Category Archives: Neighbourhood

Unlock value in Western end of Orchard Road

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/business/property/story/western-end-orchard-road-has-potential-report-20140704#sthash.rIsTUoIw.dpuf

THE sleepy western end of the Orchard Road retail district has plenty of untapped redevelopment potential, and investors should keep an eye on firms that own these choice sites, OCBC Investment Research said yesterday.

The area stretching from Far East Shopping Centre to Tanglin Mall stands to gain from possible redevelopment plus the upcoming Orchard Boulevard MRT station, said analyst Eli Lee in a report.

Its value could also get a boost from an expected shortage of retail space in the main Orchard Road shopping district over the next few years.

The winners in all this could be the listed landlords whose “crown jewels” are in the area – Hotel Properties Limited (HPL), Wheelock Properties, Hong Fok and Bonvests, Mr Lee said.

http://www.ocbcresearch.com/Article.aspx?type=strategy&id=20140703144334_52977

From OCBC:

With a dearth of upcoming projects in the Orchard retail space pipeline over 2015-17, we believe there could be a greater impetus for strategic redevelopments along the western end of Orchard Road – a neglected area with relatively dated assets. In particular, Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), which owns a large combined site in that area, has been long reported in the media to be considering a mega-development and recently saw a general offer made by a consortium comprising strategic partners, Mr. Ong Beng Seng and Wheelock Properties Ltd. (Wheelock). Our research reveals the meaningful confluence of fundamental drivers supporting the revitalization of West Orchard ahead, and we identify four developers with key assets in the area. We initiate coverage on HPL with a BUY and fair value of S$5.32 (35% RNAV disc.), and on Wheelock with a BUY and fair value of S$2.38 (30% RNAV disc.). Other potential beneficiaries in West Orchard include Hong Fok (unrated) and Bonvests (unrated), which are trading at 35%-47% discounts to RNAV.

Dry retail space supply in Orchard pipeline over 2015-17 could set up a crunch ahead
A dearth of upcoming projects in the Orchard retail space pipeline over 2015-17 would likely set up a crunch for space over that period, in our view. From 2013-17, our base case is that occupancy rates will rise from 95.8% to 97.2%, and Orchard prime retail rents will grow at a CAGR of 2.0% p.a. to S$36.9 psf pm.

Turning our eyes to quiet western end of Orchard Rd for deep value
Given this, we believe forward-looking investors should turn their eyes to the western end of Orchard Road – from Far East Shopping Center to Tanglin Mall – a neglected area of relatively dated assets that holds significant potential for redevelopment and expansion. In particular, Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL), which owns a large combined site in that area, has been long reported in the media to be considering a mega-development and recently saw a general offer made by a consortium comprising strategic partners, Mr. Ong Beng Seng and Wheelock Properties Ltd. (Wheelock).

A meaningful confluence of drivers for West Orchard revitalization ahead
From our research, we believe there is a meaningful confluence of fundamental drivers supporting the revitalization of West Orchard ahead. For instance, authorities have planned comprehensive underground links from the key Orchard MRT station to the area, and also a new MRT station near Tanglin Mall, in addition to various incentives for redevelopments through the Master Plan.

Initiate with BUY ratings on HPL and Wheelock
In this piece, we identify four developers with key assets in the West Orchard area. In addition, our estimates indicate that a potential HPL mega-development could yield as much as S$1.25bn in surplus net present value for the company. We initiate coverage on HPL with a BUY and fair value of S$5.32 (35% RNAV disc.), and also on Wheelock with a BUY and S$2.38 fair value (30% RNAV disc.). Other potential beneficiaries in West Orchard include Hong Fok and Bonvests, which are trading at 35%-47% discounts to RNAV.

Lau Pa Sat Reopened today

Office workers at Shenton Way can finally have their meals at Lau Pa Sat again, when the iconic food centre re-opens today after a long drawn-out $4 million renovation.

The revamped centre offers better ventilation and a greater mix of dining options, and can seat 2,500 diners – 460 more than before.

There will be 54 food stalls, down from the previous 90. These include returning tenants such as Lakeview Char Kway Teow, Thunder Tea and Ah Chwee Kway Chap, said food court operator Kopitiam, which runs Lau Pa Sat, in a statement at the weekend.

Prices for local hawker fare such as a bowl of fishball noodles or a plate of char kway teow start at $3.50, while a cup of coffee with milk costs $1.10.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/revamped-lau-pa-sat-opens-today-20140630#sthash.Ub0amjbv.dpuf

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lau-pa-sat-to-reopen-in/1103490.html

See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8dJ0EM3zPw

Eurasian Association in Katong

Image

The Eurasian Association at Ceylon Road is home to the Eurasian Heritage Centre, which showcases the history, lifestyle and culture of Eurasians in Singapore. Special galleries also trace the genealogy of different Eurasian groups and recount the community’s experiences during World War Two.

