Category Archives: Shopping

Queenstown site bid signals positive market sentiment

A large residential site in Queenstown able to yield about 1,110 units has been triggered for sale, in a sign of improving market sentiment. A developer committed to bid at least $685.25 million for a 2.11ha Stirling Road site. The site has been on the Government Land Sales reserve list since March 2010, which was made up of two adjacent sites once offered separately but merged into one site in 2012.

The 99-year leasehold site is next to Tiong Ghee Temple and near Anchorpoint shopping centre. As it is one of the larger sites on offer, analysts said the bid reflected better market sentiment, and developers’ growing appetite for residential land.

Many developers are running low on land and have to demonstrate that they have longer- term corporate growth strategies.Being a prime city-fringe site, it is also likely to generate much interest and attract buyers easily. Competitive bidding are expected.

Based on a maximum permissible gross floor area of 954,328 sq ft, the bid translates to a price of $718 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio. Bids are expected to climb further, to between $830 psf and $950 psf.

It is noted though of unsold supply in Commonwealth Towers, Queens Peak and an upcoming project in Margaret Drive. The pricing will likely take a cue from Queens Peak, with an average of $1,640 psf, and Commonwealth Towers, at an average of $1,654 psf.

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Sime Darby Centre for sale

Blackstone Group plans to sell Sime Darby Centre in Bukit Timah, one of the office and retail assets it acquired last year from Malaysian palm-oil producer Sime Darby Berhad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Located in an ageing commercial block along Dunearn Road and directly in front of King Albert Park MRT station, Sime Darby Centre houses tenants like kitchenware retailer ToTT, Scanteak, Cold Storage and ChildFirst pre-school. The block consists of builtup area of 250,000 sq ft — 80 per cent is office space and the rest is retail. The development sits on freehold and 999-year leasehold land parcels zoned for commercial use and with 1.8 plot ratio.

Blackstone owns a 70 per cent stake in the Sime Darby Centre and Sime owns the rest. The conglomerate, Malaysia’s biggest listed palm-oil producer, sold some property assets in Australia and Singapore to help pare debt.

The site could attract bids from large and mid-sized Singapore developers including Far East Organization, City Developments, Frasers Centrepoint and United Industrial Corp.

The New York-based private equity firm expects to fetch about S$300 million for Sime Darby Centre, which it bought for just under S$200 million last year. Blackstone in May acquired a majority stake in three Singapore property assets, including the Sime Darby Centre, in a deal that valued them at about S$300 million.

Blackstone, which manages more than US$100 billion (S$140 billion) in real estate assets worldwide, in the past has bought residential apartment blocks in Singapore’s prime area.

Singapore Property Giant bought Japanese commercial properties for almost 50B yen

CapitaLand, through its mall business CapitaLand Mall Asia, acquire a portfolio of four office and retail properties in Japan’s Greater Tokyo Area, for about 51 billion yen (S$636.3 million) including transaction costs.

CapitaLand currently also owns and manages four shopping malls in Japan – namely Olinas Mall, Vivit Minami-Funabashi and La Park Mizue in Tokyo; as well as Coop Kobe Nishinomiya-Higashi in Kobe.

The Ascott Ltd, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence arm, owns and manages 46 properties with more than 3,500 apartment units in Japan. The group’s Japan portfolio also includes a 20 per cent stake in an office building – the Shinjuku Front Tower.

The acquisition will strengthen its foothold in Greater Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolis, and increase the group’s total asset size in Japan to about S$2.5 billion.

The portfolio comprises two office buildings in Yokohama, Yokohama Blue Avenue and Sun Hamada; one office building in Tokyo, the Kokugikan Front; and, one shopping mall in Saitama, the Seiyu & Sundrug.

The long-term forecast of Greater Tokyo’s office market remains positive. The vacancies in central Tokyo expected to stay below 5 per cent through to 2025.

The Seiyu & Sundrug has a gross floor area (GFA) of close to 400,000 square feet, thus growing CapitaLand’s retail footprint in Japan by about 25 per cent to over 2 million sqft in GFA. Seiyu & Sundrug, in Saitama Prefecture, is the largest suburban mall within a three-kilometre radius.

Frasers Tower received strong interest ahead of its completion

About 30 per cent of upcoming Frasers Tower, in the heart of the Central Business District, has been leased – or has received a leasing proposal. The relatively strong interest comes even though the 38-storey office building in Cecil Street is not due to be ready for tenants for more than a year.

The interest came from multi-sector conglomerates, legal services and technology firms, including the first signed lease with The Executive Centre, a serviced office provider, which will take up an entire floor covering 20,000 sq ft.

The supply pipeline favours Frasers Tower, as there are just a few new developments in the core CBD from mid-2017 until the end of 2020: Marina One, UIC Building and the redevelopment of the CPF Building. Frasers Tower has 663,000 sq ft in total net lettable area. An adjacent three-storey building will host food and beverage tenants.

 

Middle Road Complex on sale again

THE Prospex, a retail and office building in the Middle Road near Bugis +, is back on the market, this time with an indicative guide price “in excess of S$70 million” — lower than the S$80 million asking price when the building was previously put up for sale in October 2015.

