Tag Archives: CBD

Super Penthouse in Singapore for S$100M

Who will be buying the most expensive apartment or “bungalow in the sky” in Singapore? The asking price for a new three-storey Singapore penthouse, complete with a private pool on the 64th floor, has reached more than $100 million. This amount of money can well easily buy one a few good-class bungalows (GCBs) in District 9/10.

The Wallich Residence’s penthouse is in the tallest building in Singapore, the island of well-heeled stability that attracts the super-rich from its less-developed South-east Asian neighbours, as well as multi-millionaires from mainland China.

It will test the endurance of demand for luxury property in the city-state – the part of the market that has taken the biggest hit from measures aimed at cooling down prices in recent years.

Prices for luxury homes in Singapore have fallen 15-20 % from a 2013 peak. However the recent events has cause optimism among market insiders to foresee a turnaround – at least at the top end of the market – and is forecasting a 3-5 % increase in luxury prices this year, citing demand from both locals and foreigners who feel the market is bottoming out.

The volume of transactions in the first four months of the year in Singapore’s core central region was 35% higher than in the same period last year. The Core Central Region includes the popular areas among wealthy foreigners — the Orchard Road shopping area and Sentosa island.

Buying by foreigners has picked up since the start of the year at the developer’s high-end Leedon Residence project, near the 150-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens. GuocoLand is part of Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Group, headed by billionaire Quek Leng Chan.

The recent tightening of property market controls in places like Hong Kong and Australia played a part in attracting foreign demand to Singapore’s luxury property this year. While prices in Hong Kong tripled and Sydney’s doubled over the past decade, Singapore prices rose just 29 %.

City Developments (CDL), one of the largest Singapore developers, also said the average sales price at its high-end Gramercy Park project has risen to more than $2,800 per sq ft in recent months, up 8 % from a year ago, and foreign buyers accounted for three-quarters of the project so far.

One may note though that the Singapore’s residential market has fallen for 15 straight quarters to log its longest losing streak since official records began in 1975. Analysts expect a bottoming of prices in the year 2017.

Singapore introduced property price cooling measures to curb speculation for the past 7 years. Some measures were relaxed slightly this year but the authorities announced that there would be no more rolling back of the remaining measures for now.

More information of the Penthouse can be found at the following link.

Click to access Wallich_PentHse.pdf


J Gateway for rent at $2.98K

For Rent  –  J Gateway (D22)

S$ 2,980 / month  Negotiable   |  S$ 4.01 psf   |  743 sqft (69.03 sqm)   |  Partially Furnished    |  2 Beds   |  2 baths

Beautiful unblocked home in the most happening place in Singapore. High floor with captivating view of the Singapore South East, this is a luxury stay for the well discerned. Partial furnished. Suitable for couples and young families. Call for a viewing appointment. David 94772121



Raffles Place among the latest to be affected from retail slump

One Raffles Place are hit harder by the retail slump than those in Orchard Road because of office workers’ limited shopping hours and minimal tourist traffic.

Travel products store Tumi, watch brand Swatch, jeweller Pandora and shoe brand Melissa have decided not to renew their leases and will shut soon.

The bigger tenants, which take up prime space on the ground floor, are leaving, upsetting smaller tenants, which claimed they were not told of the moves prior to them renewing their leases.

The Body Shop outlet on level three, which is moving out on Thursday next week, has not been making a profit. Other tenants moving out include Evergreen Stationery, Yami Yogurt and Blow + Bar hair salon.

3 years after its opening in 2014, most of these crowd-pullers have shut or will move out by next month, as the retail slump claims yet another casualty. Lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, fashion retailer Uniqlo and cafe Paris Baguette have already closed their stores at the six-storey mall next to Raffles Place MRT station.

Its anchor tenant, Swedish clothing retailer H&M, has not confirmed if it will be moving out when its lease ends, providing some respite for the mall.

Closing up the Circle Line starting in 2018

Advance preparatory works to make the Circle Line a complete loop, by joining HarbourFront station to Marina Bay station, have begun. Tenders for the civil works are expected to be awarded by the year end, and construction will begin in 2018Q1

The 4-km CCL6 line will close the loop for the CCL by connecting HarbourFront Station to Marina Bay Station. When the three CCL6 stations of Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward are completed in 2025, the CCL will have a total of 33 stations, including 12 interchange stations with other MRT lines.

