Last October 9, Friday, the Urban Development Authority (URA) announced proposed conservation of the Golden Mile Complex as it distinguished the architectural and historical significance of the said property.
The Golden Mile Complex’s “signature terraced profile atop a podium box” was proposed to be conserved by the authority retaining its key features.
Given the collective sale interest of the owner, planning incentives will be given by the URA to aid the commercial viability and adaptive reuse of the building.
The URA said that there are opportunities where people will be able to appreciate the rich heritage of the property. With the Beach Road precinct being transformed, the Golden Mile Complex will be open to opportunities to adapt for new uses in its restoration.
The Golden Mile Complex is a 16-storey building that sits along Beach Road. Completed in 1973, this property is located on one of the first GLS sites in the area. The property got its name from Beach Road, which was known as the “Golden Mile”.
The property was included in the first mixed-use developments in the country. Designed by prominent architects Tay Khen Soon, William Lim and Gan Eng Oon of the Design Partnership now known as DP Architects, the Golden Mile Complex combines a magnificent space like residential, recreational and commercial spaces in one building.
The building’s slanted beams, terraced floor slabs, “floating” staggered staircases and towering columns are admired by the authority. The URA said the property continues to be an iconic landmark and that it has been a symbol of the ‘can-do’ spirit and collective memory that the pioneer generation of Singaporeans had at the time of the post-independence years.
In addition to these, the URA also mentioned that the Golden Mile Complex has inadvertently attracted several recreational visitors and live-in residents which mobilized new developments in Beach Road area.
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A 2-YEAR EXTENSIVE STUDY PRIOR TO THE CONSERVATION DECISION
The resolution in conserving the Golden Mile Complex comes after a 2-year comprehensive study that included working with several agencies and stakeholders groups.
Before the decision was made, the opinions of different industry players, heritage groups as well as the building owners. Serving as a channel for discussion between members of the URA apart from the bodies involved is the Heritage and Identity Partnership. Not only that, but it also contributes suggestions and feedback that will be beneficial to managing the identity and built heritage.
The building owners still point out their concerns over the uncertainties on how the conservation requirements can affect collective sale plans given the cost of maintenance and the limitations on design, according to the URA.
The unpredictability around the local property market on the introduction of large-scale and strata-titled conserved development purchases as this is the first in Singapore.
PROSPECTIVE DEVELOPERS AND OWNERS’ INCENTIVES
The URA together with the proper agencies is ready to offer various incentives to possible buyers and building owners if ever the building is sold. The move is in response to the arising challenges surrounding the Golden Mile Complex.
These incentives will include giving a bonus floor area. This will then grant a 30-storey tower as an addition to the existing size. A waiver for partial development charges for its floor area extension and a waiver for development charges for the conserved GFA value enhancement is also offered.
Additionally, there will also be a flexible option to have the building adapted to possible mix-use and an option for a lease top-up of up to 99 years.
According to the URA, there are a total of no less than 7,200 conserved heritage buildings islandwide, which mainly date back to the colonial period.
URA is ready to closely work industry experts and owners to promote the various possibilities of adaptive reuse that are enclosed within the conservation requirements.
The URA also mentioned that the Singaporeans will continue to engage in honouring symbolic buildings of Singapore’s “recent past” while observing the balance between development and heritage as the country progresses.
On Saturday, October 10, the conservation proposal for the Golden Mile Complex has been published and will be available to the public at the URA Centre until November 8, 2020. It will also be available on the URA website.