An overwhelming 24 bids were submitted for the tender of a residential plot in Toh Tuck Road — the second highest number of bids submitted in a residential government land sales (GLS) tender since 2009, when the tender for a parcel in Westwood Avenue attracted 32 bids.
Malaysian property developer SP Setia International put in the highest bid at S$265 million — S$939 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). In second place was Singhaiyi Investments with a bid of S$260.2 million (or S$922 psf ppr); and in third place, Centrex Developments with a bid of S$250.9 million (or S$889 psf ppr).
In November 2012, World Class Developments, a unit of Aspial Corporation, won the tender with the highest price of 23 bids for an Upper Bukit Timah plot. The 60-year leasehold was developed into the “retirement resort”, The Hillford.
The 18,721.4 square metre (sq m) site can yield a maximum gross floor area of 26,210 sq m, or about 325 units — a manageable size for property developers. SP Setia plans to build a five-storey 320-unit development on the plot.
The top bid translates to a break-even price of about S$1,450 psf, and launch price of about S$1,600 psf.
Hunger for sites among developers and an expectation of a turnaround in the market are possibly the key factors that intensified the bidding, besides the attractiveness of the site and the affordable capital outlay. The recent easing of cooling measures and the positive reading of the Q1 2017 flash estimates are possible underlying contributory factors.
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A plum vacant freehold site of 15,097 sq ft in the Cluny Hill Good Class Bungalow Area is being sold for S$21.52 million or S$1,425 per square foot based on the land area.
The property is being sold by Standard Chemical Corporation. The buyer is Aston Holdings, Realstar Premier Group, which brokered the transaction, told BT.
A company search revealed that Aston is 90 per cent owned by Tan Koo Chuan, who also controls developer Yi Kai Group. Based on caveats data, the Cluny Hill property was previously transacted in 2005 at S$6.64 million. The site includes three conservation trees. The transacted price of S$21.52 million is lower than the S$24 million that the seller is understood to have looked for earlier this year.
The S$1,425 psf on land area at which the property is being sold is lower than the S$1,659 psf at which a GCB along Cluny Road facing the Botanic Gardens was transacted at in February 2014. Market watchers suggest one factor for the lower price for the Cluny Hill property is that there is a power station next door.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Mar 18) launched a request for proposals from design professionals to develop a Concept Master Plan and concept proposals for Singapore’s Rail Corridor.
Over the past three-and-a-half years, URA has been engaging different segments of the community to gather feedback on the 24-km long Rail Corridor spanning the north to south of Singapore. These have been distilled into a set of planning and design goals.
URA said in a news release that the proposals should have “nature and greenery, celebration of heritage, and connectivity as hallmarks of the Rail Corridor experience”. The proposals should also be sensitive to local context, the authority said.
“Retaining and enriching the signature ‘green corridor’ experience is also one of the key requirements,” URA added.
Mr Ng Lang, CEO of the URA, said:”Our intention is to continue to sensitively stage the development of this project with the community, and not rush into developing the whole stretch at one go.”
Participating teams have to propose designs for four key activity nodes and two special interest areas along the Rail Corridor:
- Buona Vista near one-north: This should become a vibrant community space for the nearby business park and research community, as well as residents of Queenstown neighbourhood, said URA.
- Bukit Timah Railway Station area: The green heart of the Rail Corridor should be complementary to its idyllic natural setting anchored by the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station. This is where occasional community events can be held, URA said. At most other times, it can be a place of retreat and where one can enjoy the serene, green landscape.
- Former Bukit Timah Fire Station: The former Bukit Timah Fire Station and quarters will become a new gateway into the Rail Corridor, URA said. Buildings within the fire station site should be retained and a new pedestrian link should be provided for visitors to explore parks fringing the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve such as Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There could also be linkage to nearby heritage sites such as the Old Ford Factory and site of the Battle of Bukit Timah, which are steeped in World War II history, URA said.
- Kranji (opposite Kranji MRT station): This is envisioned this to become the northern gateway into the Rail Corridor, and could be a place for community events. Its design should complement and be sensitive to key landmarks in the area such as the Singapore Turf Club, Kranji War Memorial, and Mandai Mangroves, URA stated.
- Adaptive reuse of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station: This national monument should become the most prominent and important gateway into the Rail Corridor, said URA. Participating teams should consider how the railway station can be put to adaptive reuse as a community building for the next 20 years, pending the development of the Greater Southern Waterfront.
- Urban-green-blue tapestry at Choa Chu Kang: The stretch of the Rail Corridor at Choa Chu Kang that is adjacent to the Sungei Pang Sua Canal provides an opportunity to weave a unique urban-green-blue tapestry in the precinct, said URA. Currently, that stretch has low plant biodiversity. Participating teams will need to come up with innovative design concepts to enhance and integrate that segment of the Rail Corridor with Sungei Pang Sua to create an ecologically richer and more vibrant natural environment, and merge it seamlessly with future housing design in the area.
URA said there will be a 2-stage tender selection process and successful teams of consultants will be announced in October. More information can be found at URA’s website.