CWT to sell Tanjong Penjuru warehousing hub for S$115.2m

CWT to sell Tanjong Penjuru warehousing hub for S$115.2m

 

SINGAPORE: Logistics service provider CWT on Tuesday said it has sold one of its warehousing hubs in the Jurong area for S$115.2 million.

 

No names were given, but CWT said the buyer is a property fund focused on the Asia-Pacific region.

 

Under the agreement, CWT will lease the premises back for five years initially, with an option to renew for another three years.

 

The company will realise a total gain of some S$85.7 million from the sale, based on the aggregate book value of the property of S$28.1 million and after accounting for the relevant costs to the sale.

 

The property, located at 46A Tanjong Penjuru, is currently used by CWT to provide warehousing facilities for its customers.

 

CWT said the sale and leaseback deal will help the company realise its investment while it continues to use the property for its existing operations.

 

The firm will use the proceeds to reduce its bank loans and fund its local and regional expansion.

 

It also intends to return a portion of the net proceeds to shareholders in the form of dividends or through a share buy-back scheme. – CNA/ac

 

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Singapore Poly students submit ideas to remake Punggol Town

Singapore Poly students submit ideas to remake Punggol Town

 

SINGAPORE: The Housing Development Board (HDB) is tapping on the minds of Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students, to remake Punggol Town. The call for ideas is also extended to the general public.

 

Gabriel Seah, a landscape and architecture student from SP, said: “The first thing that came to my mind will be wetlands. As we all know, the discharge of storm water into the river, or even into the sea is unfiltered. So before all these things get into the sea, I hope we can create a wetland, and filter off all these substrates and nutrients.”

 

Lin Xiong, an architecture student from SP said: “I like the idea of a multi-storey car park, where they turn its roof into a ‘green’ roof – (creating) a recreational space for the neighbourhood to bond together.”

 

The students’ suggestions fall under HDB’s ‘Call for Ideas’ competition which aims to incorporate the wishes of Punggol residents.

 

As Punggol is dubbed the ‘Waterfront Town of the 21st century’, expectations for the developments are high. And so far, the HDB has been encouraged by what it has heard.

 

Chong Fook Loong, Deputy Director, HDB, said: “I think they’re good. The students don’t have a group-think mentality. They think quite differently from each other. Based on the patterns that are emerging, I think the ideas are refreshing. I think there are good ideas there that we can make use of later.”

 

The public can also submit their ideas by sending them to the HDB website at http://www.hdb.gov.sg.

 

The competition closes on June 30. Those whose ideas are in the top 10 will each win S$1,000. – CNA/vm

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Sim Lian Land puts in top bid of S$52m for Simei Road site

Sim Lian Land puts in top bid of S$52m for Simei Road site

 

SINGAPORE : Only two bids were received in the tender for a residential site at Simei Road, which is being launched under HDB’s Design, Build and Sell Scheme.

 

Property developer Sim Lian Land put in the top bid of S$52 million. The price works out to S$1,472 per square metre of gross floor area.

 

AMK Development put in the lower bid of S$37.2 million or S$1,055 per square metre of gross floor area.

 

The parcel spans 16,825 square metres and is slated for public housing. It has a lease of 103 years and a maximum allowable gross floor area of 35,333 square metres.

 

HDB will announce the winning bid within the next two weeks. – CNA /ls

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

SLA board gets new member

SLA board gets new member

 

LAW Minister K Shanmugam has appointed Ogilvy & Mather Asia-Pacific co-chairman Tham Khai Meng to the board of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

 

Mr Tham’s two-year board term runs from June 1. He takes over from Hill & Knowlton’s South-east Asia chief executive Jimmy Tay, who retired from the board on May 31.

 

SLA said in a statement yesterday that Mr Tham is one of the most recognised creative directors in the advertising industry. Advertising Age named him ‘one of the most influential people in the communication business’.

 

He is also on the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

 

‘Mr Tham and the existing board members will lead and guide SLA in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities to optimise Singapore’s land resources,’ SLA said.

 

AMP Capital Investors (Singapore) chairman Greg Seow has been reappointed chairman of SLA’s board. And three other board members have been re-appointed.

