Award of tender for residential with 1st storey commercial site at Alexandra View

Published Date: 17 Nov 2015

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has awarded the tender for the residential with 1st storey commercial site at Alexandra View to Tang Skyline Pte Ltd. The company submitted the highest bid in the tender for the site.

The residential with 1st storey commercial site was launched for public tender on 30 September 2015. The tender for the site closed on 12 November 2015. The land parcel was offered for sale on a 99-year lease term.

Details of the awarded land parcel and the successful tenderer are provided below:


($PSM of GFA)
Alexandra View Residential with commercial at 1st storey 8,398.5 m2 41,153 m2 Tang Skyline Pte Ltd $376,880,000

Award of tender for residential site at Lorong Lew Lian

Published Date: 11 Nov 2

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has awarded the tender for the residential site at Lorong Lew Lian to Verwood Holdings Pte. Ltd., Intrepid Investments Pte. Ltd. and TID Residential Pte. Ltd. The consortium submitted the highest bid in the tender for the site.

The residential site was launched for public tender on 1 October 2015. The tender for the site closed on 5 November 2015. The land parcel was offered for sale on a 99-year lease term.

Details of the awarded land parcel and the successful tenderer are provided below:

($PSM of GFA)
Lorong Lew Lian Residential 14,001.5 m2 42,005 m2 Verwood Holdings Pte. Ltd., Intrepid Investments Pte. Ltd. and TID Residential Pte. Ltd. $321,000,000

Stable, sustainable property market in interest of all: Heng

IT is in the interest of all stakeholders to have a stable and sustainable property market in Singapore, Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat told industry players at the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) anniversary dinner at Marina Bay Sands on Thursday night.

“The industry, homeowners and the government have a shared interest in ensuring a stable and sustainable property market. Indeed, the US subprime debacle and the ensuing Global Financial Crisis in 2007-08 have reminded us starkly of the perils of credit and property bubbles, and the risks of asset markets becoming de-coupled from the economy’s underlying fundamentals,” Mr Heng reminded the audience.

“The consequences have been severe in the US, as a housing market collapse quickly cascaded to the financial system and led to a recession, not just in the US, but in the rest of the global economy.”

These remarks come even as property players continue to chafe at the impact of government cooling measures on recent years. They highlight a host of issues that face developers here – from an oversupply of residential units to a ballooning unsold inventory and rising costs of construction and operations.

Thus, prices “cannot drop too deeply without affecting the quality of our products and operational obligations”, Redas president Augustine Tan said at the event.

“Having made significant progress in the standard of our built environment, it is no longer possible to look back. We have to progress.”

Citing a recent Redas survey of its members covering 14 non-landed projects launched from 2013 to 2015, he highlighted that respondents reported price reductions of up to 11 per cent with some projects having had two price cuts since 2013.

The clock is now ticking for the 3,000 units in projects from the Government Land Sales Programme of 2012 that have remained unsold to-date.

“Developers will have to sell out 100 per cent of the units in these projects by 2017 in order to qualify for the remission of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on the land cost,” said Mr Tan, who is also executive director, property sales and corporate affairs, at Far East Organization.

Since late 2011, developers here have had to develop any residential site they buy, and sell all the units in the new project within five years, or pay the ABSD of 10 per cent. Sites bought from Jan 12, 2013 onwards will incur a higher 15 per cent rate.

The Ministry of Finance had last month said that it did not see the need to relax this condition as “the deadlines remain relevant and reasonable”.

The Finance Minister told the gathering that Singapore had experienced swings in the property market from time to time but these have not led to volatility in the broader economy because of its prudent approach.

“The government has always taken a medium-term approach towards managing land supply, based on fundamental demographic and economic factors, and has encouraged a competitive and transparent environment to ensure a well-functioning property market,” Mr Heng said.

“When necessary, we have judiciously used targeted prudential and fiscal measures to smooth out the cycles and promote market sustainability over the medium term.”

In response to concerns over a potential oversupply of completed residential units, the government had moderated the pace of land sales for residential development. But this led to land prices staying elevated as a result and did not make it less costly for developers to replenish their land bank.

The Interlace condo lauded as ‘trailblazer’

The Interlace condominium in Depot Road has been lauded by the international architectural fraternity as a “trailblazer”, winning the top prize at this year’s World Architecture Festival.

The residential property designed by OMA/Ole Scheeren, featuring 31 blocks of apartments stacked in a hexagonal arrangement, bagged the World Building of the Year title last night at the annual event, considered the Oscars of the architectural world. Festival director Paul Finch said the judges were impressed by its “bold, contemporary architecture and thinking”.

“It offers an alternative for developments that might otherwise be default tower clusters. The judges also think that the approach could generate other possibilities.

