Category Archives: Conservation buildings

Shophouses in the vogue again among investors

Investment in Singapore shophouses has stabilised and shows signs of picking up after taking a hit following the introduction of a loan curb in 2013. Total transaction value has been rising in the past two years even though the number of caveats lodged remained fairly steady at just over 100 a year.

Transaction value rose by about 7.6 per cent to $707.07 million last year, from $657.3 million in 2015. Demand for shophouses fell off a cliff in 2014, after the imposition of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework at the end of June 2013.

Three adjoining 999-year tenure shophouses in Amoy Street in Tanjong Pagar were recently acquired by an institutional fund for $59.6 million, or about $2,500 per sq ft, based on the floor area. In another deal, a family office bought a shophouse at 54 Boat Quay for $12.9 million or about $2,985 psf on the floor area.

Office properties, seen as a proxy for shophouses, have faced challenging leasing environment as a deluge of new office buildings weighed on rents in recent years. The average rental yield for shophouses ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent, depending on the tenure of the asset.

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Chinatown shophouses bought by Fragrance 

Fragrance Foodstuff which is famous for Bak Kwa, bought 2 prime adjoining shophouses along New Bridge  Road where it leased the ground floor space for its flagship outlet for about 12 years. It paid S $20.5M for the shophouses, which sit on 99-year-tenure land. The land they sit on has a balance of 77 years remaining. The  combined landed area is 1728sqft, thus translate the purchase to around $3535 psf based on gross floor space of 5800sqft. The seller is Yeah Capital Pte Ltd, which is owned by the family controlling ValueMax Group of pawnbroking shops. 

Dempsey gets a new lifestyle quarter

Tanglin Village started out in the 1860s as army barracks. In the 1990s, it became known for its furniture shops. After the turn of the century came upmarket restaurants such as PS. Cafe, as well as art galleries.

Now, Tanglin Village is undergoing a makeover and is getting Dover Street Market a well-known multi-label fashion store in  a new lifestyle quarter.

Chang Korean BBQ Restaurant and antique store Shang Antique – will move out when their leases expire on Feb 29, to make way for the new tenant.

Como Dempsey, a complex housing Dover Street Market, is an edgy concept store conceived by Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo, and a specially conceptualised restaurant and bar by renowned French restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The 5,268 sq m site, comprising blocks 17 and 18, will also have a new dining concept offering signature dishes from around the world. Popular local Peranakan restaurant Candlenut has been included in the proposal.

The new project is expected to “significantly contribute to creating and sustaining the vibrant Dempsey atmosphere and Singapore’s tourism scene”, said Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, STB’s director of attractions, dining and retail.
Como Lifestyle offered to pay a monthly rent of $106,300 for an initial lease term of three years, renewable up till Dec 31, 2022.
The debut of “Como Dempsey” will mark the latest chapter in the area’s transformation.
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A Family Business, a Heritage Legacy

Kampong Glam, an ever hip arts enclave, is a heritage district in the city. It is distinctive as being the former palace of the sultan, it has an immersion of rich cultures from Malay, Arab, Turkish, Javanese influences, while also having Indian, Chinese and Eurasian touches in the neighbourhood. Sultan Gate, a road leading to the former Sultan Palace which is currently a Malay Heritage Centre, is also a “gate” to a wealth of Art and Legacy.

pic2Just located outside the Malay Heritage Centre, lies a row of shophouses that are full of art and heritage. Within a wall of street art, a shop strikes out. Within a glass frontage, one can see the unique Malay and Javanese craft welcoming you into the interiors.

SAMSUNG CSC “Kiah’s Gallery” is a Batik-inspired arts showsroom. Started by a Malay family, one can see the family legacy passed down to the modern age. Yati, the founder of the gallery, started the business together with her family, including her husband and daughter Ain, three years ago. They called this business “Kiah’s Gallery”, with inspired with the name of Ain’s nenek or grandma, as part of keeping the family legacy.

SAMSUNG CSCBeing inspired by a Batik piece they bought from a trader, they grew to love this art, despite it being a dying craft in Singapore. With their personal love of the art reaching its peak three years ago, the family decided to convert their personal love to share with the lovers of this unique Batik art.

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSCFor the first 18 months, the business was tough. Being new in this line and having to compete with other players in the neighbourhood, Kiah’s Gallery had to find a place in this business. From purely retailing batik-designer pieces, they have extended their services into tailoring and customization, as well as introducing other art pieces like paintings and sculptures.

SAMSUNG CSCSince then the business has been growing well. Their customers consist of a mix of locals as well as tourists. Kiah’s Gallery also carry designer pieces and artefacts that reflect the cultural influences of the Nanyang and Malay heritage. Art pieces from internationally renowned Batik painter Sarkasi Said are also displayed and sold here.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCEvery Batik piece is an art. There are several techniques in the craft. It has influences involving Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Malay and Javanese cultures, as this part of the world has such infuses of these cultures throughout the centuries. Different emblems, like the phoenix and other legendary icons symbolizes the influence of the associated culture. Now there are also modern touches to the craft, like Japanese incursions, to make Batik an exciting artpiece to wear. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC If you are interested to visit the gallery and explore for yourself, please note the following information.

