Exciting vision for mega site

Exciting vision for mega site

 

URA seeks to bring ‘24/7’ life to cluster near Bugis

 

AN EXCITING cluster of shops, homes, entertainment centres, hotel and office space — all set within an attractive garden-like environment in the heart of Singapore’s city centre.

 

This is the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) vision for the 2.7-hectare green field development site, :bordering Ophir and Rochor roads, it is putting out for tender.

 

With analysts forecasting a possible land sales price of over $1 billion, this could be the second most expensive plot of government land sold this year, after the $1.2 billion paid by Parkway for a rare hospital site near Novena.

 

“Every major developer in town will be looking at it,” said Mr Nicholas Mak, director of consultancy and research at Knight Frank.

 

“But while they may be paying attention, they may not all bid, because in today’s market, getting the necessary financing is difficult. As this is a big one, some might bid in consortiums instead.”

 

The URA wants to bring some “exciting 24/7” life to the area.

 

The site, located behind Parkview Square, is seen as a natural extension from the established convention, office and hotel hub at Marina Centre.

 

“New developments in the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor will inject vibrancy and activities to this part of the city and form a new office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the existing financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay,” said the URA’s statement.

 

The site can potentially accommodate at least 570,000 sq ft of mixed-use space.

 

At least 40 per cent of the area is zoned for office use and at least 15 per cent must be for hotel and hotel-related uses.

 

Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CB Richard Ellis Research, said: “If awarded, the office development is likely to be ready in 2013 and could offer city-fringe office occupiers an option to upgrade or expand into a higher grade quality building without moving into the central business district.

 

“There would also be the added benefit of proximity to the Circle Line, which would have been completed a few years earlier, as well as the Downtown Rail Transit System (RTS) line that will be completed around the same time,” said Mr Li.

 

“Thus, an office development on this site should be attractive to occupiers.”

 

The site is flanked by the historical district of Kampong Glam. Bras Basah and Bugis are also nearby.

 

In fact, the future development will have direct basement-level connections to the new Bugis Interchange MRT station, with immediate access to the existing East-West RTS line and the recently-announced Downtown RTS line.

 

The new development can tower up 40 storeys high, providing panoramic views across the city to Marina Bay and the new Sports Hub at Kallang.

 

Source: Today Newspaper

Is Gallery Hotel on the market?

Is Gallery Hotel on the market?

 

THE Gallery Hotel in the River Valley area – the first ‘funky’ hotel in Singapore when it opened in 2000 – could go on the market soon, sources say.

 

BT understands that the hotel’s owner has been talking to several parties with a view to appointing an agent to market the property.

 

But when contacted by BT, the chief executive of The Gallery Hotel Pte Ltd Ted Ngo said: ‘At this moment, as far as I am concerned, there is no plan to sell Gallery Hotel or to appoint a marketing agent.’

 

The Gallery Hotel Pte Ltd, which manages the 223-room freehold hotel, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Robertson Quay Investment Pte Ltd (RQI) which owns the property.

 

Mr Ngo is also a director of RQI and his family is the company’s controlling shareholder. Other RQI shareholders include the Ang and Lim families.

 

Industry observers polled by BT estimated a wide range of prices for the property at Robertson Quay – from around $450,000 to $900,000 per room. This translates to an absolute price range of about $100 million to $200 million.

 

Mr Ngo said that the hotel’s average room rate so far this year is above $200, an improvement from almost $180 achieved last year, which was higher than the 2006 rate of close to $150.

 

He did not deny that there has been interest in the hotel.

 

‘I have been getting unsolicited enquiries from all sorts of people since the passing away of my father (Ngo Kheng Hoon) in September 2006,’ he said. ‘I presume someone must be very keen to acquire our property and he is very persistent.

 

‘Speaking on a personal basis, I don’t see any reason why Gallery Hotel should be on the market. We are doing very well. Singapore is a hot spot for tourism. Our shareholders are getting fantastically good returns compared to just a few years ago. It is hard to get similar returns from other sources these days.’

 

The property was originally known as Gallery Evason Hotel when it opened in September 2000 but the Evason name was dropped in January 2002 when Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas, owner of the Evason brand and manager the hotel, dropped out.