 

SLA is a statutory board under the ministry of law. It is responsible for the management of about 14,000 hectares of state land and 5,000 buildings. It is also in charge of land sales, leases and acquisitions.

 

 

Source: Business Times

 

 

 

Carlyle raises US$3.4b for new Europe real estate fund

Carlyle raises US$3.4b for new Europe real estate fund

 

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group said on Tuesday it had raised 2.2 billion euros (US$3.4 billion) from investors to form its third European real estate fund, Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners III.

 

Carlyle said in a statement received here that it had an initial target of 1.5 billion euros, with the 2.2 billion raised underlining the strong demand for pan-European real estate investment funds.

 

The fund has already invested 715 million euros in 10 properties, including the headquarters of Spanish telecom operator Telefonica in Barcelona and the offices of high-end Parisian retail group Galeries Lafayette.

 

The Carlyle Group now manages US$10.8 billion in ten real estate funds across the world, with 3.4 billion euros of assets under management in Europe. — AFP

 

Source: Business Times

New Project Launch by Developer: Hamilton

New Project Launch by Developer: Hamilton

 

Developer: Hayden Properties

 

Address: 37 Scotts Road

 

District: 09

 

Tenure: Freehold

 

Type of Development: High-rise condominium of 30-storey where every apartment comes with its own private garage in the sky, 2 parking lots.

 

Total Unit: 56 units

 

Unit Mix: 3 Bedroom (2,756sqft) and Penthouse (~6,500sqft)

 

Special Features: Own private parking bay that can park 2 cars. Lush view of Goodwood Park.

No of car park lots: 2 lots in each typical apartment, 4 lots in each PH, 68 lots in Basement (Total 184 lots).

Remarks: One in Singapore and Asia to have a car lift that brings the owners’ cars right to their door step. A tallest development in the world that encompasses ‘car porches’ in the world (the other 2 are in Dubai and Manhattan, both are less than 30 storeys high).

 

 

Please contact me if you need further details on the above-mentioned projects or any other projects’ details. I would be more than happy to be of assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of SICC’s fancy new clubhouse balloons

Cost of SICC’s fancy new clubhouse balloons

Construction crunch bites hard; project may cost 50% more than estimated

 

By LEE U-WEN

 

(SINGAPORE) Soaring construction costs have prompted the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) to drastically revise its budget upwards for the building of a new, ultra-modern clubhouse.

 

Barely a year after its members voted in favour of a $60-million facility at SICC’s Upper Thomson Road location, the management has revealed that it estimates the cost to now reach $90.3 million – an increase of over 50 per cent. This far exceeds the 5 per cent contingency that was set aside earlier.

 

In a circular dated May 23 sent to all its 7,500 members, SICC – Singapore’s largest golf and country club – said that the clubhouse plans have been affected by rising construction costs due to a shortage of building material and manpower.

 

An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) will be held on June 9 for members to discuss the revised budget before they cast their votes.

 

Work on the 25,000 sq m clubhouse – which will feature a spa, wellness centre and restaurants, among other facilities – began last September and is expected to be ready by mid-2010. In last week’s circular, the SICC assured members that the project was on target to be completed on time.

 

The original $60 million budget was first approved at an EGM in April 2007, with 86 per cent of the 543 members present that day giving their approval.

 

The new, estimated budget of $90.3 million includes a revised project cost of $81.1 million and an additional $9.2 million for improvements to architectural and mechanical and engineering works, said the circular.

 

At the June 9 EGM, the management is also trying to seek approval to spend another $21.1 million on an extra list of ‘proposed enhancements’ such as restaurants and 30 residential guest suites, extra car park lots and more features for the existing golf courses.

 

This would bring the total upgrading costs to nearly $114.5 million.

 

‘The suggested enhancements will bring about a new club experience, one that is unique to members of the club. This project, if voted in its entirety, will complete the long-awaited redevelopment of the Island location (at Upper Thomson),’ SICC president John Kirkham wrote in the circular.

 

But while SICC reportedly has reserves of more than $500 million, some members that BT spoke to have their reservations about whether the club’s heavy spending on upgrading works will eventually be passed down in the form of higher subscription fees, which are currently $130 a month.

