Redevelopment / En Bloc

Sim Lim Square up for collective sale with $1.25b reserve price


Sim Lim Square, Singapore's well-known tech shopping mall in Rochor Canal Road, was yesterday put up for collective sale via public tender with a reserve price of $1.25 billion.

Its 423 owners stand to receive between $488,000 and $67.5 million each if the sale is successful, said marketing agent SLP Scotia.

More than 80 per cent of the owners consented to sell on March 11 after the initial asking price of $1.1 billion was raised to $1.3 billion in February.

SLP Scotia said in a statement yesterday that developers can explore converting Sim Lim Square into a mixed-use development with a hotel and office space, because of its "unique and strategic location" in the Ophir-Rochor Corridor, which is touted to be an extension of the downtown area.

The mall was built in 1985 and has 63 years remaining on its 99-year lease. The 78,152 sq ft site houses 492 commercial units on six floors and two basement levels.

Mr Vikas Gupta, chairman of the collective sale committee, believes the site can be better used.

"(It is) currently heavily under-utilised and the strata system does not allow Sim Lim Square to utilise the spare space. It's the ideal time to refresh Sim Lim Square," he said.

The last gross floor area figure approved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is 391,000 sq ft, according to the SLP Scotia statement. The site is also zoned for commercial use with a plot ratio of 4.2, it added.

"Interested developers could explore converting Sim Lim Square to other uses, taking advantage of the latest URA incentive scheme - the Strategic Development Incentive Scheme," said SLP Scotia.

The scheme, announced during the URA's launch of its Draft Master Plan last month, is intended to encourage the redevelopment of older buildings in strategic areas into new, bold and innovative developments that will positively transform the surrounding urban environment.

SLP Scotia added that while the scheme is intended for the amalgamation of different plots of land, it is confident that an exception can be granted for the Sim Lim Square site as it is large enough.

Industry observer Sing Tien Foo, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore's real estate department, said the $1.25 billion reserve price, which translates to $3,197 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr), is on the high side.

The collective sale attempt also comes amid a challenging time in the market, he added.

But he noted the mall's unique location and proximity to the Civic District, as well as places like Tekka and Kallang, which are undergoing transformation.

"The development can be an interesting focal point for the area. There's some potential, but the developer will really have to intensify the land use," he said, adding that one way to do this is to have a mixed-use project to optimise rental.

The collective sale bid comes on the back of the transaction of freehold Golden Wall Centre, also in Rochor. That site was sold for $276.2 million ($2,331 psf ppr) last November.

The Sim Lim Square tender will close at 3pm on June 24.

Source: Straits Times, 30 April 2019

Chinatown Plaza up for collective sale, asking S$270m


Edmund Tie & Company is marketing the property, as well as a redevelopment site in Geylang Lorong 18

CHINATOWN Plaza has been put up for a collective sale with an asking price of S$270 million, said Edmund Tie & Company, the marketing agent for the sale, on Wednesday.

The asking price equates to S$1,989 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) of potential gross floor area (GFA) with no development charge payable.

The tender exercise closes at noon on March 15.

The prime mixed-use redevelopment site at the junction of Craig Road and Neil Road is zoned for commercial and residential use under the 2014 Master Plan of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

It sits on a freehold site with a land area of about 3,154.3 sq m, and is near the Central Business District and the Keong Saik Road area, which is now dotted with food and beverage outlets, co-working spaces and boutique hotels.

Edmund Tie & Company said in a statement: "Subject to the authorities' approval, the site can be redeveloped up to its existing gross floor area of 12,610.89 sq m, exceeding the permissible plot ratio of 3.5 times as indicated in the 2014 Master Plan."

Swee Shou Fern, senior director of investment advisory at Edmund Tie & Company, said: "The developer-investor can pre-sell the residential units to capitalise on the upturn of the private residential market and hold the invaluable freehold commercial space for investment or as their corporate office.

"Given its city-centre location in a popular and vibrant enclave with proximity to MRT stations, the property is also ideal as serviced apartments or a hotel development, subject to planning approval."

