Tag Archives: Tanjong Pagar

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.


Good Take-up at Guoco Tower space

TECH and media companies are making their presence felt at Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, accounting for 37 per cent of the space that has already been committed.

The premium Grade A office component of Tanjong Pagar Centre, a mixed-development project being built by the listed GuocoLand group, has 890,000 sq ft net lettable area of which 80 per cent or some 712,000 sq ft is either taken up or subject of advanced leasing discussions. Of this space, approximately 263,000 sq ft has been committed by tech and media companies, including Amadeus and OpenLink.

Earlier media reports also tipped Agoda, Dentsu Aegis Network, Palo Alto Networks, ING, Itochu Singapore, and SAS Singapore as heading for Guoco Tower. Dentsu Aegis is expected to be the biggest tenant with about 100,000 sq ft.

GuocoLand has also named as new tenants The Straits Trading Company, which will be moving out of 9 Battery Road; Danone, which is exiting Goldbell Towers along Scotts Road; shoemaker Asics, which will be leaving PWC Building; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is exiting three locations.

The offices, which received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last month, are on the lower 38 levels of the 64-storey tower, which is Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres. Levels 39 and upwards of this tower comprise the 181-unit Wallich Residence. A second tower houses the 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Both of these components are expected to receive TOP between late this year and early 2017. The project also has a retail component, part of which has already received TOP.

Guoco Tower is counting on its prime location, flexible, efficient and scalable design, Tanjong Pagar Centre’s tightly integrated retail and lifestyle components, and of course, the prestige factor of being in Singapore’s tallest building as its selling points.

Most of the MNCs in Guoco Tower will be using it as their regional headquarters with average headcounts of 300 to 500 persons, coupled with relocations of many of their senior management staff from their other headquarters or regional offices to Singapore.

This would create a lot of demand for F&B, services, hotels and even housing in the area and catalyse Tanjong Pagar’s transformation. The gross effective monthly rents at Guoco Tower are estimated to be between S$8.50 and S$11.00 per square foot – comfortably above the average of S$7 to S$8 psf in the Tanjong Pagar office micromarket, and comparable to other premium Grade A developments in Marina Bay.


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.”


URA calls for proposals for Rail Corridor

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.


Hub Synergy Point now under Single ownership

Over the weekend, it was reported that the Ho family of Keck Seng group had gained full ownership of the 28-storey freehold office building at Anson Road after it bought the top three florrs for almost $30M in all. The building previously known as Apex Tower, Tunas building and completed in 1973 is situated at Enggor Street/Anson Road and opposite M Hotel Singapore. In a separate deal, the 13th floor of 6 Raffles Quay (known as John Hancock Tower formerly) was sold for $23,8M ($2350psf) on 10,129 sqft. The buyer is a vehicle of Royal Group boss Asok Kumar.

Anson Road building

Central Area Masterplan

A video that summarises the development plans for the Central Area of Singapore!

GB Building floors for sale


ABOUT 16,000 square feet of office space spanning three contiguous floors in GB Building in the Central Business District (CBD) have been put on the market for between S$32.1 million and S$33.7 million, or between $2,000 and $2,100 per square foot.

Each floor of the space, occupying the 20th to 22nd storeys of the Cecil Street building, ranges from 5,210 sq ft to 5,425 sq ft in size, is rectangular and column-free.

DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) is marketing the property, which is being sold with vacant possession.

GB Building comprises a 23-storey office tower atop three storeys of commercial space and has 67 years left on its lease.

It has three levels of basement carpark lots and is within walking distance of Tanjong Pagar MRT station on the East-West Line and the upcoming Shenton Way MRT station on the Thomson Line.

DTZ investment advisory services director Tan Chun Ming said that the property was a “rare opportunity” for owner-occupiers.

Given that the space is strata-titled, he expects keen interest from a range of investors looking to capitalise on the rising rental rates in the CBD.

A DTZ report has noted that average gross monthly rents in Marina Bay rose 6.5 per cent to S$12.25 psf in the second quarter from the first.

But average gross monthly rents for Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Cecil Street – older areas of the CBD – had stagnated at S$8 per sq ft.

Average office prices in those three areas inched up 0.2 per cent in Q2 from the previous quarter, supported by continued interest in strata-titled office units and en bloc office deals, as further rental increases are expected, said the report.

Based on caveats information from URA Realis, the top three strata floors of SBF Centre on Robinson Road, were transacted at an average price of S$3,069 psf in April. Last November, one strata floor at Eon Shenton on Shenton Way went at S$2,550 psf.

The expression of interest exercise for the GB Building space closes on Aug 21. Interested parties may submit bids for single or multiple floors.