Tuan Sing buys Katong Mall for $219m

Tuan Sing buys Katong Mall for $219m


TUAN Sing has clinched the collective sale of Katong Mall for $219 million, which works out to a land price of $865 per sq ft of potential gross floor area including an estimated $24.5 million payable to the state to top up the site’s lease to 99 years from a remaining 71 years.


In June, Tuan Sing did an asset swap with entities linked to its controlling shareholders – the Nursalim family – under which Tuan Sing got the Nursalims’ 72 per cent of share values in Katong Mall and the Nursalims took over a loan Tuan Sing had extended to Gul Technologies Singapore, which is now its associate company.


Jones Lang LaSalle, which handled the collective sale of Katong Mall, said Tuan Sing was the highest bidder. ‘There were a few other interested parties, some of whom placed bids and others submitted letters of interest,’ said JLL director (investments) Stella Hoh.


The collective sale, announced yesterday, is subject to approval from the Strata Titles Board. So far, owners controlling more than 80 per cent of share values in the property have agreed to a sale.


JLL launched the tender on May 27.


Tuan Sing is expected to either redevelop Katong Mall into a full retail project or to refurbish the existing property. The property has a 78,158 sq ft land area and is zoned for commercial use with a 3.6 plot ratio – the ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area. No development charge is payable for a full commercial development.


Tuan Sing, once an active player in the Singapore residential sector, owns three adjoining office blocks in the Central Business District – Robinson Towers, the annexe to that property, and International Factors Building.


Overseas, it is developing a condominium in Pudong, Shanghai, which is slated for launch by year-end.


Source: Business Times

Tuan Sing buys Katong Mall for $219m

Tuan Sing buys Katong Mall for $219m


PROPERTY group Tuan Sing Holdings bought Katong Mall for $219 million yesterday, in the first major collective sale of the year.

The four-storey complex of strata-titled shops and other businesses is the first fully retail site to be sold collectively, said marketing agent Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).


The 78,158 sq ft site with a gross plot ratio of 3.6 went on sale at an indicative price of $220 million to $250 million.


Tuan Sing’s price values the land for the 99-year leasehold mall at about $865 per sq ft, including a lease top-up of $24.5 million.


It bought the mall through its unit Golden Cape Investments.


JLL investments director Stella Hoh told The Straits Times that ‘a few parties’ – including large and small property groups – entered bids and expressions of interest but she declined to reveal names.


Savills Singapore director for business development Ku Swee Yong said the sale was likely to be one-off and not indicative of a broader market trend, while Knight Frank director for research and consultancy Nicholas Mak said the deal was fairly priced given market conditions.


The mall went on sale in May amid some controversy.


Its public tender followed a contentious process from last September, when 35 minority owners claimed that they were not consulted in drawing up the collective sale deal.


They also took issue with the low reserve price – believed to be $180 million – and the fact that the sale was being conducted under the old rules and not the stricter new ones that took effect in October.


The owners also complained that two majority owners – Nustavino and Habitat Properties – had a potential conflict of interest as they were developers that could bid for the property. There were even questions raised during the tender launch over whether the consent of owners representing 80 per cent of the share value needed for the sale had been obtained.


Minority owner Robert Ong said the price was ‘above what we had expected’ but added that the minority owners could appeal against the sale to the Strata Titles Board.


Meanwhile, Tuan Sing already has a stake in the mall, obtained via an asset swop approved by its shareholders last month.


The mainboard-listed firm disposed of $107 million in loans owed by its associate Gul Technologies Singapore through an asset swop with the controlling shareholders of Tuan Sing for certain strata units in Katong Mall.


This involved 129 strata shop units with an aggregate purchase consideration of $63.1 million.


Tuan Sing said the deal allowed for a ‘realistic and tangible recovery of the loans, although it would have to recognise a partial write-down’ of about $44 million.


Source: Straits Times

Katong Mall sold to Tuan Sing Group for S$219m

Katong Mall sold to Tuan Sing Group for S$219m


SINGAPORE : Katong Mall has been sold in a collective transaction to property developer Tuan Sing Group for S$219 million.


Including a premium of S$24.5 million to top up the site’s lease, the price works out to about S$865 per square foot of gross floor area


The tender for the 99-year leasehold commercial development in the Marine Parade area was launched in May.


Katong Mall, located at the junction of East Coast Road and Joo Chiat Road, is currently a four-storey building with three basements.


Under the Master Plan, the 78,158 square foot site is zoned for commercial use.


It has a gross plot ratio of up to 3.6 with the allowable building height subject to evaluation.


Outline planning permission has been obtained for either a full commercial development or a mixed development with residential and commercial space.


