Former Queenstown cinema site sold for $78M

A PRIME commercial-zoned piece of vacant land – where the former Queenstown cinema and bowling centre once stood – has been sold for S$78 million. The price for the site, which has a balance lease term of 57 years, is understood to work out to about S$756 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

The site is at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Margaret Drive, located a stone’s throw from Queenstown MRT Station. The site comprises two lots of land adding up to 32,305 sq ft. The Queenstown Public Library – which opened 46 years ago and was granted conservation status in 2013- still stands near the site.

Crescendas Group is selling the property to a company controlled by property developer and investor Cheong Sim Lam, a member of the family that developed International Plaza in Anson Road in the 1970s.

Crescendas was previously granted written permission to redevelop the site into a seven-storey commercial building but that approval has since lapsed and the new owner will have to make a fresh application for the site’s redevelopment. Under the Urban Redevelompment Authority’s Master Plan 2014, the site is zoned for commercial use.

Based on the land price of around S$756 per square foot per plot ratio, a new commercial development on the site could breakeven at about S$1,800-1,900 psf, say market watchers. The buyer, Mr Cheong, has been in the news in recent years for his property investments in the Central Business District. He bought two adjacent office buildings at 137 and 139 Cecil Street around 2009 but sold them in 2015 and 2014 respectively.

Along Marine Parade Central, he is developing a four-storey commercial building named IMall, on the former Republic Theatre site.

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