Edmund Tie & Company disclosed that it is also the marketing agent for the sale of a 1,696.3 sq m redevelopment site in the Geylang neighbourhood.

The unnamed owner is putting the property up for tender, and has asked for S$36 million.

The site, which occupies the odd numbered lots 1 through 21 along Lorong 18 Geylang and offers a 60 m frontage, is being offered on a 99-year leasehold tenure.

The property is in an area that was rezoned in 2015 from residential/institution to commercial/institution under the URA's 2014 Master Plan.

The asking price reflects a land rate of S$948 psf ppr for commercial use, with a gross plot ratio of 2.8 times, or S$704 psf ppr for institution use.

At a gross plot ratio of 2.8, the site can be redeveloped into an eight-storey development with maximum allowable GFA of 4,749.6 sq m.

However, an estimated development charge of S$12.5 million may be payable to redevelop the site for commercial use at that plot ratio.

No development charge will be levied if the site is retained for institution use.

The property may be developed for restaurants, shops, offices, commercial schools and association premises if approval is obtained from the authorities.

The tender closes at 3pm on March 22.

Source: Business Times, 1 Feb 2018

Government studying possibility of selling larger land parcels in Jurong Lake District


THE government is studying the possibility of putting up larger land parcels in the Jurong Lake District (JLD) for sale within the next few years.

“With that, we can create a critical mass of developments once the High-Speed Rail (HSR) terminus starts its operations,” Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Friday.

The development of the JLD, which will take at least 15 to 20 years, is primed to create 100,000 new jobs and add 20,000 new homes with recreational and leisure options.

It will start with the area around the terminus for the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur HSR that will be operational by 2026, Mr Wong said.

He was speaking at the launch of an exhibition to showcase the draft master plan of the JLD, which is positioned to become Singapore’s second Central Business District.

Most of the mixed-use business area in the district will be zoned “white” to allow developers to curate a mix of uses under certain conditions; the regular grid structure will allow the government to sell land parcels of varying sizes more easily.

Other bold plans for JLD include district-level infrastructure and car-lite initiatives such as consolidated underground car parks, and public transit-only streets.

The target is to achieve more than 80 per cent for public transport mode share within the district, compared to the islandwide average of 66 per cent.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that it is also working with relevant agencies on plans to consolidate goods deliveries coming into the district.

It is mulling the possibility of having a logistics centre located just outside the JLD as part of its aim to reduce freight vehicles traffic in the district by at least 65 per cent during peak hours.

These are among proposals that are put up for public consultation on the district's master plan.

The blueprint for JLD was first unveiled in the 2008 Master Plan when the area was earmarked as a new growth area with two precincts. It will be home to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High-Speed Rail terminus.

The URA had, in February, a team led by KCAP Architects & Planners as consultant to develop the detailed master plan for JLD.

"Landlords can combine or co-locate non-traditional uses such as schools, community facilities, hotels, MICE facilities, attractions, museums and event spaces for companies and universities to meet and showcase their prototypes, to accommodate the needs of tenants and the market," the URA said.

"The ground floors of the developments will have generous public spaces, courtyards, through-block pedestrian links, and possibly retail and F&B offerings to encourage interaction, networking and participation in activities, creating a vibrant and lively environment in JLD."

A significant amount of road space in JLD will be set aside for public transport, and more space for pedestrians, cyclists and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs).

Each development in the district will be near a bus-stop or MRT station with seamless connections; each person will be no more than 400 metres or a five-minute walk from an MRT station or bus-stop.

District-level systems will also be implemented in JLD.

These include common services tunnel, district cooling system, pneumatic waste system and urban logistics management systems. Where possible, these systems will be placed underground to free up above-ground space for people-centric uses.

Some 16 hectares of new parks and open spaces will be added in the district, complementing the existing 90-hectare Jurong Lake Gardens.

To improve JLD's connectivity to surrounding areas, the government is looking at alleviating traffic on existing roads to Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). It will introduce a new road to the AYE to divert traffic away from roads such as Jurong Town Hall Road.

