as well. By weaving together the best elements of gastronomy, entertainment, businesses lifestyle and culture, China Place will be a place that hums with a steady pulse of activities day and night all year round.
Sprucing up the work-live-play environment
Some initiatives to reshape the area will be the implementation of better wayfinding signs and repurposing of existing laneways into useable spaces, which will open up more opportunities for vendors and activities.
Celebrating the heritage and culture of the space, China Place will work closely with partners and agencies to create meaningful and immersive events such as heritage trails and exhibitions. These culture-rich initiatives effectively cater to the nostalgia of the old while piqueing the curiousity of younger citizens and travellers alike.
Adding to the vibrancy and buzz of the precinct are two new hotels, Capri by Fraser and The Clan, by Frasers Hospitality and Far East Organization respectively. They are set to complete in the next two years, and will cater to business travellers seeking a unique blend of work and leisure opportunities.
The consortium will also collaborate with tenants to introduce activities designed to create unique and value-added experiences for visitors, such as thematic events and festive activities. There are also plans to look into car-free initiatives on weekday evenings and weekends to encourage more foot traffic and activities in the precinct.
“In the last few years, more residential, commercial and hospitality components have been added to the CBD area.This collaboration allows us the opportunity to explore how we can meet the evolving needs of this larger community through the reimagination and transformation of this landmark precinct, China Place. Leveraging on our combined experience in real estate, we are studying the possibility of introducing physical elements such as seating, enhacing pedestrian circulation and developing activities for a more effective relationship between our developments and its surrounding spaces. Just like how vibrant the area used to be in the early days of Singapore, we want to create a place that has a strong sense of community, rich in vitality and is a distinct, memorable destination,” said Ms Mavis Seow, Chief Operating Officer of Retail Business Group at Far East Organization.