Strata office units at GSH Towers slated for sale soon

20150227-bt-strata-office-gsh-towers-for-sale-pic THE GSH Corporation-led consortium that acquired the former Equity Plaza last year is getting ready to launch, in the next few weeks, strata office units in the 28-storey building.

The property, located next to Republic Plaza and renamed GSH Plaza, will undergo a massive refubishment. Talk in the market is that sizes of the office units will range from 440 square feet to 1,600 sq ft. The indicative pricing is S$2,900-3,600 per square foot, depending on the level of the unit as well as its size.

In all, there will be 259 strata office units on Levels 3-28 of the building available for sale. The owners are expected to retain the first two levels, which will have 21 retail units. GSH Plaza is on a site with a balance lease of about 73 years. The owners are not seeking any lease top-up from the authorities.

The building is being vacated - the last tenants are expected to move out next month - and will undergo a massive refurbishment that could span 18-24 months. The building will have a new facade; a "proper" drop-off point will also be created, among other things.

GSH Corporation, controlled by Sam Goi, last year took a 51 per cent stake in the consortium that acquired the former Equity Plaza from Keppel Land and its fund management arm Alpha Investment Partners for S$550 million. The price worked out to S$2,181 psf of net lettable area. Other members of the consortium are Vibrant DB2 (a joint venture between listed Vibrant Group and niche property developer DB2 Properties); and Mr Goi's private investment vehicle TYJ Group.

Knight Frank, JLL and ERA are said to have been appointed to market the strata office units.

The attraction of GSH's strata office units is their relatively bite-size investment sums of below S$3 million for most units - given that the units are small.

Occupiers and investors who need larger office units are likely to head for Prudential Tower across the road, where a consortium headed by KOP Limited that bought 191/2 floors last year from Keppel Reit has begun to sell a few strata office units. Sizes of units are either half-floor (5,102 sq ft or 5,952 sq ft) or full-floor (about 12,000 sq ft). BT understands that the KOP-led consortium is in the midst of getting approvals for subdividing some of these units into smaller strata areas matching current tenancies.

Asking prices are S$2,800-3,000 psf for half-floor and full-floor units. The units that have been sold so far include half of the 11th floor (5,952 sq ft at S$2,750 psf transacted in October last year). In late-December, both half-floor units on the 19th floor were sold to different buyers for S$2,800 psf. Prudential Tower is on a site with a balance lease term of about 80 years.

The ground-floor lobby area in the 30-storey building is expected to be upgraded this year.

CBRE is the sole marketing agent for the the strata office units at Prudential Tower in Singapore. Savills is the overseas marketing agent.

Galven Tan, director, investment properties at CBRE, said: "Interest from owner occupiers continues to be strong at Prudential Tower. However, the main challenge remains the relatively long time being taken by banks to revert on loan approvals to potential buyers."

Crown At Robinson, a brand new freehold strata office project coming up on the former Chow House site at 140 Robinson Road, is expected to go on the market as early as next month. The project will offer a mix of large and small office units. Word on the street is that the guide price is S$3,500-3,800 psf.

Source: Business Times, 27 Feb 2015