The draft master plan will be exhibited at the URA Centre Atrium from Aug 25 to 31 and at Westgate from Sept 8 to 17 for members of the public to visit and give their feedback.

Source: Business Times, 28 Aug 2017

Afro-Asia Shipping, Shimizu to rebuild Robinson Rd office block

Total construction cost is more than S$320 million; completion scheduled for mid-2020


AFRO-ASIA Shipping (AAS) and Shimizu Corporation Investment and Development Division on Tuesday announced their joint venture (JV) to redevelop Afro-Asia Building, an office block at 63 Robinson Road in Singapore's Central Business District.

The approximately 60-year-old building will be redeveloped into a new Grade-A office building.

AAS will be transferring its lease rights to the JV, Robinson Development, while retaining a controlling interest in the JV company.

The total cost for the entire project is more than S$320 million. Robinson Development will fund the construction costs with loans.

Shimizu will carry out demolition this November and construction is expected to start in April 2018, with completion scheduled for mid-2020.

The redevelopment will bring in the latest eco-friendly designs and technology from Japan, as well as flexible and efficient space "with a modern touch", Shimizu said.

It will also adopt green technologies such as efficient air-conditioning management, cleaning and maintenance services, as well as a rooftop garden. There are also plans to get the development certified under the Green Mark Platinum and LEED Platinum standards.

The current building is seven storeys high with a four-storey annexe. It will be redeveloped into a 19-storey development with a total gross floor area of 16,908 square metres (sqm). It will also have a food and beverage component on the ground floor, with office spaces from levels seven to 18.

Cushman & Wakefield's capital markets team was the adviser for the transaction. June Chua, executive director of leasing, noted that demand for new Grade-A office space in the CBD is picking up momentum and the new development should appeal to mid-sized office occupiers.

"According to our research, there will be approximately 137,000 sqm of Grade-A office space completing in the CBD in the next three years, and all these developments, with the exception of 63 Robinson Road, are designed for larger office occupiers."

Source: 19 Jul 2017, Business Times

28-storey Anson Road building to be redeveloped after some tenants spend $100k on renovations


SINGAPORE - Tenants at a 44-year-old 28-storey office tower in the financial district have been told to pack up and leave by year-end as the owners have plans to redevelop the plum site next year.

Some tenants just recently moved in, spending up to S$100,000 on renovations - and are unhappy to be forced out so soon.

Owners of the building, Hub Synergy Point, at the corner of Enggor Street and Anson Road - opposite M Hotel Singapore - sent out notification letters to the building's 30-odd tenants late last month.

After the building is vacated, construction work will begin "soon after" and the new building will be ready by 2020, according to the letter seen by The Straits Times.

The move came as a surprise to some tenants who moved into the building recently.

For instance, local food and beverage firm Prive Group, moved into a 4,500 sq ft office space there just last month and has already spent nearly S$100,000 on renovations.

"It's not just about renovation costs, but the disruption of our business. It takes a lot of effort to move," says Prive Group chairman Yuan Oeij. "But now that this has happened, we just want to make sure we are treated fairly."

Meanwhile, eatery Jiak Kopi Cafe, which also spent more than S$100,000 on renovations in recent months began operations on the ground floor at the end of February.

Cafe owner Mr Kho Long Huat said he would not have renovated had he known about the redevelopment plans when he signed the lease agreement last December.

"We're just a small business," said Mr Kho, who is also the managing director of a construction company. "It's unfortunate that our investment is now going down the drain."

Prive Group is seeking an arrangement with the building owners that is "fair" for both parties, while the eatery's attempts at seeking compensation has been rejected.

The management office declined multiple requests for comment.

Not all tenants, however, were troubled by the redevelopment notice.

The lease agreement includes a clause that states that the landlord has to provide at least four months' notice to terminate the tenancy in the event of any redevelopment plans.

Recruiting company iKas Group, which has been leasing out an office at the building for six years, said it already had plans to move out.

"We've been here for a while and it would be nice to move to a new place," said manager Adam Davies.

