Capitol site and two new growth areas up for sale

Capitol site and two new growth areas up for sale

 

They are among 40 sites across Singapore to be offered in second half of the year

 

By Joyce Teo

 

THE iconic Capitol Theatre, Singapore’s first cinema, and nearby century-old Stamford House finally have a chance for a new lease of life.

 

The Government yesterday announced that it will sell the huge 1.45ha prime site housing these historic buildings in December. Any development must include a hotel.

 

It is also offering developers the first sites in the new growth areas of Jurong and Kallang as part of its half-yearly release of land for sale.

 

Altogether, 40 sites across Singapore will be offered in the second half of this year.

 

The North Bridge Road plot featuring the Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building, Stamford House and Capitol Centre is one of eight confirmed sites.

 

That means these sites go on sale while the rest, on a reserve list, do so subject to pre-sale interest from developers.

 

The Ministry of National Development said in a statement yesterday: ‘The sale of the site will facilitate the restoration of the conserved buildings and add vibrancy to the area through the introduction of new entertainment, retail and hotel uses.’

 

The successful developer may demolish Capitol Centre but will have to keep the other three, which have all been gazetted for conservation.

 

The neo-classical-style Stamford House, boasting the same designer as Raffles Hotel, was built in 1904; Capitol Theatre in 1929; and Capitol Building, previously known as Shaw Building, in 1933.

 

As well as being Singapore’s first cinema, the Capitol Theatre featured top-line cabaret performances over the years and was even a food depot in World War II.

 

The four buildings currently have about 250 retail and office tenants, most of whom will move out by next May.

 

The site, which can accommodate 600 hotel rooms, is arguably the choicest of those on offer, but the conservation requirements could lift costs, consultants said.

 

‘Although this site may attract keen competition, the higher risk associated with undertaking such conservation projects may affect the tender bids,’ said Colliers International’s director of research and advisory Tay Huey Ying.

 

In line with recently announced plans to transform the Jurong Lake District and the Kallang Riverside, the Government is offering sites in these areas.

 

In Jurong East, it will release a new site in November to help kick-start the development of the commercial hub at Jurong Gateway.

 

A hotel site at Kallang River with a beachfront location will also be offered. Both are on the reserve list.

 

One unusual site is a confirmed hotel plot at Bukit Chermin Road, which comprises four black-and- white bungalows set in hilly terrain.

 

Property consultants highlighted the smaller number of confirmed sites, particularly residential ones.

 

There are 32 reserve-list sites and eight confirmed ones, compared with 26 reserve and 11 confirmed sites in the first half.

 

‘This system would be preferred by developers as it would give a more accurate gauge of what true demand is,’ said Jones Lang LaSalle’s managing director (South-east Asia) Chris Fossick.

 

Source: Straits Times

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