Published 4 March 2011
The Business Times
By Kalpana Rashiwala
Tie-up places $465 psf ppr top bid for Bedok Reservoir plot
A UNIQUE low-rise condo project with a resort ambience and even some strata terrace houses on a plot fronting Bedok Reservoir Park is being planned by a UOL Group-Singapore Land partnership.
The partnership emerged as the top bidder for the state tender yesterday after putting in an offer that was merely 2.6 per cent higher than the next highest bid by a partnership of Frasers Centrepoint, Far East Organization and Sekisui House.
The top bid was $320 million or about $465 per square foot of potential gross floor area for the 99-year-leasehold site.
Frasers Centrepoint and Far East have teamed up to develop four nearby 15-storey condo projects – Waterfront Waves, Key, Gold and Isle.
Yesterday’s tender drew eight bids.
Market watchers could not help but comment on the sharp contrast between the latest tender result and last week’s tender for a plum high-rise condo plot near Bishan MRT Station, when 19 bids were received with top bidder CapitaLand offering a record $869 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). This was a whopping 27 per cent higher than the next highest bid.
‘Bishan is a more popular area and is pretty close to the city. And the location had not seen a new condo site for sale for some years,’ said Savills Singapore executive director (investment & Prestige Homes) Steven Ming.
Analysts also noted that the Bedok Reservoir site has a five-storey maximum height and slopes down from the Park. Hence, some units in the new development will not have reservoir views.
UOL Group president (property) Liam Wee Sin acknowledged this, but said the proposed project could have a feel of being nestled in a park. ‘When we looked at this site, we saw an opportunity to create fresh options for home buyers who would like a development themed on the natural environment.’
Another attraction of the site is it is near the future Bedok Town Park MRT Station under the Downtown Line.
Michael Ng, group general manager of Singapore Land and its immediate parent UIC, said: ‘This is a very unique and beautiful site. It’s rare to have a site almost next to the waterfront without any road in between.’
‘I would liken this site to the Seven Palms of the eastern part of Singapore, although Simon Cheong may not be too thrilled with the reference,’ he chuckled.
Seven Palms is a luxury condo development at Sentosa Cove next to Tanjong Beach by SC Global Developments, controlled by Mr Cheong.
Analysts estimate that the UOL-SingLand tie-up will break even at about $800-850 psf and could be eyeing an average selling price of about $1,000 psf. Said Mr Liam: ‘We hope to launch the project this year but we need to figure out the mix of units, for example, how many strata terrace houses to include.’
Other bidders at yesterday’s tender included Best Desire Investments Limited, which is not incorporated in Singapore and which bid $425.50 psf ppr, GuocoLand unit First Changi Development (about $412 psf ppr), Robert Kuok’s Allgreen Properties ($372 psf ppr) and City Developments’ unit Sunmaster Holdings ($360 psf ppr).
Hiap Hoe subsidiary Leng Hoe Development offered about $313 psf ppr and the lowest bid of about $292 psf ppr was by Mezzo Development.