Hub Synergy Point came under single ownership in 2015, after a company majority owned by Mr Ho Kian Cheong of Keng Seng Group bought the top three floors for a total of nearly S$30 million.

The company bought the 26th storey for S$9.97 million, or S$2,400 psf, and the 27th and 28th storeys for S$20 million or S$1,512 psf, according to a Business Times report.

Under a single ownership, the building's owner could redevelop the building to maximise its potential value. It is about 250-m from Tanjong Pagar MRT station.

Analysts say motivations behind the redevelopment could be to maximise the land's plot ratio.

Hub Synergy Point is 28 storeys but the maximum height allowed there is 35 storeys, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Director of real estate agency Chris International, Mr Chris Koh, said another reason could be to rejuvenate the building, which was built in 1973, to attract future tenants.

And with the office rental market expected to be flat this year, it is timely to carry out redevelopment plans now, he added.

Source: Straits Times, 30 June 2017

139 Cecil Street put up for sale with S$210m price tag


139 Cecil Street, which is undergoing a major refurbishment, has been put up for sale with an indicative price of S$210 million on a completed basis.

This works out to around S$2,470 per square foot (psf) based on the net lettable area (NLA) of about 85,000 sq ft post refurbishment.

The property is on a site with a 99-year leasehold tenure from Aug 20, 1981, which means the balance leasehold tenure will be about 62 years when the refurbishment works are completed next year.

The existing 11-storey office building is vacant and the seller has started major works to build additional floors, extending the block to 16 storeys.

After refurbishment, the asset will have offices, ground-floor food and beverage outlets and carpark facilities, in addition to a communal roof terrace with recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi, outdoor dining area and cabana. The property will also have a mechanical carparking system that can accommodate up to 25 cars. The works are slated to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.

139 Cecil Street is owned by Ececil Pte Ltd, which in turn is 60 per cent held by entities owned by the Zhou family of Shanghai which controls the Shanghai Hengda Group.

The remaining 40 per cent is held by a joint venture between Vibrant Group and DB2 Group.

The property is being offered for sale through an expressions of interest exercise to be conducted by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) which will close on May 25.

The property is on a site area of about 7,936 sq ft and is zoned for commercial use with an 11.2+ plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) and a maximum height of 35 storeys, under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014.

C&W's executive director of capital markets Shaun Poh said that 139 Cecil Street's owner has obtained approval from the authorities to strata subdivide the new development into 99 office units and three retail units, so that the "incoming buyer has the option to sell the strata titled units when the market returns".

The Zhou family bought the next-door 137 Cecil Street, a freehold building, for S$210 million or S$3,109 psf on NLA in 2015.

Last year, another nearby freehold office block at 110 Robinson Road changed hands for S$45.1 million or S$3,169 psf on NLA; OCBC sold the property to Indonesian tycoon Tahir.

Another transaction in 2016 was CLSA Capital Partners' purchase of 77 Robinson Road, a 35-storey office tower, at S$530.8 million or S$1,810 psf on NLA of 293,269 sq ft; at the time, the site's balance lease tenure was about 76 years.

The Singapore office market has seen strong interest from investors, foreign and local.

Industry observers say all eyes are now on CapitaLand and CapitaLand Commercial Trust, which are still doing exclusive due diligence for the purchase of Asia Square Tower 2 along Marina View. The pricing is expected to be close to S$2,800 psf on NLA.

Mr Poh said that the office leasing market appears to be stabilising as evidenced by the marginal rental decline in the last quarter of 2016 and healthy take-up of new office projects such as Marina One, 5 Shenton Way and Guoco Tower. "The timing of the expected completion of the refurbishment of 139 Cecil Street would be ideal for investors seeking to ride on the anticipated office market upswing by mid-2018."

Source: Business Times, 25 Apr 2017

Former Cecil House office building up for sale

SINGAPORE - An 11-storey office building on Cecil Street is up for sale at an indicative price of S$210 million.

