Category Archives: Bukit Merah/Buona Vista

District 3 & 4

Chinese Developer pour in S$1B bid for Queenstown GLS site

A huge residential plot at Stirling Road launched by the government drew a record price of over S$1 billion in a joint bid from Logan Property Holdings (LPH)and Chinese conglomerate Nanshan Group. LPH is a new Hong Kong-listed entrant to Singapore market, originating from China’s Guangdong province

The bid of S$1,050.7 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) on gross floor area is very bullish for for the 99-year-leasehold site thus setting a new record in the Queenstown area.

The site – despite its 2.11-ha size and heavy financial commitment required – saw a healthy demand of 13 bidders in total. The 227,000 sq ft plot near Queenstown MRT Station is expected to yield 1,110 units with prices projecting from S$1,700 psf upwards.

This bid signals a determination to enter the Singapore market. The top bid by the Chinese consortium is 8.3 % higher than the next highest bid tabled by MCL Land, and is 20.6 % higher than the S$871 psf ppr that MCC Land paid in June 2015 for the land parcel for Queens Peak. Competition was fairly stiff with close to half of the tenderers bidding in excess of S$900 psf ppr for the site, she added.

LPH has been studying the Singapore market for a while and believes “this is the right time to enter Singapore”.


P&G investing US$100m into innovation centre in Singapore

Global consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) is to invest US$100 million (S$140 million) over the next five years to set up its first digital innovation centre in Singapore. Up to 50 new staff could be hired.

Called an E-Centre, the project was officially launched yesterday in partnership with the Economic Development Board. As it does not have a single, fixed location, staff involved in its activities will work either in P&G’s Singapore Innovation Centre in Biopolis Street or its offices at The Metropolis.

This E-Centre will develop digital solutions for Asia-Pacific operations, synchronising the supply chain to increase revenues and lower inventory while serving emerging retail channels more efficiently.

Some projects in the pipeline include machine learning, where algorithms allow machines to predict parameters within the supply chain for better accuracy, as well as process automation, which uses robotics to eliminate repetitive tasks.

The centre will also use data analytics to optimise product distribution and marketing strategies across the region. For example, by analysing an area’s demographics data, P&G will be able to determine the potential sales growth and prioritise store distribution accordingly.

All HDB industrial properties to JTC by 2018

By the first quarter of 2018, all 10,700 industrial units and 540 land leases under the Housing & Development Board (HDB) will be consolidated under JTC, a single agency offering one-stop access to a full range of Singapore’s public-sector industrial facilities.

The properties will be transferred from HDB’s portfolio to JTC’s at net book value.

Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang said this will better support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their business growth.

The government will be able to undertake more comprehensive master-planning of industrial estates across Singapore; the move will also facilitate more efficient clustering of complementary activities and integration of activities along the value chain.

JTC wants to bring HDB tenants under its fold to offer them the same support that JTC tenants under the parentage of the Ministry of Trade and Industry enjoy, and to enhance their productivity and transform them into more competitive enterprises. (HDB falls under the Ministry of National Development.

One common problem HDB industrial tenants face lies in finding adjacent space into which to expand; many end up taking space in multiple venues, sometimes across the island. What JTC can offer SMEs is contiguous large floor plates in its own facilities.

It can also help SMEs plan ahead, by charting their growth trajectories and anticipating their future needs. JTC can provide, not just bigger spaces, but also land for expansion.

Guoxin Manufacturing is one example of an HDB tenant that is moving into a 1,180 sq m space at JTC Space @ Tampines North; this is twice the amount of space it used to occupy over five different units in Tuas and Ubi.

All HDB tenants and lessees affected by the consolidation will continue to be served by the same team of 160 HDB officers, who will be transferred to JTC. JTC also gave the assurance that the contracted terms and conditions of their tenancies and leases with HDB will remain.


