Far East beats 11 rivals in Hillview site tender

Published 29 April 2011
The Business Times
By Kalpana Rashiwala

Offer of $289.8m or $672.61 psf ppr 2.7% higher than closest competitor’s

A STATE tender for a 99-year leasehold site at Hillview Avenue that can yield 400 or more apartments and some retail space attracted a strong turnout of 12 bids yesterday.

Far East beats 11 rivals in Hillview site tenderThe highest bid was from Far East Organization for about $289.78 million or $672.61 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). This was 2.7 per cent higher than the next highest offer of $655.05 psf ppr from a tie-up between Sing Holdings and Fragrance Group. The lowest bid of $408.05 psf ppr was from Hiap Hoe subsidiary Leng Hoe Development.

The 1.4 hectare site can yield a maximum gross floor area of 430,825 sq ft, of which up to 15 per cent or 64,583 sq ft is allowed for commercial uses for the provision of convenient retail amenities for Hillview residents.

Notwithstanding the site’s 15 per cent retail component, market watchers could not help pointing out that the $673 psf ppr price fetched for the latest plot is among the highest for 99-year suburban sites which can be developed into private homes to be sold at state tenders recently.

Colliers International’s director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin estimates the breakeven cost for a new project on the site at about $1,100 psf.

Another analyst suggested that given that agents are indicating prices of well over $1,000 psf for Wing Tai’s Foresque Residences at Petir Road, a new project on the Hillview Avenue site, which is near the upcoming Hillview MRT Station, should be able to command a price premium.

Chng Kiong Huat, executive director, development & planning, Far East Organization, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for us to create another exciting trans-urban village similar to the chic Greenwich Village and The Greenwich at Seletar Hills which was very well received by the market. The development will have a distinctive architecture that capitalises on the beautiful views of the surroundings.’

The commercial component in the proposed Hillview development will offer a variety of food and beverage options, as well as retail and lifestyle services.

‘This will add new energy and vibrancy to the neighbourhood,’ Mr Chng said.

Credo Real Estate executive director Ong Teck Hui too reckons the commercial component is likely to enjoy strong patronage from residents in the vicinity.

‘There’s a lack of such amenities in the immediate area. Currently, the nearest shops and eating places are at The Rail Mall, along Upper Bukit Timah Road, or within the HDB estates in Bukit Batok New Town,’ Mr Ong added.

Far East’s Mr Chng said the group is familiar with the Hillivew location, having developed a number of projects there.

These include Hillview Regency, Glendale Park and Hillvista. Far East also recently launched The Lanai and the nearby Junction 10 and The Tennery.

Bidders at yesterday’s tender include Sim Lian; Centurion RE; a partnership between City Developments and Hong Leong Holdings; a Singapore Land-UOL Group tie-up; Tuan Sing; Frasers Centrepoint; Han Chee Juan’s Teneriffe Development; and CEL Development.

Asset Legend Limited, which is not incorporated in Singapore, also took part in yesterday’s tender.


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