HDB to launch new site at Toa Payoh for tender under DBSS

HDB to launch new site at Toa Payoh for tender under DBSS

 

SINGAPORE : The Housing and Development Board is launching a new site for tender under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) on June 27.

 

The site, located at Lorong 1A Toa Payoh, will be the sixth site to be offered under the scheme.

 

The plot has an area of 27,480 square metres and an allowable gross floor area of 115,416 square metres. The site is in a mature estate, just minutes away from the Toa Payoh Town Centre.

 

Tender packets will be available during office hours from June 27 at S$100 each at The Procurement Office (Basement 1), HDB Hub, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh.

 

The tender will close at noon on August 19. – CNA /ls

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

New 7th Storey Hotel to make way for Downtown Line development

New 7th Storey Hotel to make way for Downtown Line development

 

SINGAPORE: One of Singapore’s oldest hotels – New 7th Storey Hotel at Rochor Road – will be demolished to make way for the new Bugis MRT station for the Downtown Line.

 

The hotel’s owner and occupants will have to move out of the premises by the end of December.

 

The quaint hotel was well-known in the 1960s and 1970s when its pub was one of the main nightspots to be seen.

 

Its iconic spiral staircase has been a favourite backdrop of photographers, and the hotel still has a lift which is manually operated.

 

The authorities say the demolition is unavoidable due to engineering constraints which cannot be avoided.

 

The new Bugis station is one of the six stations that make up the 4.3-kilometre Downtown Line One, which is scheduled to open in 2013.

 

Once completed, commuters will have more transport choices in the city as the Downtown Line One will serve existing and upcoming developments in the Marina Bay area, including One Raffles Quay, The Sail @ Marina Bay, Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the Marina Bay financial centre. – CNA/ac

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

SLA to auction 8 infill sites for residential developments

SLA to auction 8 infill sites for residential developments

 

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has launched another eight infill sites for residential use.

 

They will be offered through a public auction on August 21. The sites will be sold with fresh 99-year leases.

 

This will be the second time the SLA is offering such sites for public auction. In November last year, six infill sites were sold for over 30 million Singapore dollars.

 

As in the previous auction, a site within the Good Class Bungalow area is also being offered. It has a land area of about 1,400 sq m in Ridout Road, District 10.

 

Possible developments for the other sites include detached, semi-detached and terrace houses.

 

Some of the other sites are located within prime residential areas such as Holland Road and Carmichael Road. There is also a site at Upper East Coast Road, within walking distance of the popular Siglap and East Coast food haunts.

 

‘Infill’ sites are pockets of State land located in the midst of an established landed housing estate that have either been left untouched by nearby development, or are formerly used for public purposes that have since been phased out.

 

SLA‘s assistant chief executive for land operations group, Mr Simon Ong, said: “We were very encouraged by the strong response at the last auction. It attracted niche or boutique developers with expertise in building unique houses and ‘dream homes’.

 

“This time, we have identified and released more sites and offering them through public auction for wider participation. The appeal of such sites is that they can be customised to suit the buyer’s needs. This is also aligned with SLA’s mission to optimise the use of vacant State land.”

 

– CNA/ir

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

YTL’s Sentosa villas to start from $12m each

YTL’s Sentosa villas to start from $12m each

Sandy Island villas are being designed by Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin

 

MALAYSIA‘S YTL Corp will launch later this year 18 luxury waterfront villas at Sandy Island on Sentosa Cove and prices are expected to start from $12 million for a villa or at least $2,000 per square foot (psf) of land area, BT understands.

 

YTL’s spokeswoman declined to comment on the planned pricing, but confirmed that the plan is to launch the project later this year.

 

The development will nestle within a tropical rainforest and boast upscale finishes and fixtures. It is being designed by renowned Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin, famous for designing Giorgio Armani boutiques worldwide as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin.

 

YTL has also appointed celebrated Australian landscape architect Jamie Durie for Sandy Island.

 

Each two-storey waterfront villa will have a basement and a terrace floor, and feature a double-volume living room facing a private berth. ‘Each home will have a private car lift, a passenger lift, kitchen and wardrobes personally selected by Mr Silvestrin,’ YTL’s spokeswoman said.

 

The villas will be built on 99-year leasehold land plots ranging from about 6,000 sq ft to 10,000 sq ft each and will have four or five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a pool and timber patio set within a waterfront garden designed by Mr Durie. Sandy Island will feature more than 30 trees transplanted from the Resorts World integrated resort site.

 

Sandy Island is located in Sentosa Cove’s Southern Precinct. YTL also has another villa development in the waterfront housing district’s Northern Precinct on the Lakefront Collection site abutting Serapong Lake. This project is expected to comprise more than 10 villas which will boast views of Serapong Golf Course. The project is still in the design development stage and could be released next year.