Expanding the rail network to more areas such as the southern edge of the existing CBD, CCL6 will support direct east-west travel. Besides reaching new commuters, the extension will allow those travelling between the south-western and south-eastern ends of the line – such as from Pasir Panjang to Nicoll Highway – to have more direct and quicker access.

The stage is being set to build the three new stations that will complete the Circle Line. Keppel station will serve commuters at Keppel Distripark, while Cantonment station will be near Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and offer access to Spottiswoode Park Estate. The Prince Edward station will be near Palmer Road, where heritage landmarks are.

The extension will also serve part of the Greater Southern Waterfront, a massive mixed-used development that will commence once the Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Brani port terminals are relocated to Tuas after their leases expire in 2027.

Preparatory works include relocating affected facilities at PSA Keppel Terminal for the construction of Keppel station, dismantling the platform canopy structures of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the relocation of Shenton Way Bus Terminal for the construction of Prince Edward station.

Possible conservation for old Singapore Poly home

A 1958 modernist building in Tanjong Pagar that used to house Singapore’s first school of architecture could be safe from the wrecking ball.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) told The Straits Times that the Bestway Building near Shenton Way – the former site of Singapore Polytechnic – is “being studied for conservation”.

Their response comes after design professional Liu Zhenghao, who works in the building, wrote to the ST Forum this week expressing concern that it would be demolished. Mr Liu, 32, said his office was served an eviction notice, and that he had seen workers conducting soil tests nearby.

The URA and SLA said Bestway Properties, the building’s master tenant, was informed last year that its lease will not be extended after it expires on Nov 30 this year.

The building, which will be returned to the State, sits on land zoned as a reserve site under the URA’s Master Plan 2014. That means that the land parcel’s specific use has yet to be determined.

Architects and heritage experts have been calling for the building, designed by colonial architecture firm Swan and Maclaren, to be conserved for some time now.

Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be working in the area from the first quarter of next year to relocate the existing Shenton Way Bus Terminal along Keppel Road to a plot of land near the Bestway Building.

The new bus terminal will be ready in 2017, and have additional facilities such as a canteen and passenger service centre.

An LTA spokesman said a single- storey structure within the Bestway compound will be demolished “to facilitate the relocation”. But the building will not be affected by the relocation of the bus terminal.

Immediate past president of the Singapore Institute of Architects Theodore Chan said the Bestway Building represents a key milestone in Singapore’s education history. “It was Singapore’s first architecture school and also an outstanding piece of architecture. It can easily be adapted and assimilated into new developments in the area.”

The heritage community has also called for the authorities to provide more certainty on the fate of other nearby historic structures.

These include the Keramat Habib Noh shrine and Haji Mohd Salleh Mosque; the Fook Tet Soo Khek Temple – one of the oldest Hakka institutions in Singapore; the remnants of a Parsi burial site from 1828; and part of a former fort on Mount Palmer.

The shipping terminals nearby will be developed into the Greater Southern Waterfront in future.

Singapore Heritage Society’s honorary secretary Yeo Kang Shua believes there should be “transparent consultations on what the plans are for the area”.

He said: “Impact assessments should be conducted to be clear on the heritage significance of the site, to establish the sort of heritage mitigation that will need to be carried out. Nobody seems to know the future of the building and the site.”


Prime commercial buildings in Middle Road and Robinson Road up for sale by tender

Two commercial buildings, one in Middle Road and the other in Robinson Road, have been put up for sale by tender.

Both have retail space, and are near MRT stations.

One of the buildings, a 35-storey office tower at 77 Robinson Road, has a total net lettable area of about 294,000 sq ft, including 6,018 sq ft of retail space on the prime street level and 180 carpark spaces.

A 35-storey office building in Robinson Road (above) and The Prospex in Middle Road, both in prime areas, are expected to attract keen interest.

The property already has tenants, including Adidas Singapore and DVB Bank.

DTZ said in a statement yesterday that potential buyers could increase the property’s value by renovating office lobbies, common areas, and expanding the retail area.