 

One member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ‘Do we really need such a fancy clubhouse, given that this is a time when everyone is in a squeeze as far as labour costs are concerned? Why are we doing so much at the peak of the market when costs are so high, rather than wait for things to cool down?’

 

One long-time member, however, was in favour of the upgrading as he felt it would enhance the value of the club membership even further. The current transferable membership price is $205,000.

 

Several efforts to reach SICC chief executive officer Sylvan Braberry for comment were unsuccessful.

 

Meanwhile, apart from the new clubhouse, members also recently gave the green light to upgrade the two golf courses at SICC’s other location at Sime Road.

 

The works are estimated to cost about $55 million.

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

New projects boost HK’s May home sales

New projects boost HK’s May home sales

 

(HONG KONG) Hong Kong’s existing apartment sales rose last month from a month earlier as homebuyers’ confidence was boosted by sales in new projects during the month.

 

Transactions for 10 of Hong Kong’s biggest private-housing projects rose to 596 last month from 454 in April, according to figures compiled by Centaline Property Agency Ltd.

 

‘In May, buyers’ focus has actually been on the luxury new apartments,’ Louis Chan, managing director of residential properties at Centaline, said in a phone interview yesterday. ‘This has bolstered the confidence of less-affluent buyers. You can expect the market to be dominated by the less-expensive second- hand apartments in June.’

 

Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd has sold more than 420 apartments at its Celestial Heights development in the city’s Ho Man Tin district since the project went on sale on May 21, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported yesterday, citing executive director Justin Chiu. The sale brought in over HK$11 billion (S$1.9 billion) for the company, the newspaper said.

 

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, the city’s biggest developer by market value, sold a house in the Peak district for HK$285 million, according to spokeswoman Fiona Wan.

 

The unidentified buyer paid the equivalent of HK$57,000 a square foot, a record in Asia, for the unit at the Severn 8 project, Hong Kong’s Sing Tao newspaper reported yesterday. She declined to confirm whether the sale set a record.

 

Hong Kong’s economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the first quarter as exports to China and Europe climbed. — Bloomberg

 

Source: Business Times

Iran property boom likely to continue

Iran property boom likely to continue

Iranians buy houses with easy loans, but some are still priced out of market

 

(TEHERAN) Negar Ehteshami just paid the equivalent of US$6 million in rials in cash for a luxurious apartment. But it is not in New York or London. It is in the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

‘I am a millionaire because of this 300 square metre apartment,’ said Ms Ehteshami, a 56-year-old interior designer from a rich Iranian family who has always lived in an affluent northern Teheran neighbourhood.

 

‘But nothing else in my life resembles the life of a millionaire,’ she said, moving her Hermes handbag out of the way as she closed the window of her apartment. ‘Here I feel (as though) I am inside a helicopter. I can see the whole city.’

 

Hers is a tale with echoes in much of the West: a house price surge fuelled partly by easy lending. In Iran, however, people are still being priced out of the market.

 

A property boom in the world’s fourth-largest oil producer has been powered by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s economic policies since he was elected in 2005, economic analysts say.

 

Property prices surged by more than 100 per cent in 2007, after rising by about 65 per cent in 2006 and more than 50 per cent in 2005. Some economists see a huge scope for the market to keep rising as, with interest rates below inflation, Iranians seek a store of value in property.

 

‘The high prices might be a bubble,’ said economist Reza Abdizadeh. ‘It might be fake and not logical. But it is a fact. Historically, housing prices have never dropped in Iran. The government might be able to stop prices from rising but will not succeed in lowering them.’

 

Shortly after Mr Ahmadinejad was elected, his government came up with a plan for ‘quick-impact loans’, handing out substantial sums to individuals and companies with plans to create jobs in Iran where the official unemployment rate is above 10 per cent.

 

This stimulus is also a textbook trigger for inflation and alarmed many, including the head of Iran’s Central Bank, Tahmasb Mazaheri.

 

The government has said those who have used the money to invest in property and not for creating jobs will be banned from obtaining loans for five years.

 

Criticised by politicians and economists for his populist economic policies, Mr Ahmadinejad cut bank interest rates despite strong liquidity growth last year. They are now well below inflation, currently above 20 per cent a year.

