2 Mega projects get URA’s approval in Q3

TWO mega private residential projects of over 1,000 units each are among the projects that secured provisional permission from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in the third quarter.

A unit of Singapore-listed GuocoLand received the planning authority’s nod to build a 1,024-unit condo, Sims Urban Oasis, on a 99-year leasehold site fronting Sims Drive, Aljunied Road and Pan Island Expressway.

The group, controlled by Malaysian tycoon Quek Leng Chan, paid S$530.89 million or nearly S$688 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the nearly 2.4 hectare land parcel at a state tender that closed in late April.

GuocoLand’s bid was nearly 5.8 per cent higher than the No 2 bid at the tender, of S$502 million or S$650.45 psf ppr, from a consortium comprising vehicles controlled by Mr Quek’s Singaporean cousin Kwek Leng Beng.

Along Upper Serangoon View, Kingsford Property Development has obtained URA’s provisional permission to build a 1,165-unit project, Kingsford Waterbay, on two adjacent river-fronting sites that it clinched for S$460.4 million or S$522 psf ppr at a state tender that closed last November. The approval granted is for 1,157 apartments, six terrace houses and two semi-detached houses.

Also receiving URA’s provisional nod in Q3 was EL Development, for its 660-unit Symphony Suites condo at Yishun Avenue 9.

Singapore Post Limited was also granted provisional permission in the quarter for additions/alterations and extension to its existing Singapore Post Centre next to the Paya Lebar East-West Line MRT Station. The approval is for 25,000 square metres (269,097 square feet) gross floor area (GFA) of retail space.

When contacted, a spokeswoman for Singapore Post said the approval is to “help evaluate potential business scenarios” but could not elaborate further.

Based on earlier media reports, the 14-storey landmark building has about 1.48 million sq ft GFA, which means it has already tapped the 4.2 maximum plot ratio allowed for the site under the Master Plan.

The approved use for the site is around 60 per cent industrial and 40 per cent commercial. However there is potential to seek the authorities’ approval to convert the use to full commercial, to optimise the site’s commercial zoning in the Master Plan.

The property is on a 352,389 sq ft site with a remaining lease of about 67 years. Singapore Post Centre currently has three basement levels (mostly for retail) and more than 500 carpark lots.

In the Tai Seng MRT Station vicinity, Mapletree Trustee Pte Ltd obtained URA’s provisional approval in Q3 to build 5,890 sq m GFA of offices and the same quantum of retail space. Data released by JTC last week on Singapore’s third-quarter industrial property market also showed that Mapletree has obtained approval to build 29,450 sq m multiple-user factories on the same site, which is zoned for Business 2-White use.

The 30-year leasehold site is located within JTC’s Paya Lebar iPark, aimed at attracting SMEs in the food and beverage, lifestyle, retail and light manufacturing sectors.

Mapletree paid S$270.57 psf ppr for the 1.18-hectare land parcel at a JTC tender that closed last November. It has said that it plans to develop the site into a high-specifications industrial project with some offices and retail outlets. When completed, one of Mapletree’s Reits will have the first right of refusal to acquire the property.

Fragrance Group, which owns the former NOL Building along Alexandra Road, has been granted URA’s provisional permission for additions and alterations works involving 1,100 sq m of retail space and 27,010 sq m of offices.

Under the spruce-up, which Fragrance began in July after the building was vacated, more retail space is being carved on the first level, while the offices above will receive a makeover. Works are expected to be completed in Q2 or Q3 next year, after which the group intends to lease out the freehold building.

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