 

On the mainland, YTL is looking at different proposals by world-renowned architects to develop an ‘iconic lifestyle quality development’ on the Westwood Apartments site at Orchard Boulevard.

 

YTL inked a deal in November last year to buy the 62,179-sq-ft freehold property for $435 million, which worked out to $2,525 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated $4.6 million development charge at the time. Westwood Apartments’ collective sale was approved by the Strata Titles Board earlier this week. The deal was brokered by Savills Singapore. Law group Rodyk & Davidson acted for the majority owners.

 

Luxurious: Artist’s impression of one of the villas, which will be built on 99-year leasehold land plots

Source: Business Times

SLA offers 8 infill sites for residential homes

SLA offers 8 infill sites for residential homes 

THE Singapore Land Authority (SLA) on Thursday launched another eight infill sites for residential use.

They include a 1,400 sq m site in Ridout Road, District 10, within the Good Class Bungalow area.

 

Some of the other sites are located within prime residential areas such as Holland Road and Carmichael Road. There is also a site at Upper East Coast Road, within walking distance of the popular Siglap and East Coast food haunts.

 

The sites, to be offered through a public auction on Aug 21 at M Hotel, can be developed for detached, semi-detached and terrace houses. They will be sold with fresh 99-year leases.

 

This will be the second time that SLA is offering such sites for public auction.

 

Last November, six infill sites were sold for over $30 million.

 

‘Infill’ sites are pockets of state land located in the midst of an established landed housing estate that have either been left untouched by nearby development, or are formerly used for public purposes that have since been phased out.

 

Assistant Chief Executive, Land Operations Group, Mr Simon Ong said: ‘We were very encouraged by the strong response at the last auction. It attracted niche or boutique developers with expertise in building unique houses and ‘dream homes’.

 

‘This time, we have identified and released more sites and offering them through public auction for wider participation. The appeal of such sites is that they can be customised to suit the buyer’s needs. This is also aligned with SLA’s mission to optimise the use of vacant State land.’

 

Source: Straits Times

SEB unit pays $200m for Ubi industrial property

SEB unit pays $200m for Ubi industrial property

 

A UNIT of SEB Asset Management has made its first investment in Singapore’s industrial property market. It is buying a new hi-tech industrial building at Ubi Avenue 1 from an associated company of Boustead Singapore for $200 million.

 

The part six, part seven-storey building with a basement is slated for completion by the end of this year. SEB’s $200 million purchase price works out to $485 per sq ft based on a net lettable area (NLA) of 412,772 sq ft.

 

The property, which will also have 469 parking lots, is being developed on a 177,537 sq ft site that has a remaining lease of 48 years. DTZ brokered the sale.

 

SEB is buying the property through special purpose vehicle Ubitech Hub Pte Ltd.

 

About 60 per cent of the building’s NLA has been committed to future tenants. Assuming average monthly rents of $3.80 to $4 psf commanded by new hi-tech facilities at Ubi, SEB’s net yield for the acquisition will be above 6 per cent, market watchers estimate.

 

Boustead will book a $26 million gain from the sale of the property by its 40 per cent associated company GBI Realty Pte Ltd.

 

SEB has made several office property acquisitions in Singapore over the past couple of years.

 

They include a 55 per cent stake in the freehold 79 Anson Road ($215 million or $1,937 psf); 12 floors of Springleaf Tower in Anson Road for $2,088 psf; and SIA Building in Robinson Road (about $526 million or $1,783 psf).

 

Market watchers say that SEB is one of several overseas property funds that are turning their attention to the Singapore industrial property market, which offers higher yields than the office properties such funds have been buying over the past few years here.

 

These big-name overseas funds will compete with Singapore real estate investment trusts and local private property funds, which have been the biggest buyers of industrial, business park and logistics properties on the island in recent years.

 

Last month, Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust announced it had bought Creative Technology’s headquarters building at 31 International Business Park, Jurong East, for $246.8 million. This works out to $453 psf of NLA. The site has a 30 + 30 year lease from Dec 16, 1994. Colliers International brokered that deal.

 

Source: Business Times

Gillman en bloc sale to proceed

Gillman en bloc sale to proceed

Judge says minority owners did not provide adequate reasons to stop sale

 

THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by minority owners of Gillman Heights Condominium to stop its en bloc sale.

 

This means that the $548 million sale of the development to CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and two private funds is set to go through.

 

Justice Choo Han Teck, in his judgment yesterday, said that he was ‘satisfied’ that the appeal by the minority owners ‘must fail’, as they did not provide adequate reasons as to why he should stop the sale.

 

The Strata Titles Board (STB) had approved the collective sale of the 607-unit, 99-year leasehold estate late last year. But a group of minority owners, represented by Senior Counsel Michael Hwang, had appealed that decision.

