URA says bonjour to major developers

URA says bonjour to major developers


Tuesday • March 11, 2008


Neo Chai Chin


New Ophir-Rochor land parcel marketed at premier property event in Cannes




A PRIME land parcel enveloping Parkview Square in Bugis may soon draw more top developers to Singapore, just as the Beach Road and Marina View parcels did last year.


The 2.74 ha site, along Rochor and Ophir Roads, will comprise office and hotel space, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which is pitching it to an international audience in France over the next three days.


The site could be worth $1.2 to $1.48 billion, according to property analysts.


Marketing it at a premier property event — the annual Marche International des Professionals de L’Immobilier in Cannes — is “good branding and also a move to see if there are large investment funds interested in developing Singapore’s streetscape”, said Mr Ku Swee Yong of Savills Singapore.


The land parcel, which will be up for sale in June, is the first in the new Ophir-Rochor corridor to be launched under the Government’s land sale programme.


Plans were earlier announced for this vibrant growth area — comprising financial and business institutions, hotels and residential facilities in a park-like setting — that will complement the financial district at Marina Bay and Raffles Place.


More land parcels in the Ophir-Rochor area will be released for development over the next five to 10 years “in tandem with market demand”, said the URA.


About 40 per cent of the first development could be commercial space, while 60 per cent of it could be devoted to hotel and retail space, said Mr Ku, Savills’ director of marketing and business development.


It may consist of a 500-room hotel on par with the nearby Intercontinental, with retail outlets on the lower levels and 1.2 million to 1.4 million sq ft of office or commercial space, said Mr Donald Han, managing director of Cushman and Wakefield.


Mr Han deemed it as attractive as last year’s Beach Road site, which was clinched for $1.69 billion by a three-nation consortium led by City Developments.


While South Beach at Beach Road is “more prestigious” as it straddles Suntec City and Raffles City, the Ophir-Rochor site is “equally attractive” for being on the fringe of the Central Business District, its good waterfront views and proximity to Bugis MRT, he said.


Marketing it at the present time would also give new investors time to do due diligence of the Singapore market before the parcel is launched for sale, he said.


URA has been marketing prime sites more aggressively to international players for the past three to four years, said a spokesperson.


Last year, major investors like Dubai‘s Istithmar Group, the United States-based El-Ad Group and Macquarie Global Property Advisors (MGPA) ventured into Singapore‘s land tender market. Istithmar and El-Ad were part of South Beach‘s winning consortium, while MGPA, partly owned by Australia‘s Macquarie Group, clinched the Marina View plots.


Mr Ku said that he would like to see more developments in Singapore by renowned companies from Japan and Europe to “give a better international flavour to our landscape”.


Source: TodayOnline

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