“You could use this idea and have different building types or ownership patterns, or change the dimensions of some of the blocks. It’s a proposition which is fertile.”

The Interlace came out tops after live judging yesterday by a “super jury”, led by English architect Peter Cook. The three-day event, which was held at Marina Bay Sands, started on Wednesday.

The 1,040-unit condo by CapitaLand Singapore sits on an 8ha site and was completed in 2013.

Celebrated German architect Ole Scheeren started the project when he was at Rotterdam-based firm OMA, but he left in 2010 and completed the project under his new practice, Buro Ole Scheeren. His projects include Beijing’s iconic China Central Television Headquarters. He is now working on mixed-use development Duo in Beach Road here. It is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Interlace project team had won in the Housing – Completed Buildings category of the festival on Wednesday, beating 13 others, including home-grown firm SCDA Architects, which submitted its SkyTerrace@Dawson, a Housing Board Build-To-Order project.

It then went up against winners of completed buildings in 17 categories – including mammoth projects such as the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu shopping complex and Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha – for the World Building of the Year award. There were 338 projects submitted this year.

This is not the first time Singapore has won the festival’s top accolade. Gardens by the Bay won the title in 2012, when Singapore hosted the festival for the first time.

There are two other Singapore winners at this year’s festival.

Oasis Terraces, an integrated neighbourhood centre and polyclinic in Punggol by joint venture team Serie + Multiply Consultants, won in the Commercial Mixed Use – Future Projects category.

Homefarm, a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing by the Singapore office of Spark Architects, took home the prize in the Experimental – Future Projects category.

The winners were chosen by a jury that included celebrated architects and architecture professionals, such as Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and Neri&Hu Design and Research Office founding partner Lyndon Neri.

The Interlace win is a bittersweet one for the festival. This is the last time that it will be held here. The festival will move to Berlin, Germany, next year. Before coming to Singapore, it was held in Barcelona, Spain, for four years.

From next year, instead of just one big festival, there will be satellite events in various cities, with more localised content. These have been planned for Dubai in February and London in June.

All is not black and white at Burkill Hall

Mistaken to be a black-and-white bungalow for more than 50 years, the historic 1868 Burkill Hall at the Singapore Botanic Gardens will soon be returned to its original white palette.

The two-storey bungalow, now a popular wedding venue, will have its black window and door frames, timber beams and railings repainted in January.

This comes after Gardens director Nigel Taylor discovered two years ago that the structure is actually an Anglo-Malayan plantation-style house. It is the last one standing in the region, and possibly the world.

While researching on the Gardens’ structures in the lead-up to its Unesco World Heritage Site bid, he found that Burkill Hall pre-dates the black-and-white style, which appeared here only in 1898.

Photos of Burkill Hall from the late 1800s up till 1959 also showed it clad in white paint. Dr Taylor said the Public Works Department, which likely did not know as much about the building’s history, painted it black and white in the 1960s.

The repainting project will also include giving the Gardens’ iconic 1930s bandstand a fresh coat of paint. It is part of an overall effort to conserve the heritage features and retain the authenticity of the 156-year-old site’s original structures and features.

Work is expected to be completed in February.

Dr Taylor said the repainting project “relates very much to the Unesco accolade because one of the things that Unesco looks for is authenticity”.

On Burkill Hall, he said: “It’s something much older and much more special (than a black-and-white). To recognise that, we now need to redecorate it in the style it was originally decorated.”

The effort will be undertaken and sponsored by paint and coating company AkzoNobel, which declined to provide the cost of the sponsorship.

Designed like a farmhouse, Burkill Hall was built to function without electricity. For instance, it has verandahs on the east and west sides to create a wind-tunnel effect.

Such plantation houses were common in Orchard Road, which was dominated by nutmeg plantations in the 1840s and 1850s.

These homes made way for development alongside the decline of the crop from 1857 due to disease.

Constructed by contracted builder “Ah Wang” at a cost of $4,000, it served as the residence of the Gardens’ superintendents and directors for more than 100 years.

These included its first superintendent, Scotsman Lawrence Niven, who designed and developed the Gardens between 1860 and 1875 for the Agri-Horticulture Society.

Burkill Hall was conserved in 2008, while the bandstand received protected status in 2009.

Volunteer tour guide Chia Bee Lian, 60, who takes visitors to the Gardens, said she supports the National Parks Board’s push to upkeep and maintain the space.

She said: “I think it’s a good idea to put everything back to what it was intended. Tourists usually make a beeline for the National Orchid Garden where Burkill stands, so it will be meaningful for them to see the building in its original form.”

MRT boon for 3 sleepy parts of Singapore

The areas around three new MRT stations announced last week may be sleepy now, but expect this to change down the track.