A price of S$70 million translates to S$2,081 per square foot (based on the total net lettable area (NLA) of 33,631 square feet) with a 99-year leasehold tenure with a balance term of about 57 years.

Located at the busy corner of Middle Road and Victoria Street and just a stone’s throw from Bugis MRT Station, The Prospex consists of a two-level retail podium (with 4,040 sq ft NLA) and seven levels of offices above (29,591 sq ft).

The building is about 85 per cent leased with the top floor and some units on the seventh floor still available for lease.

Prospex is being offered by Hong Kong and Singapore-based property fund manager Pamfleet, which bought the former Bright Chambers on the site at S$45 million in 2013 and made major additions and alteration works to the building to achieve its current modern look. The Prospex received a Temporary Occupation Permit in the first quarter of 2016.

Tenants in the building include: Shanghai-based Mellower Coffee (which occupies the entire two-level retail podium); 701 Search backed by SPH; and Zrii, an international nutrition company based in Utah.

As the property sits on land fully zoned for commercial use, foreigners may buy without regulatory approval . There is also no additional buyer’s stamp duty and seller’s stamp duty for such property.

Online Stores getting offline presence amidst slump

The falling rental rates provide a silver lining for online retailers amid the current retail slump.These retailers have a chance to venture offline and into shopping malls. Last month, for example, online furniture retailer HipVan opened its permanent 11,000 sq ft flagship store at The Cathay in Dhoby Ghaut.

Lifestyle retailer Naiise similarly opened its 8,500 sq ft flagship store in that mall last June. Other online retailers, such as Reebonz, Love Bonito and Ohvola, have opened short-term stores in Suntec City and Orchard Gateway, to catch shoppers who want to see, touch or try on a product before buying.
 The islandwide vacancy rate for retail space was 7.5 per cent at the end of last year, up from 4.5 per cent at the end of 2013, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data showed.
The Median rental rate per sq ft per month for the Orchard Road area is $9.82, the first time it fell below $10. The median rental rate for retail space in the third quarter of last year was the lowest on record. 

The median rental rate for retail space in the third quarter of last year was the lowest on record, falling to $9.82 per sq ft per month for the Orchard Road area – the first time it fell below $10, according to URA data.

Naiise has five other stores in malls such as Westgate and 112 Katong, which offer self-collection services for online orders. Its online plus offline strategy has paid off, with its six retail stores combined now generating more revenue than its online store.

 

HipVan co-founder Danny Tan, 33, said the retail slump has benefited his business, which now occupies the space formerly rented by sportswear brand Adidas. The store is seven times larger than HipVan’s previous pop-up space in Millenia Walk and Suntec City. It features more than 1,000 of HipVan’s bestsellers, including beds, dining tables and rugs. Its website attracts 200,000 to 300,000 views a month, while revenue has been growing by 12 per cent on average every month.

Meanwhile, high-end fashion retailer Reebonz, whose lease for its pop-up boutique in Suntec ends next year, is moving into its own eight-storey building in Tampines this month. The building will house a permanent showroom.

Good Take-up at Guoco Tower space

TECH and media companies are making their presence felt at Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, accounting for 37 per cent of the space that has already been committed.

The premium Grade A office component of Tanjong Pagar Centre, a mixed-development project being built by the listed GuocoLand group, has 890,000 sq ft net lettable area of which 80 per cent or some 712,000 sq ft is either taken up or subject of advanced leasing discussions. Of this space, approximately 263,000 sq ft has been committed by tech and media companies, including Amadeus and OpenLink.

Earlier media reports also tipped Agoda, Dentsu Aegis Network, Palo Alto Networks, ING, Itochu Singapore, and SAS Singapore as heading for Guoco Tower. Dentsu Aegis is expected to be the biggest tenant with about 100,000 sq ft.

GuocoLand has also named as new tenants The Straits Trading Company, which will be moving out of 9 Battery Road; Danone, which is exiting Goldbell Towers along Scotts Road; shoemaker Asics, which will be leaving PWC Building; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is exiting three locations.

The offices, which received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last month, are on the lower 38 levels of the 64-storey tower, which is Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres. Levels 39 and upwards of this tower comprise the 181-unit Wallich Residence. A second tower houses the 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Both of these components are expected to receive TOP between late this year and early 2017. The project also has a retail component, part of which has already received TOP.

Guoco Tower is counting on its prime location, flexible, efficient and scalable design, Tanjong Pagar Centre’s tightly integrated retail and lifestyle components, and of course, the prestige factor of being in Singapore’s tallest building as its selling points.

Most of the MNCs in Guoco Tower will be using it as their regional headquarters with average headcounts of 300 to 500 persons, coupled with relocations of many of their senior management staff from their other headquarters or regional offices to Singapore.

This would create a lot of demand for F&B, services, hotels and even housing in the area and catalyse Tanjong Pagar’s transformation. The gross effective monthly rents at Guoco Tower are estimated to be between S$8.50 and S$11.00 per square foot – comfortably above the average of S$7 to S$8 psf in the Tanjong Pagar office micromarket, and comparable to other premium Grade A developments in Marina Bay.