The Eurasian Association Open House Cultural Day

Eurasian Community House, 139 Ceylon Road

19 Jul 2014 – 27 Jul 2014

19, 20, 26 and 27 Jul : 3pm – 4.30pm, 5pm – 6.30pm

In Partnership with: URA

The Eurasian Experience Tour includes:

1) Guided tour of the 3 galleries of the Eurasian Heritage Centre (max: 20pax)

2) Hands-on learning of a traditional Portuguese Eurasian folk dance (2 dancers)

3) Food tasting of a traditional Eurasian delicacy

Games Station (for children 12 years and below):

– While parents are attending the Eurasian Experience Tour, their children can learn about Eurasian culture in a fun way at our Games Station showcasing traditional games played by Eurasians (including pick-up-sticks, five stones, hopscotch, zero point and card games such as Happy Family and Snap), with a short interactive video and quiz about who are Eurasians.

http://www.heritagefest.org.sg/SHFPortal/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pagehierarchy/Page1.jspx?detContId=NHBSVRAPP61620000043593&_afrLoop=2495803855729703&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=136u3vbkpi_202#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3D136u3vbkpi_202%26_afrLoop%3D2495803855729703%26detContId%3DNHBSVRAPP61620000043593%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D136u3vbkpi_258

Singapore Lighthouse Trail

http://news.asiaone.com/news/relax/three-singapore-lighthouses-soon-be-opened-public

Starting next month, visitors will get the opportunity to explore and learn about some of Singapore’s historic lighthouses in the Lighthouse Trail, organised by the National Heritage Board (NHB) as part of this year’s Singapore HeritageFest.

Lighthouses have been faithfully serving as beacons of light since the 1900s, guiding ships and mariners eager to anchor at Singapore’s harbours.

For the first time, the lighthouses will be open to the public for viewing.

The three lighthouses featured in the upcoming trail includes:

1) Raffles Lighthouse

Raffles Lighthouse.jpg

The Raffles Lighthouse was named after, and dedicated to the memory of, Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded Singapore in 1819. It is located on Pulau Satumu, formerly known as Coney Island, and is the southernmost islet of SIngapore. Standing 23km southwest of Singapore, it is on the South Channel Sea passage and marks the western entrance to the Singapore Strait.

On May 24, 1854, the Raffles Lighthouse Foundation Stone and the Raffles Lighthouse Memorial Tablet were laid by William J. Butterworth, governor of the Straits Settlements. After a masonic ceremony and a celebration with much military fanfare, building started with the help of Indian convicts and other labourers, who served as stone-cutters, blasters and labourers. The lighthouse began operations on Dec 1, 1855 and is still in operation today.

Designed by John Bennet, a civil and mechanical engineer, the structure is a round granite tower with a lantern and gallery attached to a two-storey keeper’s house. The entire structure is painted in white and stands a mere 9.1m above sea level. Mr. Syed Hassan, who currently resides in the tower and helps to maintain it, is the oldest lighthouse keeper in Singapore.

The lighthouse is accessible only by boat, and visitors are only allowed to view it from a distance due to an exclusion zone that surrounds the tower. It will, however, soon be open to the public as part of NHB’s Lighthouse Trail.

 

2) Sultan Shoal Lighthouse

The Sultan Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1895, and is located on the island of Selat Jurong, in the Western Anchorage of Singapore. The tower is painted white and the roof of the keeper’s house is painted red. It has a mix of Oriental and Victorian design, oddly resembling a two-storey bungalow growing out of the sea.

The lighthouse was one of the key beacons that guided ships approaching Singapore from the West at a time when pirate attacks were rife. There were two loaded rifles with fixed bayonets as well as three swords in the keeper’s office for resisting pirate attacks in its early days. The tower was rebuilt in 1931 to accommodate the installation of more modern lighting equipment.

The lighthouse was automated in 1984 and is currently unmanned.

3) Fullerton Lighthouse

The now-decommissioned Fullerton Lighthouse is situated atop a small white concrete structure on the roof of the Fullerton building. Standing 47.9m above sea level, it is visible to ships 48.3km away.

In 1958, the S$33,000 structure took over the defunct 103-year-old Fort Canning Lighthouse in guiding ships and mariners into the harbour. But its function was hampered in 1980 by the construction of towering buildings at Marina Centre on reclaimed land and the strong lighting background at the waterfront. Its function was taken over by the Bedok Lighthouse, located on top of a block of flats in Marine Parade (now atop Lagoon View condominium in Bedok) and which started operations in 1978.

The Fullerton Lighthouse was acquired by the then Sentosa Martime Museum as a working exhibit. It has since moved to a new location as an artifact near Harbourfront Towers opposite Sentosa.