 

A property consultant said: ‘There is scope to add value to the property by refurbishing and repositioning it, which would create some upside for an investor. Because the hotel can be sold without an ongoing management contract, the asset may be more appealing to potential investors, who will be free to manage the hotel themselves or appoint an established hotel chain to operate it for them.’

 

Source: Business Times

Ophir/Rochor Rd white site for sale

Ophir/Rochor Rd white site for sale

But developers are not expected to bid bullishly

 

A 2.7 hectare prime white site at Ophir/Rochor Road has been offered for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) – but developers are not expected to bid bullishly.

 

The site, in the new Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor, has been put on the confirmed list of the first-half 2008 Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

 

And according to URA, it is a ‘natural extension from the established convention, office, hotel hub at Marina Centre’.

 

But given current quiet market conditions and rising construction costs, property analysts say that developers are unlikely to bid strongly. Bids are expected to range between $600 and $900 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

 

Cushman and Wakefield managing director Donald Han believes the site does not compare with a ‘super prime’ Beach Road site awarded in September 2007 for $1,068.6 psf ppr.

 

He also said that with a North Bridge Road site already identified as part of the second-half GLS programme, ‘developer and investor interest in the Ophir/Rochor Road site could be diverted’.

 

The new ‘corridor’ will be a 24/7 mixed-use area comprising integrated office, hotel, retail, entertainment and residential projects, according to URA.

 

‘New developments in the Beach Road/Ophir-Rochor Corridor will inject vibrancy and activities into this part of the city and form a new office cluster for financial and business institutions that will complement the existing financial district at Raffles Place and Marina Bay,’ it says.

 

The first development site for sale in the ‘corridor’ will have a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of about 160,000 sq m, (1,722,224 sq ft). At least 40 per cent of the total GFA is for office use, with at least 15 per cent for hotel and hotel-related uses. The remaining GFA can be for office, hotel or other complementary commercial and residential use.

 

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho said that if awarded, the office development is likely to be ready in 2013 and could offer city-fringe office occupiers an option to ‘upgrade or expand into a higher-grade quality building without moving into the CBD’.

 

Mr Li said that occupancy rates in the Beach Road/City Hall area remain strong at 93.3 per cent.

 

Although the market is subdued, sites on the confirmed list are generally expected to sell faster compared to those on the reserve list.

 

DTZ Debenham Tie Leung executive director Ong Choon Fah reckons the Ophir/Rochor Road site could appeal to developers who want to position a project ‘differently’.

 

‘Not everybody wants to be in Marina Bay,’ she said.

 

Source: Business Times

Lafe in deal to buy stake in hotels

Lafe in deal to buy stake in hotels

 

LAFE Corporation has struck a non-binding deal to buy 50.1 per cent of Kimbergold Capital Ltd from the Ho Family Trust Ltd. Kimbergold owns and operates four hotels in Canada and the US.

 

Source: Business Times

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

Allco REIT gets go-ahead to build hotel at China Square Central

Allco REIT gets go-ahead to build hotel at China Square Central

 

SINGAPORE : Allco Commercial REIT has been given the green light to build a 10-storey hotel with about 350 rooms at China Square Central.

 

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has granted Allco REIT permission to add 16,000 square metres of gross floor area to the development in the central business district.

 

The development currently consists of a 15-storey office block and 38 conservation shop house units.

 

Allco REIT has also been granted permission to convert some existing car parks into office space.

 

The URA approval is valid for six months starting from the end of June. – CNA/ms

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Millennium & Copthorne New Zealand completes Auckland hotel deal

Millennium & Copthorne New Zealand completes Auckland hotel deal

 

SINGAPORE : Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand said it has completed its purchase of the Copthorne Hotel Auckland Harbourcity.

 

But in a filing to the Singapore Exchange, it said the price of the deal was confidential.

 

Millennium & Copthorne is funding the purchase with cash and a new loan facility.

 

The area around the Copthorne Hotel Auckland Harbourcity is now a focal point for entertainment and access to the Waitemata Harbour.

 

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Resorts now has three owned or leased properties in Auckland.

 

It also recently clinched a short-term management agreement for the Metropolis Hotel Auckland. – CNA/ms

 

Source: Channel NewsAsia