Former police station to be part of hotel development

THE former Joo Chiat Police Station is set for a new lease of life as part of a hotel development, with developers needing to conserve the 1920s colonial building.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) described the East Coast Road station as 'historically and architecturally significant' as it released detailed sales conditions of the site yesterday.

URA said the building is 'well-proportioned with key facades sensitively composed'.

'The inclusion of this stately building within the site will add a unique charm to the future hotel development,' it read.

The building, which is in an area dotted with historic conservation shophouses, is now occupied by a restaurant and is part of Katong Village, a collection of food and entertainment outlets. Tenants have until Oct31 to move out. It is understood that five out of 11 tenants will have done so by the end of the month.
The site is on URA's reserve list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. Sites on the reserve list may not get triggered for sale, unlike confirmed list sites, which go on sale on a particular date. This means that the 8,239 sq m land parcel, on which the station sits, will be put up for tender only if a developer agrees to pay an acceptable minimum sum to the Government.

Any bidder will have to contend with competition from several hotels in the area.

The newly-opened Santa Grand Hotel East Coast, with more than 70 rooms, is nearby. Far East Organization's East Village Hotel and the Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel - with more than 780 rooms in total - are also a stone's throw away.

The 99-year leasehold plot has a maximum permissible gross floor area of 24,716 sq m. It can be built up to a height of 20 storeys, a consultant has estimated. An earlier estimate had said that the site could yield some 600 rooms.

Source: The Straits Times – 27 June 2012