GSH Corp said to have bought the top floor of GSH Plaza for S$31m

20161102-bt-gsh-corp-bought-top-floor-gsh-plaza-pic.jpg

Price works out to an average of S$3,192 psf on a strata area of 9,709 sq ft

SAM Goi's GSH Corporation is understood to have bought up all the nine strata office units on the top floor of the 28-storey GSH Plaza, which is situated next to Republic Plaza in Raffles Place.

The company is paying nearly S$31 million, which works out to an average price of S$3,192 per square foot (psf) on a strata area of 9,709 square feet.

This is slightly higher than the S$3,055 psf fetched for the 10 strata units that make up the building's 26th level in June 2015.

That deal amounted to S$31.63 million and involved a total strata area of 10,355 square feet.

In December last year, a chunk of the third level was transacted at S$44.64 million or S$2,850 psf on a 15,661-sq-ft strata area, according to URA Realis.

Mr Goi, who is GSH's executive chairman, had said last year that the group planned to move its corporate headquarters to GSH Plaza, at 20 Cecil Street - from Changi North Way.

Formerly known as Equity Plaza, The Exchange and The Quadrant, the property is on a site with a balance lease term of about 72 years.

GSH holds a 51 per cent stake in the consortium that acquired the then Equity Plaza for S$550 million in 2014. The other members of the consortium are Mr Goi's private investment vehicle TYJ Group, which holds a 14 per cent stake, and Vibrant DB2 (a joint venture between listed Vibrant Group and niche property developer DB2 Properties), which holds the remaining 35 per cent.

The price they paid for Equity Plaza at the time worked out to S$2,181 psf on net lettable area. It was about 97 per cent tenanted.

The consortium then renamed the building GSH Plaza, chased out the tenants and embarked on a major refurbishment with a view to doing strata sales.

However, the going proved to be tougher than the owners had expected; strata commercial property sales in general have fizzled following the introduction of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework in June 2013, say market watchers.

The refurbishment has been estimated to cost S$118 million or S$400 psf based on the 295,000-sq-ft gross saleable area.

The spruce-up is almost complete and the Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is expected by year-end.

BT understands the consortium's focus is to lease the space that they have yet to sell, rather than to make an aggressive sales push.

GSH Plaza has a total of 259 strata office units on Levels 3 to 28. The owners are expected to retain the first two levels, which have 21 retail units.

The consortium bought the former Equity Plaza from DL Properties, 64.63 per cent owned by Keppel Land and 35.37 per cent by Alpha Core-Plus Real Estate Fund, managed by Alpha Investment Partners.

The Business Times reported at the time that the property had untapped gross floor area of about 14,962 square feet, which could be developed without incurring any differential premium payable to the state.

Source: Business Times, 2 Nov 2016