The new development could yield some 100 residential units of 1,200 square feet each, and 185 commercial or retail units with an average size of 400 square feet. – CNA/ms


Source: Channel NewsAsia

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

High Court dismisses appeal against Gillman Heights sale

High Court dismisses appeal against Gillman Heights sale


THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by owners objecting to the collective sale of Gillman Heights Condominium, which means the $548 million sale can go ahead.

CapitaLand, the lead buyer of the 99-year leasehold Alexandra Road site, can now proceed to complete the deal, provided the objecting owners do not appeal against the High Court’s decision.


Yesterday, about three months after the case was heard, Justice Choo Han Teck rejected all eight objections raised by the minority owners.


Among their contentions was a claim that the Strata Titles Board (STB) had made a mistake granting the order approving the sale, as the minimum consent rules did not apply to Gillman Heights, a former HUDC estate.


The judge said the requisite majority consent does apply to privatised estates such as Gillman Heights. For instance, the level of consent required is pegged to the age of the building, rather than the temporary occupation permit or certificate of statutory completion dates – neither of which applies to former HUDC estates.


The owners also objected to the fact that the link between the buyer and the National University of Singapore (NUS) – which owns 303 of the 607 units – was not disclosed to the STB, which approved the sale late last year.


NUS had taken a 15 per cent stake in the buyer Ankerite, whose other shareholders are CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and a private fund, after it agreed to the sale.


Justice Choo said he was not persuaded that the STB should hear the parties again on this issue.


He said there was no bad faith in this case, as the sale price was $20 million above the reserve level. The price works out to $363 per sq ft of potential gross floor area.


A minority owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Kok, said he was still digesting the decision.


‘We will have to discuss among themselves and with our lawyer to see whether we should take the case to the Court of Appeal.’


Yesterday, CapitaLand said it looked forward to developing the site into an ‘innovative’ residential project with about 1,200 homes.


Source: Straits Times

Gillman Heights en-bloc sale to move ahead following court’s ruling

Gillman Heights en-bloc sale to move ahead following court’s ruling


SINGAPORE : After three months of deliberation, Justice Choo Han Teck has delivered a 31-page judgment that – for now – signals the end of the Gillman Heights en-bloc saga.


However, it was not the outcome hoped for by the 22 minority owners seeking to scupper the S$548 million deal.


The judge said the specific issue was not one concerning protection for the minority, but “whether a privatised HUDC estate can participate in the benefits of an en-bloc sale if the requisite conditions are met”.


Under current laws, a 90 per cent approval is required for estates less than 10 years old and 80 per cent for those older.


Some 87.5 per cent of the 608 unit owners had agreed to the sale of Gillman Heights, built in 1984.


On the issue of the estate’s age, which the plaintiffs claimed was less than 10 years old since the condo only underwent privatisation in 1995 and acquired the Temporary Occupation Permits or Certificates of Strata Completion (CSC) in 2002, the judge ruled that the estate was more than 10 years old.


He said that there was also no bad faith and breach of natural justice due to the involvement of the National University of Singapore (NUS), which held 46.86 per cent share at the development.


Five months after the en-bloc sale was inked in February last year, it emerged that NUS was also a shareholder of Gillman Heights’ purchaser Ankerite Pte Ltd.


While some owners claimed this was a conflict of interest, Justice Choo said NUS was entitled to exercise its right as a consenting subsidiary proprietor (CSP) to vote for the collective sale.


He added: “The minority CSPs were duly noted of the NUS vote and execution of the collective sale agreement about six weeks before the application for approval was submitted to the Strata Titles Board.”


Futhermore, Gillman Heights was sold before property prices skyrocketed last year, so “it would not be appropriate for the Board or this court to assess good faith with regard to the sale price of the development through the lens of hindsight”.


Despite the setback, one minority owner – who declined to be named – said he is not giving up the fight.


“Many of us are still disappointed by the conflict of interest and we will stick it out till the end and take this case to the Court of Appeals.”


But Lee & Lee senior partner Quek Mong Hua, who represented the majority owners, said: “They have every right to appeal, but they have to consider if it is in their interest bearing in mind the cost.”


For now, Mr Quek said his clients were happy the judgement is out and they are hoping to complete the sale. – TODAY


Source: Channel NewsAsia

Healthy weekend home sales as attractive pricing draws buyers

Healthy weekend home sales as attractive pricing draws buyers 

Price levels set below those at nearby units launched recently or not yet completed


THE anaemic property market received a shot in the arm during the weekend, with robust sales and buyers keen to show that they will still deal if the price is right.

Suites 123 at Rangoon Road was sold out – a rarity these days – while Oxley Ventures offloaded 50 units of Parc Sophia in Adis Road. Sales were also healthy at Dakota Residences in Dakota Crescent.


