Govt puts up Bugis plot for sale in quiet market

Govt puts up Bugis plot for sale in quiet market 

Appeal of 2.7ha site, near new Bugis MRT station, expected to draw bids over $1b

 

THE vacant U-shaped plot in Bugis used by art circus troupe Cirque du Soleil three years ago was put up for sale yesterday with a price expected in excess of $1 billion.

The prime 2.7ha site in front of Parkview Square could house a 40-storey office building, about 500 hotel rooms, as well as shops and homes.

 

There will also be direct basement level connections to the new Bugis MRT station that is being built to accommodate the upcoming Downtown Line.

 

The plot is designated a white site, meaning it can be used for different functions, such as residential or commercial.

 

Property consultants believe the white site’s size, location and transport links will make it particularly appealing.

 

‘Some developers will find it attractive as it is very big, which allows for various development and architectural options,’ said Knight Frank’s director of research and consultancy, Mr Nicholas Mak.

 

But the cautious mood in the property market is likely to affect demand and bids, the consultants said.

 

They expect the 99-year leasehold white site to fetch anything from $1 billion to $1.4 billion, or between $600 and $813 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.

 

A white site in nearby Beach Road was awarded to a City Developments-led consortium for $1.689 billion, or $1,068.6 psf of potential gross floor area, last September when the property market was buzzing.

 

‘The Beach Road site is pricier as it is closer to the financial hub, and thus more attractive,’ said a market watcher. ‘Besides, the market is so much quieter now, compared with last year.’

 

Mr Mak said the Bugis plot could have fetched a similar price if it was launched during last year’s property boom.

 

This is the first land parcel offered for sale in the Ophir-Rochor corridor, a new growth area that the Government hopes to turn into a commercial hub.

 

The Ophir-Rochor corridor, which is seen as a natural extension of the established convention, office, hotel hub at Marina Centre, is expected to become a busy mixed-use cluster, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday.

 

Flanked by Kampong Glam and Beach Road, the area will also complement the financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay, URA said.

 

This planning vision dictates that at least 40 per cent of the total gross floor area of the U-shaped plot must be set aside for office use, while hotel and hotel-related uses should occupy at least 15 per cent.

 

The rest of the total gross floor area of about 160,000 sq m or 1.72 million sq ft can be used for more offices, hotel space, or shops and homes.

 

The URA, which unveiled plans for the Ophir-Rochor area last year, marketed the area’s first available sale site at an annual global property event at Cannes in March this year.

 

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said an office development on the site should be built by 2013 and could offer city fringe office occupiers an option to upgrade or expand into a higher-grade building without moving into the Central Business District.

 

The tender closes on Dec 3.

Buyers wanted

 

The prime 2.7ha site in front of Parkview Square can house a 40-storey office building, about 500 hotel rooms, as well as shops and homes.

 

It is the first land parcel offered for sale in the Ophir-Rochor corridor, a new growth area that the Government hopes to turn into a commercial hub.

 

The site can be used for different functions, such as residential or commercial.

 

Source: Straits Times

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