 

‘When there is no other opportunity to invest, and interest rates of banks are around 16 per cent, naturally money flows to real estate,’ said Ali Afshari, a real estate agent.

 

The government has tried unsuccessfully to rein in prices. With one million prospective owners coming on to the market each year and Iran capable of building only 600,000 new homes a year, conservative politician Mohammad Khoshchehreh said there was a shortage of 1.6 million homes.

 

Hamid Taghavi, a government employee with two children, sold his 60 square metre apartment in Teheran to pay for his son’s wedding in 2007. It has since become difficult for him even to rent a smaller apartment.

 

‘I wanted to buy a smaller apartment with the rest of the money, but it seems at the age of 55 I will be homeless in less than two years,’ he said.Stoking the fire, some real estate brokers and analysts forecast a ‘super jump’ in prices in the coming months amid mounting international pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear work. The UN has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. In addition, Washington has blacklisted three of Iran’s main state banks and, under US pressure, European banks have also pulled out.

 

Foreign capital has played a large role in the market’s success, because of money repatriated by Iranians living abroad, which analysts believe has increased since Iran was first hit by UN sanctions in 2006. — Reuters

 

Source: Business Times

Old Dubai clings to its fading heritage as new city rises

Old Dubai clings to its fading heritage as new city rises

 

(DUBAI) Khadija Ahmad and her family are the only residents left in Dubai’s old Bastakiya quarter, her house little changed since she arrived as a new bride more than 70 years ago.

 

Nestled among mushrooming skyscrapers and multi-lane highways, the rabbit warren of streets dating from the 1890s is one of the few reminders left of Dubai’s past as a sleepy village where people earned money by diving for pearls.

 

In the 1990s, the government bought out most homeowners in Bastakiya to protect the run-down district from developers.

 

Today, the area beside Dubai creek is home to galleries, cafes and restaurants, and to Ms Ahmad and her family who declined the state’s offer to buy them out. ‘Fifteen years ago, they moved everyone out. Thank God, we were able to stay,’ she said.

 

In less than 60 years, the United Arab Emirates’ hub has become a byword for ostentatious wealth, speckled with one jaw-dropping development after another. But Emirates officials have begun to wake up to the value of Dubai’s historic sites, partly reflecting a popular demand for tangible links to a fast disappearing past, and also because of the realisation that history can boost tourism. ‘We have to have our culture and traditions to show to others,’ explained Waleed Nabil, 22, an Emirati who works at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Bastakiya. ‘We have to be able to show schoolchildren how their grandparents lived or we will lose our culture.’

 

Rashad Bukhash, director of the architectural heritage department at Dubai municipality, understands that need.His department is trying to register old Dubai – which includes Bastakiya, the grand market and al-Shindagha, a complex centred on the home of Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum, grandfather of Dubai’s current ruler – as a Unesco world heritage site.

 

Bastakiya, which measures about 300 metres by 200 metres, is named after Bastak, an Iranian town that was home to the earliest traders with Dubai.

 

‘In 1950, this area was the whole town of Dubai,’ Bukhash said. ‘Now it is less than one per cent of the total area of urban Dubai, so we will protect this one per cent.’ Bastakiya’s houses – once made of coral, gypsum and sand but now restored in materials such as sand-coloured cement – are topped with wind towers, built to capture the cool breezes and force them into the houses while allowing warm air to rise.

 

Intricate wood and stone decorations on top of the houses denoted a family’s wealth.

 

Other historic sites near Bastakiya include the Bait al-Wakeel – the first office building in Dubai – and the al-Fahidi Fort, built in the late-1780s and considered the oldest building in the city. These have been dwarfed by a construction boom, fuelled by soaring oil prices. As the city established itself, there was little emphasis on history. That has left Dubai grappling with the question of how to preserve what’s left.

 

‘Sadly for the Emirates, that question wasn’t asked soon enough so by the time we’re asking it now, we have few specimens left to preserve,’ Jane Bristol-Rhys, an anthropology professor at the Emirates’ Zayed University said, speaking from Abu Dhabi. ‘Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether you’re in Abu Dhabi or Dubai or Singapore, for that matter.’ – Reuters

 

Source: Business Times