Market watchers said the sales at these mid-market projects show that homebuyers can be drawn off the sidelines if prices are attractive.


‘Buyers will bite if you price your developments below recently launched or yet-to-be completed projects nearby and about 10 to 15 per cent above older properties in the vicinity,’ said Savills Singapore’s director of business development and marketing, Mr Ku Swee Yong.


Ho Bee Investment and NTUC Choice Homes have sold more than 80 units of the 99-year leasehold Dakota Residences since Saturday morning.


The developers released 122 units in the 348-unit project at an average price of $970 per sq ft (psf) – under the $1,100 or so they wanted a year ago.


Said an investor who went to the launch on Saturday: ‘This project is not exactly cheap. What it offers is value for money, especially in view of the makeover plans for Kallang.’


Ho Bee’s general manager of marketing and business development, Mr Chong Hock Chang, added: ‘Another reason the project did well in the current market was pent-up demand. It shows that there are people on the sidelines who are waiting to come out to buy at the right price.’


Suites 123, a 43-unit development marketed by Huttons Real Estate Group, was sold out yesterday.


The 37 residential units next to Little India and Farrer Park MRT station went for $940 psf to $1,277 psf, while the six shop units fetched between $375,000 to $595,000.


In the Mount Sophia area, buyers snapped up all 50 flats released at the 152-unit Parc Sophia over the weekend. Prices ranged from $1,500 psf to around $1,650 psf, or between $742,000 and about $1.2 million.


Developer Oxley Ventures, which is also behind Zenith in Zion Road and Tyrwhitt 139 in Tyrwhitt Road, offers an interest absorption scheme. It lets buyers postpone the bulk of their payments on new purchases.


Listed developer Sim Lian also started sales at the The Amery, a 74-unit development in Telok Kurau at the weekend. It sold 16 out of 39 launched units at an average of $860 psf, or between $1.16 million and almost $2 million.


More launches are expected in the next couple of weeks, including mass-market projects such as the 724-unit Livia in Pasir Ris and the 616-unit Clover by the Park in Bishan.


Meanwhile, the Strata Titles Board gave the go-ahead yesterday for the collective sale of the 342-unit Minton Rise. Kheng Leong, which bought the site early last year, plans to build 1,300 flats for launch next year.  


Source: Straits Times

En bloc blues? There’s hope, says support group

En bloc blues? There’s hope, says support group


WE REFER to the report, ‘En bloc sales bring out the worst in Singaporeans’ (June 1) by Ms Jessica Cheam.


We are a group of concerned friends who love Singapore and the estates in which we live. While we welcome progress, we also cherish the old and familiar.


Our cityscape has improved enormously in the past decades, thanks to the vision of Singaporeans and its leaders.


But for our communities to forge together in good-neighbourlines s, roots to grow deeper and future generations to see Singapore as home, we need to preserve our homes. We need to retain the kampung spirit that binds us.


The recent spate of attempts in en bloc sales have impacted us in a way that is counter-productive to our nesting instincts and identity as a gracious society.


We need to stop perpetuating these negative experiences. We want to be free from the constant worry of losing our homes to those who see them as mere financial tools for increasing wealth.


In this spirit of proud home ownership and community living, we have formed an online community called Hope for Stayers (www.hope4stayers. com) where we share our experiences and educate others on the whole process of an en bloc sale.


As ‘stayers’, we hope that we can contribute to the ethos and values needed to enable Singapore to evolve into a truly first-class progressive nation, where the term ‘prosperity’ reflects more than dollars and cents.


Lastly, we agree with Ms Cheam’s view that it would be prudent to consider a requirement for an 80 or 90 per cent quorum for an extraordinary general meeting to decide whether to push for en bloc sale. This is consistent with the current 80 or 90 per cent requirement for an en bloc sale to succeed.


This would establish whether an estate has such support from the very outset. The current system of 30 per cent quorum encourages a possible abuse of MCST funds in repeated and wasteful attempts at the en bloc ‘lottery’ and results in the depletion of funds meant primarily to maintain the estate.


We also hope that the entire en bloc sale process is tightened in such a way that it reflects and acknowledges the need for fair play and the deep-rooted sentiment that we have for our homes.


Dai Qiujin



Source: Straits Times

Nassim Park Residences: Wee family goes condo-shopping

Nassim Park Residences: Wee family goes condo-shopping


Its members pick up three units in Nassim Park Residences for $40m


MEMBERS of the Wee family have bought three units at Nassim Park Residences near Botanic Gardens for a total of nearly $40 million, a filing by UOL Group to Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Wednesday shows.


Wee Ee Cheong, CEO of United Overseas Bank and son of UOL chairman and controlling shareholder Wee Cho Yaw, picked up a penthouse for $18.33 million or $2,670 per square foot (psf).


