2 Temple St shophouses being sold for S$18.5m

A PAIR of freehold shophouses along Temple Street in the Chinatown area are changing hands for S$18.5 million. The price works out to around S$2,125 per square foot based on the estimated floor area of 8,700 sq ft.

Standing on 2,658 sq ft of land, the shophouses span three storeys and an attic. They are currently leased to Lau Choy Seng, which sells kitchen equipment and cooking ware on the ground floor, and office tenants on the upper levels. However, by the time the sale is completed in August, all but one of the tenancies would have expired.

The two shophouses are being bought by a partnership between Singapore-incorporated Clifton Partners and a Hong Kong institutional investor.

Clifton Partners is a property investment management firm owned by Zain Fancy, a former head of Morgan Stanley's Asia real estate investment unit.

The shophouses are being sold by Lin Deng Li, who is a shareholder of Golden Travel Services.

The buyer is expected to pump in about S$2 million to renovate the property once all the tenants have vacated it.

The deal was brokered by Penny Lim of ERA Realty Network.

While Clifton and its partner are buying the Temple Street shophouses, Clifton is also divesting some of its earlier investments. Last week, CBRE launched the sale of four shophouses that Clifton owns - two along Pagoda Street in Chinatown and one each in North Bridge Road in the Kampong Glam area and Lorong Mambong in Holland Village.

The properties are being marketed by CBRE through tender. Its director of capital markets, Sammi Lim, observed that sales activity in the shophouse market was resuming after the year-end and Chinese New Year festivities. Among the recent deals that she has handled is the S$8 million sale of three adjoining two-storey freehold shophouses along Beach Road.

The three shophouses have a site area of 2,713 sq ft and estimated floor area of 4,555 sq ft.

She also brokered the sale of three adjoining 999-year leasehold shophouses along Amoy Street, within the Chinatown (Telok Ayer) Conservation Area through a sale of shares in the company that holds the property. The deal, which was completed in January, is understood to value the shophouse trio at close to S$60 million. Standing on a total site area of 8,182 sq ft, the shophouses have 23,814 sq ft gross floor area spanning three storeys and an attic.