It said: “Given the rejuvenation underway in the Robinson Road-Shenton Way precinct, this is an opportune time to carry out asset enhancement initiatives.”

DTZ noted that OUE Downtown and AXA Tower are undergoing renovations, and the upcoming Tanjong Pagar Centre and Frasers Towers “will inject even more vitality”.

DTZ will accept submissions of expression of interest until Oct 15.

The other commercial building up for sale is the nine-storey The Prospex, which sits “right in the heart of Bugis”, at the intersection of Victoria Street and Middle Road.

The site at 108 Middle Road is near Bugis MRT station, Bugis Junction and the National Library.

The building, which has a retail podium of two floors, has a site area of about 5,300 sq ft, with an approved gross floor area of about 41,800 sq ft.

Strata subdivision, with a combined area of about 30,800 sq ft, has been approved.

Mr Andrew Moore, chief executive of property fund management Pamfleet Group, noted that there has been tenant interest to rent the office space at about $8 per sq ft, while the retail space could command rents of more than $25 per sq ft.

Mr Jeremy Lake, CBRE’s executive director of investment properties, said: “We have observed that all Central Business District (CBD) building transactions over the past year are in excess of $200 million, and it is rare for one to be able to purchase a whole building in the CBD in the region of $80 million.”

He noted that in the light of recent keen interest in whole commercial buildings, “we expect this property to attract interest from both local and foreign buyers”.

The expression of interest for the Middle Road development will close at 3pm on Oct 23.



Office space in CBD area for lease

There is a number of offices available in the building for lease. Sizes from 463 sqft to 926sqft. One of the cheapest for rent in the vicinity. Prices from $3K to $7.6K

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Tong Eng Building is a commercial property located at 101 Cecil Street, in District 01, primarily used for Office use. Tong Eng Building is situated close to MRT stations including Telok Ayer MRT Station and Downtown MRT Station. It is near several bus stops located in the CBD zone.

Amenities near Tong Eng Building

Tong Eng Building is near to Cold Storage China Square, The Arcade and Golden Shoe Car Park for an array of amenities such as grocery and retail shopping, banks and more.

Tong Eng Building is also close to several eateries such as, Lau Pa Sat, 7 Raffles Place and Kopitiam (Clifford Centre).


Office rents to soften as firms change premises


COMPANIES seeking newer premises to lease in the Central Business District will affect rents this year and leave landlords with significant vacant space to fill.

While some in the market expected tighter office supply amid a dearth of fresh space from new buildings, the game of musical chairs downtown means excess capacity is being freed up.

“With the bulk of the supply in the pipeline coming on stream only in 2016 and 2017, we expect office rents to soften unless we see the entry of new firms,” said DTZ research head Lee Nai Jia.

CapitaCommercial Trust’s CapitaGreen in Market Street, with 702,000 sq ft in space, and City Development’s South Beach in Beach Road, with 500,000 sq ft, were completed at the end of last year, but firms are already beating a path to their door.

Facebook, for instance, will vacate about 30,000 sq ft at its 158 Cecil Street office to take up 70,000 sq ft at South Beach.

Some firms are consolidating: Barclays Bank, which is leasing about 60,000 sq ft at One Raffles Quay, is expected to give up at least one floor.

Others are decentralising, with software developer Oracle vacating 70,000 sq ft at Suntec City Tower 4, to up 150,000 sq ft at Galaxis in one-north.

At the BlackRock-owned Asia Square, where Lloyd’s Asia is reportedly vacating 65,000 sq ft in space, typical lease terms vary from three to five years.

“That means we will see a number of tenant reversions and some movement of tenants, including (those) relocating, in 2015,” said Mr Hugh Andrew, managing director of BlackRock Real Estate in Asia-Pacific. He said the firm is negotiating with tenants renewing leases in the second half this year.

Raffles Quay Asset Management deputy chief executive Betty Lim said she was “confident” of office market performance.

Both firms said they continue to receive inquiries about office space.

But in a “flight to quality”, buildings in “less prime” areas are more vulnerable as leases expire. “Buildings housing firms in the technology, media and telecommunications sector are also vulnerable… as they have the option to decentralise if rents are too high,” said DTZ’s Dr Lee.