Two of his siblings bought a sky unit each in the five-storey freehold condo at about $10.6 million each. Wee Ee Chao, who sits on the UOL board, bought a unit with his wife Jennifer for $3,308 psf, while his sister Wei Chi snapped up a unit for herself for $3,293 psf.


The SGX filing also showed that UOL director Alan Choe’s son Jonathan, through his company Montgomery Hills, bought a ground-floor unit, that comes with its own pool, for nearly $11.5 million or $2,513 psf.


Buyers of the four units received a special 2 per cent discount. More than 40 units have been sold in the development, which has a total 100 units, since its preview began the week of Vesak Day.


The average price achieved is said to be somewhere in the $3,000-$3,200 psf band, although analysts expect the developer to raise prices slightly when the project is officially launched next week. The project is being marketed by CB Richard Ellis and Savills.


The units in the development are priced at $10 million and above, with each having at least four bedrooms.


Nassim Park Residences has drawn a good mix of local and foreign buyers, and market watchers attribute its encouraging take-up to its ‘reasonable pricing’.


‘Had this project been launched a year ago, it could have been priced in the mid to high-$3,000 psf range, on average,’ a market watcher said.


UOL is developing Nassim Park Residences jointly with Kheng Leong group (a privately owned vehicle of the Wee family) and Japan’s Orix Corporation, on the former Nassim Park condo site that UOL bought in August 2006 for $380 million.


Its land cost worked out to about $1,131 psf of potential gross floor area inclusive of an estimated development charge of $8 million at the time. The breakeven cost then for a new development on the site was estimated at $1,600-1,700 psf.


UOL has also sold over 40 units of its 88-unit Breeze by the East condo along Upper East Coast Road near The Bayshore since it began selling the project around mid-April.


The five-storey freehold project was initially priced at about $950 psf on average, but this has since been raised to $980 psf, BT understands.


Even so, the pricing is considered attractive compared with the $1,600-$1,700 psf average price that Tiong Aik picked for its 20-storey freehold Parc Seabreeze in the Marine Parade/Joo Chiat area in early May.


Tiong Aik has since withdrawn the project from the market.


Source : Business Times

Four en bloc sites back on market with lower tags

Four en bloc sites back on market with lower tags

Cavenagh Gardens, Novena Hill, Seletar Garden, Hong Thye offered in Q4 2007




FOUR collective sale sites are back on the market, with price expectations much lower than when they were offered in Q4 last year. Cavenagh Gardens, Novena Hill, Seletar Garden and Hong Thye are for sale after attracting weak bids the last time round.


The freehold Cavenagh Gardens near the Istana could fetch $450-$455 million or $1,671 to $1,689 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). This is 27 per cent lower than the expected price of $619 million or $2,308 psf ppr last October.


The buyer may be able to alienate adjoining parcels of state land for a further $10 million. If approved, the combined site would have a potential gross floor area (GFA) of 310,649 sq ft, bringing the price down to $1,481 to $1,497 psf ppr.


The site could yield 155 units with an expected breakeven cost of $1,915 psf and an expected selling price of $2,200 psf.


If the authorities allow redevelopment with a plot ratio equivalent to the development baseline of 3.24, the site’s potential GFA could increase to 479,287 sq ft.


Riding on the back of redevelopment plans for Paya Lebar Central under Draft Master Plan 2008, Hong Thye at Lorong 39 Geylang is also up for sale again. The freehold site could fetch $12-$13 million, which translates to $359 to $385 psf ppr including an estimated $1.9 million development charge (DC).


With a potential GFA of 38,702 sq ft, the site could house 40 units with an expected breakeven cost of $709 to $735 psf, and an expected selling price of $780 to $809 psf.


Last October, the site was up for sale at $15-$17 million or $438 to $489 psf ppr including DC.


The expected price for a freehold residential site at Novena Hill is $42-$45 million or $1,170 to $1,254 psf ppr. The site, with a potential GFA of 35,885 sq ft, could yield 40 boutique apartments. The site was up for sale last October at $56-$60 million.


The last site, Seletar Garden in Yio Chu Kang Road, is an estate in perpetuity. Located near the Seletar Aerospace Park, the mixed-development site could fetch $50-$55 million or $488 to $537 psf ppr. The expected price was $70-$75 million last September.


There is also the possibility of alienating three parcels of adjoining state land at an estimated additional cost of $7.9 million. The combined site would have a potential GFA of 132,219 sq ft, lowering the price to $438 to $476 psf ppr.


Propnex is marketing the four sites. According to its head of investment sales Charles Chua, although the property market is relatively quiet, ‘we do believe that there are pockets of pent-up demand’.


Source: Business Times