Singapore’s first farm resort up for sale

Singapore’s first agri-tainment centre is up for sale. D’Kranji – a 5ha resort featuring 36 villas, a spa, agriculture kiosks and other amenities – has been valued at about $14 million.

Its owner, HLH Group, is selling the complex in Kranji so that it can focus on its core business of property development, group general manager Ryan Ong told The Straits Times on Thursday.

“As a listed company, we want to make money for our shareholders,” he said.

“We’re expanding our business in Cambodia and internationally, and property development, on top of agriculture and farming, is our forte.”

Mr Ong, a director of D’Kranji Farm Resort since January last year, said the facility is an attractive proposition for investors and operators.

The resort was opened in September 2008.

Mr Ong noted that its room occupancy rate was 40 per cent to 50 per cent before, but improved to 60 per cent since he took over operations. It hit 70 per cent in March and April this year.

Monthly revenue is about $140,000 to $150,000. Overall revenue has risen by at least threefold, compared with levels two years ago, he added.

Including room sales, the resort rakes in a “healthy profit” every month, he said.

Turnover comes partly from the space it leases to operators. These spaces are for some of the site’s attractions, which include ponds for prawning, food and beverage outlets, and a museum that showcases swiftlets, the species that produces the bird’s-nest delicacy.

In addition, Mr Ong has held events such as farm fairs and weekend markets at the resort, in collaboration with external vendors and neighbouring farms.

Agriculture kiosk operators with unusual concepts were brought in as well, including a cherry tomato farm with technology from Japan and high-tech farming projects for harvesting leafy vegetables. A honey farm with sting-less bees is set to open soon.

The sale includes the land, name, facilities and contracts with various tenants.

“The purpose of my coming in was to turn the business around and enhance the asset value, so as to maximise and achieve sustainable value for our shareholders,” said Mr Ong.

“(D’Kranji Farm Resort) now has a fixed rental income monthly, reputable villas, exciting and attractive activities, and trained employees.”

Even though the resort is generating decent cash for the company, it could fare much better with a professional party running the show, he noted.

Interest has been positive, with around 16 inquiries from companies, including hospitality firms, he said. The site was launched for tender sale on May 20.

About 12 parties have already viewed the site.

The tender closes at 3pm on June 19. The marketing agency is ERA Realty Network.

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