Tag Archives: hotel

Award of historical site to Far East Organization will add to the resort island’s suite of world-class heritage hotels

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.

About Sentosa
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.



New URA policy will affect shophouse demand


A NEW Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) policy to tighten approval of new development applications for hotel, boarding house and backpackers’ hostel uses will likely dampen demand for contiguous shophouses – unless they already have prior approval for such use.

In a circular last week, URA noted that hotels, boarding houses and backpackers’ hostels – which provide accommodation for visitors to Singapore – are generally found in commercial areas. “However, such uses should not dominate and displace other commercial activities in these areas. In addition, they are generally not permitted within or at the fringe of residential estates so as to protect the amenity of nearby residents,” URA said.

The planning authority added that in recent years, it has received more applications for new hotels, boarding houses and backpackers hostels, including change-of-use proposals to such uses on sites that are not zoned for hotel use.

“To address the potential proliferation of such developments”, URA minted the new policy, which took effect on July 7; it will be reviewed in two years.

Within the Central Area, proposals for new hotels, boarding houses and backpackers’ hostels, including any change-of-use proposals to such uses on sites that are not zoned or permitted for hotel use, will generally not be allowed within certain areas inside the Outram, Rochor, Downtown Core and Singapore River Planning areas.

The affected areas include a big chunk of Chinatown and Little India shophouses.

In Chinatown, the affected area is bounded by Upper Cross Street, New Bridge Road, Cantonment Road, Neil Road, Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar Road and South Bridge Road. The stretch includes Mosque, Pagoda and Temple streets, Keong Saik and Kreta Ayer roads, Duxton Hill and Duxton Road.

In Little India, the affected area is bounded by Sungei, Race Course and Kitchener roads extending to Rochor Canal. Other areas hit by the new policy include a stretch near Bugis MRT Station – covering Tan Quee Lan, Liang Seah, Purvis and Seah streets.

Also affected is an area surrounded by North Canal, South Bridge, Upper Circular and New Bridge roads.

For proposals in other parts of the Central Area, URA will evaluate them individually, considering its planning intention for the locality and the potential traffic impact generated by the proposal.

Although there was no mention of “shophouse” in URA’s circular, Mary Sai, executive director at Knight Frank, said: “We interpret these locations straightaway as shophouses because these streets are dominated by shophouses.”

According to Ms Sai, from a planning point of view, URA is not allowing change of use for shophouses in certain areas not only to hotels but also food and beverage outlets, as that would add to traffic congestion and parking woes.

“Morever, in some areas, we’re seeing commercial amenities like retail shops, bakeries, coffee shops, all being replaced by hostels and hotels,” she added.

URA’s new policy is expected to dampen demand for bigger chunks of shophouses. “The entry price for this segment is usually higher and with this ruling, it will reduce the attractiveness of rows of shophouses to be sold together – unless buyers see potential for other uses such as restaurants or corporate offices,” said Ms Sai.

Currently, most people buy a row of adjoining shophouses with the intention of converting them to a hotel or hostel.

On a brighter note, Ms Sai points out that one segment of shophouse owners will benefit from the new policy. “Over the years, shophouses in the affected areas that have been approved for change of use to hotels – whether they are zoned full commercial; or residential with commercial on first storey; or commercial and residential – these are the types of shophouses that will be well sought after by investors and hotel operators keen on boutique hotels.”

URA, in its circular, also stated that Outside the Central Area, it will generally not allow proposals for new hotels, boarding houses and backpackers’ hostels including any change-of-use proposals to such uses, on sites that are not zoned or permitted for hotel use.

As for existing approved hotels and boarding houses on sites that are zoned or permitted for hotel use, any proposed intensification of the gross floor area (GFA) will continue to be subject to evaluation.

Expansion of the existing approved boarding house and backpackers’ hostel uses that are on Temporary Permission (TP) will be considered individually, up to the total GFA of the existing building that it occupies. “URA will only allow further renewal of the TP for these uses if they have not caused any adverse traffic impact and disamenity to the surrounding users,” according to the circular.

Summing up the impact of the new policy, Ms Sai said: “While demand for shophouses may be dampened by the new rules, on the other hand, owners of shophouses already approved for hotel use will find their assets rise in value over time because of difficulty in getting hotels sites.”

Affected areas:


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.