See more from: http://www.heritagefest.org.sg/SHFPortal/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pagehierarchy/Page1.jspx?detContId=NHBSVRAPP61620000043513&_afrLoop=2495660178567342&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=null#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D2495660178567342%26detContId%3DNHBSVRAPP61620000043513%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3D136u3vbkpi_168

 

More options for expats in new international schools

When Britain’s Dulwich College opens its doors here in a few months, it will already have waiting lists for some classes.

Gems World Academy Singapore, also opening this year, has launched more classes for certain grade levels.

The new entrants to the international school scene here will join at least three others which started operations or opened additional campuses here in the past five years: Stamford American International School, the Canadian International School and the United World College of Southeast Asia.

Others, such as the Lycee Francais de Singapour (LFS), the German European School Singapore and the Overseas Family School have plans to add campuses or move to larger premises within the next three years.

At French School LFS, demand has grown so much that the current campus at Serangoon had to be extended three times since 1999.

Stamford American has grown from 76 to 2000 over students. EDB estimated that there are more than 30 international schools here. These schools have about 40,000 students as of last year.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/education/story/new-international-schools-offer-more-options-expats-20140624#sthash.Weqq1mVw.dpuf

More temporary usage of State properties

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/growing-interest-in-use/1195070.html

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said there is a “growing interest” in the use of State properties for ad-hoc events. Various activities, from fashion shows to product launches, are being held in buildings that are no longer in use.

The SLA has issued 27 Non-Renewable Temporary Occupation Licences (NRTOLs) since last year to those who wished to hold their events at such places.

A popular venue is the former Kallang Airport, which has hosted fashion shows in recent months.  Another 20 State properties are up for rent, including the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and several buildings in the Dempsey Road and Bukit Timah areas. The SLA said these properties can be used for fashion shows, location filmings and product launches.

Sports Hub free usage while time allows

From late June 2014, the Singapore Sports Hub will unveil the Experience Sports Programme to the community – starting with an introductory period from 28 June till 30 July before the official programme kicks-off in August 2014.

This is an all inclusive in-house community programme that will allow everyone to participate for FREE.

From learning to play a new sport, to having a go at fun try-outs or just letting the kids jump around in the Experience Sports Village, there’ll be nothing short of fun activities for everyone at the Singapore Sports Hub every weekend and occasionally on weekdays.​

With the guidance of certified coaches, the Sports Hub will provide fun learning experiences for all. Their “Learn To Play” programme is designed for all ages, all sporting abilities and for all proficiency levels.

Whether you’ve ever held a badminton racquet, just played for fun at the playground or can hit a mean cross-court smash, Experience Badminton, is for you!

If you had always wondered what sand feels like in your face, Experience Beach Volleyball can be the right tonic for your Saturday.

Every Saturdays and Sundays, all year round, the Singapore Sports Hub will have a new sport for you to Experience.

See more details from the Sports Hub Home page. http://www.sportshub.com.sg/community/Pages/experience-sports.aspx

Conservation properties for sale in D7 and D8

in today’s local media news, it was reported that a hotel, comprising three shophouses along Jalan Klapa, off Victoria Street in the Kampong Glam Conservation Area has been put up for sale with an indicative pricing of $17-18 million. Located at 9, 11 and 15 Jalan Klapa, the shophouses are on total land area of 4,275 sq ft; the site has a balance lease term of about 92 years. The gross floor area is estimated at 7,911 sq ft. The site is zoned for commercial use but is permanently approved for hotel use. The shophouses have 15 themed rooms (with an average size of around 215 sq ft), spanning across two storeys and a mezzanine level, a cafe lounge and a small pool. The indicative pricing translates to a net yield of around 2-3 per cent, based on the current income stream from rooms as well as food and beverage operations.

URA announcement for H2 GLS

The Government today announced the second half 2014 (2H2014) GLS Programme, which will comprise 9 Confirmed List sites and 14 Reserve List sites. These sites can yield up to 10,200 private residential units, including 1,500 Executive Condominium (EC) units, and 352,000 sqm gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space (see Appendices 1 & 2).

The supply from the 2H2014 GLS Programme, together with the large supply from projects in the pipeline, is expected to be adequate to meet the demand for private housing and commercial space over the next few years.

The Confirmed List contains 6 private residential sites (including 3 EC sites), 2 commercial & residential sites and 1 commercial site. These sites can yield about 3,900 private residential units (including 1,500 EC units) and 159,000 sqm GFA of commercial space.

The Reserve List contains 12 private residential sites, 1 commercial site and 1 White site. These sites can yield about 6,300 private residential units and 193,000 sqm GFA of commercial space.

Supply of Private Housing

The residential sites to be placed on the 2H2014 Confirmed List are located across all regions (i.e. Outside Central Region, Rest of Central Region and Core Central Region). These sites are expected to provide a supply of about 3,900 private residential units (including 1,500 EC units), which will be added to the existing large pipeline supply of more than 90,000 private residential units (including ECs).