Name: Kiah’s Gallery (look for Yati and Ain)

Address: 71 Unit B Sultan Gate Singapore 198496

$16.5m price tag for 3 Jalan Besar shophouses

Three adjoining shophouses in Jalan Besar have been put up for sale with a guide price of about $16.5 million.

CBRE, the sole marketing agent, yesterday called for expressions of interest in the double-storey freehold shophouses, each of which has an attic.

The shophouses, with a combined land area of 4,353 sq ft and a total gross floor area of 9,719 sq ft, are in an area zoned for commercial use in the Historic District (Little India) Conservation Area in the 2014 Master Plan, said CBRE.

 CBRE’s associate director of investment properties Sammi Lim said the guide price of $16.5 million for all three shophouses works out to $1,697 per sq ft.

With 14m of street frontage for all three shophouses, they are highly visible in Jalan Besar.

The site is a short walk from Farrer Park MRT station. The upcoming Jalan Besar MRT station will be about 100m away.

Ms Lim said: “Shophouses along Jalan Besar are always tightly held and it is extremely rare for any to be available for sale. For 138 to 142 Jalan Besar, the vendor has been occupying the premises over the past few decades.” She added that there has been “increased interest from the market for such quality shophouse assets on the fringe of the Central Business District for mid- to long-term hold”.

“We term these shophouses as a limited-edition asset in the property market that comes with a distinctive facade, unique charm and rich historical value; and three adjoining shophouses in a row in a centrally located area is an extremely rare opportunity,” said Ms Lim.

An expression of interest sale gives potential buyers a specific period of time to view the properties and to make their offers to purchase by a specified time and date.

Since the property is a commercial one, the expression of interest exercise is open to both locals and foreigners, with no additional buyer’s stamp duty or seller’s stamp duty imposed on the purchase of the property, said CBRE.

The expression of interest exercise will close on Aug 28 at 3 pm.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/property/165m-price-tag-for-3-jalan-besar-shophouses

Jurong Town Hall will be gazetted as national monument

Jurong Town Hall has become the first conserved building to be gazetted as a national monument.

The National Heritage Board (NHB) said on Monday that Jurong Town Hall’s national monument status ensures that its historical features will be accorded the highest level of legal protection.

In 2005, the hall, located at Jurong East, had been awarded conservation status by the Urban Revedelopment Authority (URA) in recognition of the historical significance it played in Singapore’s economic and industrial progress.

Jurong Town Corporation, which was formed in 1968 to develop the Jurong area, moved into the hall in 1974.

NHB said the hall’s change in status from conserved building to national monument ensures that it will be protected by preservation guidelines.

“(The hall) will undergo a regular cycle of inspections to ensure its proper upkeep,” said the board.

Ms Jean Wee, NHB’s director of preservation of sites and monuments division, said the board has made a conscious decision to preserve landmarks other than colonial buildings.

“After 50 years, what helps define us, is our heritage and our attitude towards wanting to discover it and preserve it,” she added.

Jurong Town Hall was built based on a winning entry by local firm Architects Team 3 in an architectural design competition. It was opened officially by former Finance Minister Hon Sui Sen on June 2, 1975.

The hall is the 69th national monument. Other buildings which have been awarded this status include Cathay Building, Macdonald House and City Hall.

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/jurong-town-hall-gazetted-national-monument-20150601#sthash.qiQRN0om.dpuf

Conserve the old but add some new extra space – Pearl Bank

That is the gist of a plan by owners of the historic Pearl Bank Apartments – and they have won tentative backing from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The URA sees merit in conserving the horseshoe-shaped project in Outram, at 38 storeys the tallest residential building here when built in 1976.

It is also prepared to consider supporting some increase in gross floor area (GFA), in line with the management committee’s plan.

The owners want a conservation order for the building and propose that the GFA limit be lifted so a new residential block can be added. If they get the approvals, they then hope to entice a developer to rejuvenate the building.

The committee has called an extraordinary general meeting with owners tomorrow to seek consent from subsidiary proprietors.

A URA spokesman said that as the proposal affects the entire development and interests of subsidiary proprietors, all of them must be aware of the plan and agree. But she also said it “welcomes the ground-up initiative by the management committee to conserve Pearl Bank Apartments as there are merits for its conservation”.

“When the distinctive horseshoe-shaped building was completed in 1976, it was the tallest residential building in Singapore and had the highest density for residential development,” she told The Straits Times.

The conservation bid was set in motion last month, when owners representing about 45 per cent of overall share value voted to submit the application for voluntary conservation and redevelopment to the URA. More than 98 per cent were in favour.

The committee said in the letter to owners that it received a positive reply from the URA, as the authority is prepared to consider a maximum 15 per cent increase in GFA over and above the existing approved GFA of 55,102 sq m. This is subject to a cap of 430 units in all, including the 280-unit existing block, it said.

Under the plan, drawn up by the firm of Mr Tan Cheng Siong, who designed the original block, a 27-storey residential block may be built on the area now occupied by a five-storey carpark.

It will have a rooftop garden, a swimming pool and a bridge to the existing block’s 28th-floor common space. The owners will also ask the Singapore Land Authority to extend the 99-year lease.

The bid for conservation and redevelopment comes after three attempts at a collective sale from 2007 to 2011 – with no takers, owing to the high asking price.

http://business.asiaone.com/news/ura-sees-merit-conservation-plan-pearl-bank#sthash.QkLBgTwX.dpuf