Average rents in Shenton Way are about $7.90 per sq ft (psf), while those in the newer Raffles Place area are $10.80 psf. Rents were unchanged from the previous quarter in both segments.

Marina Bay, termed the new CBD, commands the highest rents at $13.25 psf, up 3.9 per cent from the previous quarter.


Samsung Hub’s office sold at $3175psf

AT LEAST two sizeable strata office deals have been done lately in the Raffles Place area: Level 19 of Samsung Hub, and half of the 11th floor at Prudential Tower.

The 19th floor of Samsung Hub along Church Street has been sold for nearly S$41.7 million or S$3,175 per square foot (psf) based on the strata area of 13,121 sq ft. The buyer is said to be a foreign party purchasing the space purely as an investment. Market watchers say that might have resulted in the psf price being lower than the S$3,225 psf fetched for the whole of the 18th floor spanning 13,132 sq ft, sold last month.

In that transaction, which amounted to S$42.35 million, the buyer is believed to an Asia-based group involved in the oil and gas business among others, looking to occupy the space; existing leases on the floor run out in phases starting later this year. An owner occupier may be more motivated to pay a higher price than an investor. The lease on the entire 19th floor was recently renewed until 2017. The net yield to the buyer is believed to be sub-3 per cent.

The 18th and 19th floors each comprise six strata units.

The seller of both 18th and 19th floors is Church Street Holdings – a partnership between Buxani Group and a group of offshore investors advised by Mukesh Valabhji of Seychelles-based Capital Management Group.

With the latest sale, Church Street Holdings has sold five of the six floors in the 999-year leasehold building that it acquired from OCBC in 2007 for S$1,560 psf or S$122.4 million. The six floors were Levels 16-21. The company is now left with Level 21, for which it is said to have received unsolicited offers.

Savills is said to have brokered the sale of the 19th floor.

Over at Prudential Tower, which is on a site with about 80 years’ balance lease, half of the 11th floor space, under a single strata unit of 5,952 sq ft, has been sold for S$2,750 psf or S$16.368 million. CBRE brokered the sale, which was made to a Chinese construction group that currently occupies rental premises elsewhere in Singapore and plans to eventually occupy the Prudential Tower space it is purchasing. The space is currently leased to two tenants; the leases are said to expire next year.

The unit is being sold by a consortium that earlier this year bought Keppel Reit’s 92.8 per cent stake in the building for S$512 million or nearly S$2,316 psf on net lettable area.

Comprising KOP Limited, Lian Beng Group, KSH Holdings and Centurion Global, the consortium is said to be preparing to launch an expression of interest exercise for the other half of the 11th floor of Prudential Tower, spanning 5,102 sq ft under a single strata unit. CBRE will be marketing the unit in Singapore, while Savills will do the overseas marketing. The pricing expectation is expected to be in excess of S$2,750 psf.

Also available for sale is a half-floor unit, also 5,102 sq ft, on Prudential Tower’s 16th floor owned by the consortium. Galven Tan, director (investment properties) at CBRE, noted that the strata office market is still seeing keen buying interest from potential owner occupiers.

Market watchers, note, however, that since the total debt servicing ratio framework was introduced in June last year, strata office investors have found it harder to get loan approval compared with those buying the space for their own use.


Property Investors now look increasingly to Office and Retail Segments


LED by rising rents and limited supply in the near-term, investment activities are expected to hold up for office and retail space. The absence of additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) and seller’s stamp duty (SSD) in the commercial space is also making this segment more appealing to investors.

Knight Frank executive director Mary Sai noted that the Singapore retail and office markets are among top picks in Asia for foreign investors, who face heftier ABSD than locals in the residential market.

“Robust economic growth, stable government, low unemployment, strength of Singapore dollars, are some compelling pull factors for foreign investors in our commercial properties,” she said at the National Real Estate Congress yesterday.

“Another reason why people move over to commercial property is because the absolute sum of capital to be paid is affordable,” Ms Sai added, citing the example of Alexandra Central, which had 43 per cent of transactions below S$1 million. The project that was launched in January last year had 98.3 per cent of strata-titled retail space sold out within one day.