Redevelopment potential is ripe near the sites of Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward stations, experts say. The trio will be part of the sixth stage of the Circle Line, to be completed in 2025.

Keppel Station is to be in Keppel Road, near Keppel Distripark and Keppel Terminal; while Cantonment will be integrated with the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Prince Edward will be at one end of Shenton Way, near Palmer Road.

Other than Cantonment’s site, zoned commercial, the other two are zoned as reserve sites under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Masterplan 2014.

This means the URA has much flexibility near the stations, said Ms Christine Li, director of Singapore research at Cushman & Wakefield.

As Cantonment will be an extension of the old railway station, ideas could include an integrated railway mall with a focus on food and beverage. It could also be a venue for cultural and lifestyle events to make use of the historic site, she said.

And, of course, it makes sense to have MRT users living nearby.

This is especially true for the thinly populated Keppel Station area. It is poised to be the gateway to the Southern Waterfront City and so it should see more residential and integrated residential and commercial developments, said Ms Li.

Few commercial projects are in the area, as it is in a comprehensive redevelopment zone – all to be under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme when Keppel docklands move out, said Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore research head.

So far, no GLS sites on the confirmed or reserve list are near the stations, but some mixed-development sites could be added in GLS programmes, he said.

But given the large supply of office space due from next year to 2018, it will be tough to get bidders excited about large office blocks.

Apart from undeveloped land in the three areas, the Government could slowly release the Marina Bay reclamation sites for development, Ms Li noted.

The new stations also bode well, longer term, for nearby properties.

On the residential side, these include Spottiswoode 18, Spottiswoode Residences, The Beacon and HDB estate Spottiswoode Park near Cantonment Station. 76 Shenton, completed last year, and Lumiere are near Prince Edward Station, noted R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

The closest condos to Keppel Station are The Pearl@Mount Faber and Mount Faber Lodge.

“Sales activity has been quite sluggish in the three areas from last year due to the total debt servicing ratio… The areas are also not typical public housing estates… where there are many upgraders from nearby HDB estates,” Mr Ong said.

Spottiswoode condo prices fell about 5 per cent last year and 3 per cent in the first nine months of this year. Lumiere prices fell 8 per cent last year and about 5 per cent in the first nine months, he estimated.

In the Mount Faber area, prices fell about 7 per cent last year and 5 per cent in the first nine months.

But prices should rise as completion of the stations nears, he noted.

In the Cantonment area, office buildings like Southpoint will be served by two MRT stations – Cantonment and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations. Klapsons The Boutique Hotel will also gain, said Mr Cheong.

Small units pay off at two new condo launches

Sales at two condominiums launched over the weekend were largely within expectations, given the quiet market.

About 120 of the 200 units released at the 663-unit Principal Garden in Prince Charles Crescent were sold at an average price of just above $1,600 per sq ft (psf).

There was a similar strike rate at the 288-unit Thomson Impressions in Lorong Puntong off Sin Ming Avenue, where 87 of 150 homes launched went for an average price of $1,393 psf.

“Both properties are in good locations and have price points significantly above $1,000 psf. Taking that into account, the early results are expected and encouraging,” said Mr Lee Liat Yeang, real estate partner at Rodyk & Davidson.

Both developers have concentrated on smaller units for a more palatable quantum to appeal to more buyers, he added.

More than 70 per cent of the units at Principal Garden are one- and two-bedders, sized from 484 sq to 807 sq ft.

The project has one- to five-bedroom units of up to 2,347 sq ft. Apartment prices start from $770,000 for a one-bedder, $1.18 million for a two-bedder and $1.7 million for a three-bedroom unit.

Mr Anthony Wong, general manager of marketing at UOL, noted “equal interest from both investors and owner occupiers.”

“Given the strong response, we will be releasing another 80 units, especially the three-bedroom stacks this week,” he said.

The project is a joint development by UOL Group and Kheng Leong.

Singaporeans formed about 85 per cent of buyers at both projects, where two-bedders attracted the most interest.

About 60 per cent of units at Thomson Impressions are one- or two-bedders.

Apartments are sized at 463 sq ft for a one-bedroom, 732 to 764 sq ft for a two-bedroom and up to about 2,120 sq ft for a four-bedroom penthouse with study.

The project also has five strata- landed houses.

Overall prices for the apartments are from $670,000. Prices for the penthouses and houses start at $2.75 million.

Rental yield could be decent at these prices, said Mr Ku Swee Yong, Century 21 chief executive.

The expected monthly rent for a one-bedder in the Prince Charles Crescent area could be about $3,000, which translates to a rental yield of above 4 per cent, given the starting price of a one-bedder at Principal Garden.

Prime Waterfront Homes and Living in Singapore


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