Award of tender for residential with 1st storey commercial site at Alexandra View

Published Date: 17 Nov 2015

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has awarded the tender for the residential with 1st storey commercial site at Alexandra View to Tang Skyline Pte Ltd. The company submitted the highest bid in the tender for the site.

The residential with 1st storey commercial site was launched for public tender on 30 September 2015. The tender for the site closed on 12 November 2015. The land parcel was offered for sale on a 99-year lease term.

Details of the awarded land parcel and the successful tenderer are provided below:


($PSM of GFA)
Alexandra View Residential with commercial at 1st storey 8,398.5 m2 41,153 m2 Tang Skyline Pte Ltd $376,880,000

Church builds $50m arts hub in Bukit Merah

An arts venue being built by the Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) will open in Bukit Merah Central early next year.

Costing about $50 million, the nine-storey building will house facilities similar to those in major performance venues such as the Esplanade, said its operator, Gateway Entertainment, a production entertainment firm founded by the church’s pastor, Mr Lawrence Khong.

These include a movable orchestra pit, a 10m stage and a stage lift for its 950-seat, three-storey-high theatre, said Gateway Entertainment deputy chief executive Ban Jiun Ean.

Called Gateway Theatre, it will be rented out to arts groups on weekdays. Church services will take place on weekends.

The new building, which replaces the three-storey Touch Community Theatre at the same site, is largely funded by church members, who have contributed more than $29.5 million to the project so far. Work started in April last year.

Mr Ban said Gateway Theatre will bring the arts to the western part of Singapore and give performing groups the option of staging shows at an affordable mid-size space.

Other mid-size venues here include Capitol Theatre, with its 900 seats, and Republic Polytechnic’s Cultural Centre, which has a 1,000-seat theatre. Venues at the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands seat about 2,000 people each, while larger spaces, such as the Singapore Indoor Stadium, take about 12,000.

In 2012, New Creation Church’s business arm, Rock Productions, opened the $500-million Star Performing Arts Centre in Buona Vista, with fund contributions from members. It has a 5,000-seat auditorium, which is also a venue for hire.

Other features at Gateway Theatre include a 300-seater black box theatre space with an LED wall, a dance studio and a sky terrace with public access.

Mr Ban said it will also likely be home to an arts school, which will run programmes such as dance classes for 50 to 100 underprivileged children and youth at risk.

Gateway Entertainment was founded 15 years ago by Mr Khong to transform the arts and entertainment industry and “to bring good values into peoples’ lives”, said Mr Ban.

The church’s website also said that Gateway Entertainment aims to reach those in the arts and entertainment industry , “many of whom are LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and many of whom would not come to church”.

Designed by architectural firm Ong and Ong, the new building sits on land that was zoned for commercial use and bought by the church in the late 1990s on a 99-year lease.

It has a gross floor area of 4,550 sq m, almost twice as big as the Touch Community Theatre, which was used by the church and its charity arm, Touch Community Services, for more than 15 years. The building was originally home to the Dalit Theatre, which screened Tamil movies in the 1980s.

The old building was rundown and had maintenance issues, said Mr James Tan, chairman of the building committee and deputy executive director of Touch Community Services. “Rather than keep the old building in land-scarce Singapore, we decided to construct an arts venue that will be well utilised on weekdays. Revenue will go into running the site,” he said.

Mr Tan said rental rates have yet to be decided but will be “reasonable”. “We won’t overcharge. We’re not about investments and there are no shareholders,” he said.

The congregation currently worships at two other venues – its Marine Parade Central Touchcentre and at Suntec City. The church was established in 1986.

Mr Tan believes the project is timely as it can inject more life into Bukit Merah Central.

FCBC member Ada Chua, 24, a law student, said church members like her are supportive of the project.

“Pastor Khong has been accountable and clear about the aim of the building. The new building will build up interest in the arts and make it accessible to those in the west,” she said.