A commercial & residential site at Holland Road will be placed on the Confirmed List as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in the Master Plan 2014. The sale of the site will further enhance the existing urban village character of the area. It will provide new housing options within a mixed use development that is well connected via pedestrian linkages to surrounding transport nodes and public spaces.

Supply of Commercial Space

The Government is releasing a commercial site at Paya Lebar Road for sale on the Confirmed List of the 2H2014 GLS Programme. The 3.98 ha site at Paya Lebar Road comprises a commercial site that was on the first half 2014 (1H2014) Reserve List and another plot of land immediately south of Paya Lebar East-West Line MRT Station. The two plots of land will be connected via a subterranean space under Sims Avenue. The sale of the larger land parcel provides greater flexibility for building design, layout and placement of uses. It will also facilitate the development of Paya Lebar Central into a commercial node, which is in line with the Government’s objective of decentralising employment centres and bringing jobs closer to homes.

In addition, the 2H2014 Reserve List will have 2 sites for office developments: a white site at Marina View and a commercial site at Beach Road. These 2 sites will provide opportunities for the market to initiate the development of more office space if there is demand.

Other Government Supply to be Made Available in 2H2014

Apart from the GLS Programme, the Government will also make available other supply of land and properties through its various agencies to meet economic or development objectives. These include localised retail facilities at HDB estates, industrial estates, MRT stations, sport facilities and community centres, as well as the leasing of vacant state properties for commercial uses.

http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/news/2014/jun/pr14-34.aspx

H2 GLS to speed up development in Holland V and Paya Lebar among others.

In today Business Times (11 June), it was reported that even as the government adopted a cautious approach to private housing in the latest land sales programme for H2 2014 to account for the twin factors of oversupply and weaker demand, the new sites rolled out yesterday stirred excitement in the market,

The new sites were rolled out under both confirmed and reserve lists in the residential and commercial property sectors.

In particular, the strategy to accelerate the development of various growth areas as identified in the latest land-use master plan is made clear in the latest slate. For instance, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will launch the tender for a much-awaited commercial and residential development site in Holland Village in December. “The sale of the site will further enhance the existing urban village character of the area,” said the Ministry of National Development (MND). The 2.31-hectare site is estimated to yield about 580 private residences in addition to 13,500 sq m GFA of commercial space. It is being placed on the H2 confirmed list as part of the Holland Village Extension plan unveiled in Master Plan 2014. It will provide new housing options within a mixed-use development that is well connected via pedestrian linkages to surrounding transport nodes and public spaces. An existing car park that will be part of the sale site will be shut by the first half of next year to facilitate development of the sale site. Future development on the site will provide parking lots to meet the demand in the area. In the meantime, an interim car park will be built to replace the public parking lots affected.

In addition, URA has enlarged a commercial site next to Paya Lebar MRT Station and moved it up from the reserve list to the confirmed list, reflecting its commitment to drive the growth of Paya Lebar as a regional commercial hub. Elaborating on the enlarged 3.98-hectare commercial site in Paya Lebar, MND said yesterday that the site comprises a plot that was on the H1 reserve list and another plot immediately south of Paya Lebar East-West Line MRT Station.

The two plots of land will be connected via a subterranean space under Sims Avenue. The sale of the larger land parcel provides greater flexibility for building design, layout and placement of uses. It will also facilitate the development of Paya Lebar Central into a commercial node, which is in line with the government’s objective of decentralising employment centres and bringing jobs closer to homes.

The earlier plot has a drain running diagonally across it, severely constraining any potential design scheme. While the additional plot to its north also has a drain running through it, the drain divides the plot into two more regular-shaped rectangular plots, which would allow a developer to put a tower on each half. Market watchers reckon that besides a minimum office component, the enlarged sale site is likely to have retail and residential elements, and possibly hotel uses too. The enlarged Paya Lebar site can generate about 167,160 square metres (nearly 1.8 million sq ft) gross floor area (GFA), compared with 86,940 sq m for the old plot. This will limit participation at its tender to big players, say market watchers.

With the focus on decentralisation, two sites for office developments in the city – a commercial site on Beach Road and a “white” site in Marina View – will take a “back seat on the reserve list. The 2.14-ha Beach Road plot, a new site that includes the former Central Police Station grounds, can generate 89,880 sq m GFA of commercial space. Meanwihile the Marina View plot, which can produce about 101,400 sq m GFA, has been on the reserve list for more than two years, though MND yesterday announced a new sale condition: banning strata subdivision of office space for the future project on the site. This is in line with the vision for quality office developments within Marina Bay, Singapore’s key financial and business district.

See: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/push-speed-development-new-sites-released-20140611