 

They argued that the STB had erred in approving the sale. They said that collective sale rules do not apply to Gillman Heights, which is an former HUDC estate. They also argued that insufficient notices were put up informing owners of the proposed sale and that the collective sale agreement – signed by the consenting owners – was not validly extended before the deal was brokered with the CapitaLand consortium.

 

Justice Choo ruled yesterday that the law does not mean to treat privatised HUDC estates differently from other private strata developments with a management corporation. He said that a privatised HUDC estate can participate in the benefits of an en bloc sale if the requisite conditions are met. He also agreed with the STB’s ruling that sufficient notices had been posted and that the collective sale agreement had been validly extended.

 

The minorities had also argued that the sale was done in bad faith. They said that the National University of Singapore (NUS), which owns a sizeable chunk of Gillman Heights and had agreed to the en bloc sale, has a 15 per cent stake in Ankerite, the entity that purchased Gillman Heights.

 

Justice Choo noted yesterday that NUS’s relationship with the buyer – which came to light after the STB approval – was not presented before the STB at the relevant time. ‘A court deliberates only on the basis of the evidence before it,’ he said. He said that it was strictly up to the STB to judge if there was an act of bad faith by reason of the relationship between NUS and Ankerite – but that he was not persuaded that the board should hear the issue again.

 

Justice Choo also agreed with the STB that there was no bad faith regarding the sale price of Gillman Heights, as it was $20 million above the reserve price.

 

The minorities had also argued that one of the STB board members, Michael Ng of Savills (Singapore), was a real estate valuation professional who had worked on projects involving the consenting owners’ lawyers.

 

But Justice Choo said: ‘I am of the view that it is too tenuous an objection. Professionals cannot avoid working on the same projects. It does not follow that they necessarily agree or have reasons to be biased or prejudiced against other professionals.’

 

Gillman Heights owners will get between $870,000 and $950,000 per unit in the en-bloc sale. But many of those objecting to the sale say that it is more important for them to be able to keep their homes.

 

Source: Business Times

Industrial site at Ubi Ave 4 now available

Industrial site at Ubi Ave 4 now available

 

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority has released an industrial site at Ubi Avenue 4 through the reserve list of the Government Land Sales Programme. The move follows the award of a nearby industrial site at Ubi Avenue 4/Ubi Road 2 in April for $88.74 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) or $23.9 million. Both sites have 60-year leases.

 

Chesterton International director (industrial) Albert Yeo believes the new site could see bids of about $100 psf ppr if or when it is triggered and put up for tender. And Mr Yeo reckons interest could be high. Already, the Vertex project in the same area has been selling well. Upper-floor units in the 552-unit eight-storey flatted and ramp-up factory development are going for $320-$360 psf, and ground-floor units for $460-$600 psf.

 

Explaining the demand, Mr Yeo said: ‘Many businesses are now buying space instead of renting – to avoid rental hikes.’ Also, businesses that were previously located in CBD-fringe office space have migrated to industrial estates, he said. ‘We see a lot of SMEs moving in.’

 

The build-quality of new flatted factories has improved vastly, he added. ‘They are attracting businesses in electronics, media and distribution.’ Colliers International director (industrial) Tan Boon Leong also believes the general outlook for the industrial sector is good.

 

Colliers has been appointed by 3M Singapore to sell a freehold industrial site at 9 Tagore Lane by expression of interest. Mr Tan expects interest from developers and investors because the 156,188 sq ft site presents a ‘rare’ opportunity. It is now occupied by a three-storey warehouse and office building with a total gross floor area of 126,033 sq ft, but can be redeveloped into a four-storey light industrial building with a gross floor area of up to 310,000 sq ft.

 

The capital appreciation for similar freehold developments is 5-10 per cent so far this year, according to Mr Tan. While there is no indicative price for 9 Tagore Lane, strata-titled freehold units in the area have recently changed hands at $280-$300 psf, he said.

 

Separately, URA said yesterday it has awarded the tender for the residential site at Woodleigh Close to Frasers Centrepoint, which submitted the highest bid of $270 psf ppr or $87.68 million.

 

Source: Business Times

UOL to invest up to $500m in overseas hotels

UOL to invest up to $500m in overseas hotels

It anticipates huge growth in the hospitality industry

 

SINGAPORE developer UOL Group said yesterday that it will spend up to $500 million over three years acquiring hotels in the United States, Australia and throughout Asia, in expectation of a boom in global travel.

 

‘We see tremendous growth in the hospitality industry, especially from the Asia-Pacific where there is a growing group of new rich, and they all want to see the world,’ said UOL’s president and chief executive officer Gwee Lian Kheng at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit in Singapore.

 

‘Budget air travel is also growing, and we think that with all these factors, tourism in the world will continue to boom,’ said Mr Gwee, whose firm owns the Pan Pacific global hotels brand and who also heads hospitality group Hotel Plaza.

