GuocoLand unveils Tanjong Pagar plans

20130503-bt-guocoland-unveils-tg-pagar-plans-pic It posts net loss of $13.3m for Q3 due to higher project construction costs

[SINGAPORE] Despite what has been described in some quarters as onerous property cooling measures, GuocoLand is upbeat about the prospects for its first integrated mixed-use development, located above the Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

Slated for completion in 2016, Tanjong Pagar Centre is an integrated development comprising Grade A offices, residential apartments, a luxury business hotel, retail space and a sheltered event space in Tanjong Pagar City Park.

With floor space totalling 1.7 million sq ft, the project will feature Guoco Tower, a 38-storey Grade A office block, six levels of retail and food and beverage (F&B) space, as well as a luxury business hotel.

TP180, which will feature fewer than 200 apartments ranging from one- to four-bedroom units and penthouses, will sit above Guoco Tower. This will be the tallest residential block in Singapore, starting at 180m (equivalent to 50 residential storeys up), and reaching up to 290m.

GuocoLand aims to launch its residential component in the second half of the year.

The retail mall, which is about 100,000 sq ft, will focus on F&B outlets and comprise high-end restaurants, trendy bistros, affordable eateries and, potentially, a food court.

It will aim to be a one-stop convenience spot for people who live and work in the area, said Trina Loh, the group managing director, GuocoLand (Singapore).

"What sets this apart is that the project caters to both the central business district (CBD) and the residential community within the area. Most mixed developments are in new areas, but this is in an existing community," she said.

The offices will feature large floor plate and column-free spaces of between 25,000 and 29,000 sq ft.

Ms Loh said: "Tanjong Pagar Centre signals a transformed portfolio for GuocoLand in Singapore. It will expand our focus on commercial properties in Singapore, and reaffirm our position as a developer of large-scale integrated developments here and in the region."

The group is on the lookout for more opportunities, although it will focus its attention on sites within the CBD.

"At this point, we will be focusing on the CBD because, for mixed integrated developments like this, it makes sense to be in the CBD. But we always look for unique features. In this case, we can build the tallest building in Singapore!" said Ms Loh.

Tanjong Pagar Centre is GuocoLand's first large-scale integrated mixed-use project here, but the group already has a portfolio of mixed-use developments in China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a pension fund in Malaysia, holds a 20 per cent stake in Tanjong Pagar Centre.

The project will be designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), which is behind buildings such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai and One World Trade Center in New York City.

Separately, GuocoLand announced that it had clocked a net loss attributable to owners of $13.3 million for the third quarter ended March, reversing a net profit of $162 million from a year ago. This was mainly due to additional construction cost recorded for Goodwood Residence and Sophia Residence. Estimated completion cost for the two projects increased as a result of the change in projects' main contractors. Nevertheless, both projects remain profitable.

Revenue fell 12 per cent to $92.4 million from $104.5 million a year ago.

GuocoLand's counter gained 2 cents, or 0.9 per cent, to end trading at $2.28.

Source: Business Times 3 May 2013