Straits Times 12 March 2014 – Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has awarded the tender for the hotel site at Artillery Avenue to Far East Organization Centre Pte. Ltd., a member of Far East Organization (FEO), to develop what would be the latest addition to Sentosa Island’s cluster of conserved buildings that have been repurposed as hotels.
The land parcel was offered for sale on a 60-year lease term. This new hotel development will bring the total number of room keys on Sentosa to 3,800, including the hotels in the integrated resort. The tendered amount is based on an upfront land premium of S$32million plus a guaranteed annual payment of S$3.7million* or 10% of the total annual gross revenue, whichever is higher.
Spanning an area of about 45,000 sqm (484,400 sqft), the land parcel has a maximum permissible gross floor area of about 36,000 sqm (387,500 sqft), subject to the payment of development charge/differential premium. The site was once a military parade square and includes six blocks of barracks and a coach park. As the parade square and barracks have been gazetted for conservation, FEO will have to adhere to heritage and conservation requirements in its development of the hotel site.
In addition, as part of its ecotourism plan, SDC requires all its developers to create a seamless environment with the site’s existing forested environment, including a mandate to preserve any heritage trees that lie within the property.
FEO’s proposal by ARC Studio was selected from four submissions which SDC received for the tender exercise based on a two-envelope system requiring the quality and pricing components of each proposal to be submitted separately for evaluation. Mr Benjamin Chia, Divisional Director of Property at Sentosa Development Corporation said, “FEO’s proposal by ARC Studio is distinctive and has best merit amongst the tendered schemes, while using the site in the most elegant manner in compliance with our tender requirements.”
Mr Chng Kiong Huat, Executive Director of Property Services, Far East Organization said, “The dynamism of the site at Artillery Avenue, given its historical richness, ambient greenery and rapidly evolving gentrification, presents the perfect backdrop for us to create an exciting hospitality product with a new brand. The development, to be named The Outpost, will integrate two hotels with a total of 700 rooms.
* The guaranteed annual payment will grow at the rate of 3% per annum
“Embodying the transformation of its locale as a conduit linking the past, present and future generations, The Outpost features a new modern hotel development where classic historical elements and architectural form are brought alive to create hip, stylish and efficient spaces. The architecture of what was once the Blakang Mati Artillery barracks and the Parade Square, along with heritage and protected trees in its environs, will be conserved and will breathe new life as a premium vintage hotel wing. To reinforce Sentosa’s position as Singapore’s favourite resort destination, we will also offer a specially tailored hotel for families and corporate MICE groups under a branding that will best fit this unique site.”
FEO has an established track record of developing and managing hospitality assets, as well as repurposing conservation buildings for contemporary use. Since 1990, FEO and its Hong Kong-based sister company Sino Group have successfully restored and revitalised five projects for adaptive reuse – The Fullerton Heritage, Tai O Heritage Hotel (Hong Kong), Far East Square, Village Hotel Albert Court and Townerville.
FEO is also the sponsor for Far East Hospitality Trust (Far East H-Trust), which comprises Singapore’s largest diversified hospitality portfolio by asset value, with 12 properties totalling 2,829 hotel rooms and serviced residence units. FEO intends to offer The Outpost as a major pipeline project for the Far East H-Trust.
This tender award marks the fourth hotel that will retain the charm of Sentosa’s colonial past. The existing hotels in this cluster – Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa and Capella Singapore, together with FEO’s new hotel, will allow Sentosa to be distinguished as a world-class heritage resort destination providing differentiated hospitality experience options to tourists, business travellers and Singaporeans.
The hotel development is also part of SDC’s continuous efforts to rejuvenate and refresh its offerings on the island as well as to position it as a premier leisure destination. Situated on elevated ground, the hotel site overlooks the Palawan Beach and the sea off the southern end of Sentosa, providing for spectacular views. Upon completion in 2018, hotel guests will have the convenience of being a short walk away from the beach, many of Sentosa’s attractions and a myriad of F&B outlets. The island’s various transport choices – the Sentosa Express, beach tram and buses – will also be just minutes away.
About the site’s history
The site was once a coastal defence artillery base known as Blakang Mati Artillery Barracks, housing British and Indian gunners from the British Army. At that time, Sentosa was known as Pulau Blakang Mati, which means the Island of Death from Behind in Malay. In 1972 it was renamed Sentosa, Malay for peace and tranquility.
Construction of the military facilities started in 1896 and was completed in 1904 as they appear today. In 1907, the Royal Artillery headquarter was relocated from Fort Canning to Sentosa to man the many fortifications on the island during the Second World War. After World War II, the Parade Square served as a staging area for military units before they headed off the frontlines of the Malayan Emergency (1948 – 1960) and Konfrontasi (Confrontation) with Indonesia from 1963 – 1965.
In 2005 it was converted to the Tourism Academy by the Temasek Polytechnic, to equip the workforce with skills to support the tourism and hospitality industry. In 2011, the academy was relocated back to mainland.
Sentosa is Asia’s leading leisure destination and Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, located within 15 minutes from the central business and shopping districts. The island resort is managed by Sentosa Development Corporation, which works with various stakeholders in overseeing property investments, attractions development, operation of the various leisure offerings and management of the residential precinct on the island. The Corporation also manages the Southern Islands, and owns Mount Faber Leisure Group which runs Singapore’s only cable car service.
The 500-hectare island resort is home to an exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats, lush rainforests, golden sandy beaches, resort accommodations, world-renowned golf courses, a deep-water yachting marina and luxurious residences – making Sentosa a vibrant island resort for business and leisure. Making Sentosa its home, too, is Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa, which operates South East Asia’s first Universal Studios theme park.
Situated on the eastern end of Sentosa Island is Sentosa Cove, an exclusive residential enclave. By 2014, it will be bustling with some 2,000 homes, romantic quayside restaurants, retail and specialty shops. Offering Singapore’s only truly oceanfront residences, Sentosa Cove is fast becoming the world’s most desirable address.
The Island is also proud to be home to Sentosa Golf Club and its two acclaimed golf courses, The Serapong and The Tanjong. In 2013, Sentosa Golf Club hosted the HSBC Women’s Champions, featuring some of the world’s best female golf professionals. This prestigious ladies event will continue teeing off at the Serapong till 2015.
Welcoming a growing number of local and international guests every year, Sentosa is an integral part of Singapore’s goal to be a global destination to work, live and play. For more information, please visit www.sentosa.com.sg.
About Far East Organization
Far East Organization is the largest private property developer in Singapore, with a growing reputation for building innovative and functional spaces and providing high quality experiences and value for its customers. Since its establishment in 1960 by the late Mr Ng Teng Fong, Far East Organization has been contributing to the transformation of Singapore’s urban landscape with 750 developments in the residential, hospitality, retail, commercial, healthcare and industrial space segments, including 45,500 or one in six private homes in Singapore. It is also the city-state’s largest private residential landlord and largest hotels and serviced residences operator.
Far East Organization includes three listed entities: Far East Orchard Limited, a hospitality and property group, Far East Hospitality Trust which consists of Far East Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust and Far East Hospitality Business Trust, and Yeo Hiap Seng Limited, a 114-year-old industry pioneer of processed food and beverage products in Southeast Asia.
Awarded Best Developer in South East Asia and Singapore at the Inaugural South East Asia Property Awards 2011, Far East Organization is the only developer in the world to be bestowed eight FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards, underscoring its unique achievements in the regional and international real estate arena.