 

The firm, which paid US$165 million in January for a Singapore residential land site, sees continued strength in the sector, even as first-quarter private home sales in Singapore dipped to a five-year low amid fears of a global recession.

 

‘If you tell me that the market is dead, I disagree because we’re still a fairly strong economy compared with other parts of the world,’ said Mr Gwee, a 35-year property veteran.

 

UOL, whose largest shareholders are Singapore’s number-two bank United Overseas Bank and its chairman Wee Cho Yaw, has a market value of about US$2 billion.

 

It is among the few developers to have continued to put up Singapore residential projects for sale this year, even as most large builders delayed sales to wait out a moribund market.

 

The firm’s luxury Nassim Park project, launched in early June, is now 55 per cent sold and at average prices of about $3,000 per square foot, Mr Gwee said, but he acknowledged that sales have slowed significantly compared to a year ago.

 

UOL has moderated its asking prices due to weaker demand, but has been able to maintain its profit margins at well over 15 per cent, he said, adding that UOL will for the next three years focus on the low and mid-tier segments where demand is expected to be stronger.

 

‘Prices in the luxury market could see a slowdown, but the mid and lower-tier will still go up, partly because of all the people who sold their homes en bloc last year,’ Mr Gwee said.

 

Thousands of Singaporeans collectively sold their apartment blocks to developers in a ferocious land-grab over the past two years in en bloc sales, and some developers believe these sellers have yet to purchase replacement homes.

 

UOL now has about 80 per cent of its investments in Singapore and the remainder overseas, and is also looking abroad for growth but prefers to do so defensively, Mr Gwee said.

 

Its top pick now is China, particularly its second-tier cities. The firm is also looking to acquire distressed US assets such as offices or hotels at a good price, but will wait for uncertainties caused by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis to clear up before doing so.

 

‘Right now it’s still too early. The sub-prime issue is still not resolved and there’s still a lot of currency risk when you buy overseas, so we’ll let all these clear up first,’ Mr Gwee said. — Reuters

 

Source: Business Times

CapitaLand invests RM595m in Sungei Wang

CapitaLand invests RM595m in Sungei Wang

Acquisition enables creation of pure-play Malaysian retail Reit by year end

 

CAPITALAND has acquired its third Malaysian retail asset, buying nearly 62 per cent of the total retail area of Sungei Wang Plaza, located in the Kuala Lumpur city centre, for RM595 million (S$250 million).

 

The acquisition from a private entity called Sungei Wang Plaza Sdn Bhd includes the car parks and was done through an asset securitisation structure, which would see Sungei Wang held by a special purpose vehicle called Vast Winners, according to a CapitaLand statement yesterday.

 

Property consultants said that the deal was a positive sign for the local market, and while they expected CapitaLand to add value to Sungei Wang Plaza, the company was also gaining from a solid cash-flow acquisition.

 

‘They’re buying into a good stream of cash flow,’ Zerin Properties chief executive Previndran Singhe told BT, adding that there is still upside in the complex, particularly with CapitaLand’s expertise in mall management.

 

In the media statement, CapitaLand Retail chief executive Pua Seck Guan said much the same, noting that through CapitaLand’s proactive management and by leveraging on its retail real estate management expertise, ‘there are tenancy remixing opportunities to create significant value at Sungei Wang’.

 

CapitaLand had already acquired Gurney Plaza in Penang and Mines Shopping Fair in Selangor. With the Sungei Wang Plaza acquisition, it has now accumulated assets totalling about RM2 billion. This puts it on track to establish a proposed pure play Malaysian retail Reit by year end, Mr Pua said.

 

Of the three, Sungei Wang Plaza, which roughly translates to river of money, is the cream of the crop. Located in the city’s Golden Triangle at the Bukit Bintang shopping district, its annual visitors surpass 24 million, while its occupancy is close to 100 per cent. It is also easily accessible as it is located next to a monorail station, and according to some, enjoys one of the highest rentals on a per square foot basis in the city.

 

Despite the emergence of newer, flashier malls, the long-established plaza continues to attract locals and tourists who like its eclectic mix of shops.

 

In Malaysia, CapitaLand has a listed commercial Reit – QuillCapita – via a joint venture with local partner Quill Group. However, that Reit is more of a pure-play commercial Reit because it prefers not to take on retail malls which require shopping centre management skills.

 

On the asset securitisation structure, CapitaLand said that Vast Winners has issued three tranches of senior medium-term notes – Classes A, B, and C – as well as a tranche of subordinated Class D medium- term notes.

 

Its wholly owned subsidiary Gain 888 Investments has fully subscribed for the Class D notes in the principal amount of RM338 million, while the senior medium-term notes were fully taken up by a Malaysian financial institution, which has asked not to be identified.

 

Source: Business Times