Apple seen taking up half the space at Fusionopolis Two tower

Singapore – TECH giant Apple, which has just announced an analysts-beating fourth-quarter profit of US$11.1 billion, is in expansion mode in Singapore. In addition to reports of plans for its first Singapore store at Knightsbridge mall, it is said to be leasing a chunk of business park space at Innovis in Fusionopolis Two in the one-north area.

According to sources, it has leased about 215,000 square feet at the 18-storey Innovis, one of the three blocks in the recently opened Fusionopolis Two project developed by JTC Corporation.

With Apple occupying about half the space in the tower, the 18-storey Innovis will be fully let.

While the space that the tech giant has signed up for is predominantly zoned for business park use, there is a small office space component as well. The company, which is expected to use the new space primarily for research and development, is understood to have wanted even more space at Innovis but had to contend with what was available. Others who signed up earlier at the same tower include Japanese IT group NEC, private equity firm Credence Partners and Sodexo. The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) also occupies some floors at Innovis.

Fusionopolis Two has a total gross floor area of 103,635 square metres (1.12 million sq ft) spread across the three towers – Innovis, Kinesis and Synthesis. Four research institutes under A*Star occupy the whole of Synthesis as well as some floors in Kinesis and Innovis.

Market watchers say that Apple’s presence in Innovis will boost Fusionopolis’s standing as an innovation hub and create buzz for the one-north locale in general. Already, there is talk that owners of some of the neighbouring developments are starting to see a pick-up in enquiries from potential tech tenants.

A spokeswoman for JTC declined to confirm if Apple is a tenant at Innovis. Attempts to reach Apple on the matter were unsuccessful.

Apple’s move into Innovis is part of its expansion in Singapore. Its operations are currently based in two neighbouring buildings in Ang Mo Kio – one of which is a built-to-suit facility at 7 Ang Mo Kio Street 64 on a 30-year government lease expiring next year with an option for renewal. A lease renewal is likely to entail redevelopment as the maximum gross floor area has not yet been tapped.

Apple is believed to be holding discussions with the authorities on the property. Among the functions located in the facility are research and development, and sales and marketing. To cope with its growing business activities in Singapore, which is also a regional headquarters for some functions, Apple expanded to the next-door UE BizHub Central in 2012, where it has leased about 50,000 sq ft spanning a couple of floors in one wing of the development. Apple Campus is located within this space.

Earlier this year, Apple was reported to have inked a lease for around 35,000 sq ft of office space on levels 29 and 30 at CapitaGreen along Market Street in the CBD to house its sales and marketing staff – with options to lease 60,000 sq ft more space on three adjoining floors in the same building.

Sources say that the option for the additional space has lapsed, with speculation mounting whether Apple could give up even the two floors for which it has signed a lease.

That said, a leasing agent argued that doing so would require Apple to find replacement tenants acceptable to the landlord in addition to compensating it for any rental shortfall if the new tenants pay a lower rental rate than that contracted to Apple. “Financially, it would make more sense for Apple to just occupy the two floors at CapitaGreen itself, given that it is expanding like crazy.”

Apple’s lease at CapitaGreen was reported to have been signed late last year probably at around S$11-12 per square foot monthly rent.

Based on information on JTC’s website, the monthly rents listed for Fusionopolis Two translate to S$4.83 psf for business park space and S$5.57 psf for office space – although market watchers expect big tenants to enjoy a discount on these rates.

Apple’s 215,000 sq ft lease at Innovis is one of the biggest leasing transactions for business space in Singapore this year following Google’s lease for around 280,000 sq ft of business park space at Mapletree Business City II; located in the Pasir Panjang Road/Alexandra Terrace area, the development is slated to receive temporary occupation permit by June next year.

Meanwhile, fellow IT giant Microsoft, which was earlier reported to be mulling a move to MBC II, has decided to stay put at One Marina Boulevard in the CBD. The group is expected to renew its lease in the building, where it occupies slightly over 100,000 sq ft.

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