Rochor Rd hotel makes way for Downtown Line

Rochor Rd hotel makes way for Downtown Line

Acquisition to accommodate station structures, the authorities say


CONSTRUCTION on the Downtown Line (Stage 1) has begun. And the first casualty will be the New Seventh Storey Hotel in Rochor Road.


A joint statement from the Land Transport Authority, Singapore Land Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday said that the government intends to acquire the 38-room hotel to make way for the construction of the new underground station at Bugis.


‘Due to engineering constraints which cannot be avoided, the land currently occupied by the New Seventh Storey Hotel and part of the adjacent state land fronting Rochor Road is required,’ the statement said.


This is necessary to accommodate station structures and will also ‘enable comprehensive redevelopment of the area’.


After the acquisition, the 55-year-old hotel’s site will be amalgamated with an adjacent state site at North Bridge Road/Tan Queen Lan Street/Beach Road/Rochor Road. According to the draft Master Plan 2008, the parcel has a plot ratio of 4.2 and is zoned for both commercial and commercial/residential use.


No compensation figure for the hotel’s operators – understood to be descendents of Wee Thiam Siew, who also owned the Ban Leong Group – has been revealed. The government will peg this to market value, according to the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act.


An SLA spokesman said that an inquiry will be held, with input from the Chief Valuer to determine the market value.


Chesterton International senior executive director Chng Shih Hian said that the market value of the hotel will likely be based on the potential gross floor area of the site. He said that the recent tender price of $1,068.6 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the nearby South Beach site in Beach Road could also be a factor in the valuation. But he noted that the Rochor Road site’s attributes – and constraints – are different.


Savills Singapore director Ku Swee Yong believes that the parcel is potentially ‘a very good site’ because of its proximity to the new Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor corridor. Already, office space at nearby Parkview Square is being leased at about $14 psf, he said.


Source: Business Times

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