The property at 139 Cecil Street, formerly named Cecil House, sits on a 99-year leasehold land site of approximately 7,936 square feet.

The office block is currently vacant, and the owner intends to re-develop it into a new 16-storey boutique commercial building with office space, ground-level food and beverage outlets and car park facilities, according to a press release pn Monday (April 24) from its sole marketing agent, Cushman &Wakefield, launching an expression of interest exercise.

The new total leasable floor area is estimated to be 85,000 square foot and will comprise a communal roof terrace with a swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi and outdoor dining.

The re-development is expected to be completed by the second quarter of next year.

It was reported last year that a Chinese buyer had paid for a 60 per cent stake in the company which owns 139 Cecil Street. The remaining stake is owned by a joint venture between Vibrant Group, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange, and DB2 Group.

Mr Shaun Poh, executive director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield said that the sale was " a great opportunity for investors to acquire en bloc a rare and sizable office building along the coveted Cecil Street in the heart of Singapore's central business district."

He added that the timing of the expected completion of the re-development would be "ideal" for investors looking to ride on the anticipated office market upswing by mid-2018.

Analysts say that investors' semtiment towards the office sector seems to have improved, after a period of oversupply and softening rents in the Singapore office market.

CBRE's managing director of advisory and transaction services Moray Armstrong said last month that "it looks likely that after a period of market softening that has spanned over two years, rents may soon find support levels and at a level slightly above previous forecast."

"Going forward with relatively few new office projects scheduled through the next two to three years, the conditions for a return to rental growth are developing. This has not been lost on the investor community and Singapore is attracting strong buying interest," he added.

Source: Straits Times, 24 Apr 2017

IOI mulls plans for two office towers on Central Boulevard

MALAYSIAN property developer IOI Properties is considering the construction of two office towers at its prime Central Boulevard site in Singapore.

The two blocks would sit on a five-storey podium, and house public, retail and childcare amenities, and car and bicycle parking, said IOI in a prospectus to shareholders in relation to its rights issue of up to 1.11 billion new shares.

Details of the proposed development have yet to be finalised, and the two office towers are only a "preliminary consideration".

IOI was, however, less ambiguous about the views to be had from the proposed development.

It said: "The future development on the land will offer excellent views for tenants with the Marina Bay waterfront to the north-east, green open spaces to the south-east, and across the CBD of Singapore to the west."

The prospectus also noted the direct linkages to nearby developments such as One Raffles Quay, Marina Bay Financial Centre and the office clusters in Raffles Place and Shenton Way.

At a recent event in Kuala Lumpur, IOI's executive chairman Lee Shin Cheng said the proposed development would have a built-up area of some 1.5 million sq ft, and an estimated gross development value of at least S$3.5 billion.

Work is projected to start at the end of the year or Q1 2018.

Wealthy Links Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of IOI Properties, had surprised with a S$2.57 billion bid for the site last year; its S$1,689 per sq ft per plot ratio equivalent set a new benchmark.

Not a newcomer to the Singapore market, given its South Beach integrated mixed-use development joint venture with City Development Ltd, IOI Properties maintains that the higher price was justified by Central Boulevard's premium location, which is expected to attract major financial institutions and multinational companies. Moreover, the investment is for the long-term.

Notwithstanding the company's optimism, investors have not warmed to its cash call, which would raise RM1.52 billion (S$483 million) and expand its share base by 25 per cent to 5.53 billion shares.

Investors are also tiring of the numerous cash-raising, earnings-dilutive exercises. Since 2014, the company has undertaken a rights issue and a private placement, which raised RM2.4 billion in total.

The earnings dilution is evident in the significant share price consolidation. At RM1.90, it is about a fifth lower than three years ago, prompting minorities to rethink the wisdom of subscribing to the current one-for-four rights, priced at RM1.38 apiece and closing on Friday.

In its prospectus, IOI Properties said the group had procured and drawn down bank borrowings of S$2.83 billion, primarily for the full settlement of the Central Boulevard tender consideration.

The proceeds from the rights exercise would be used to partly repay the principal of the group's bank borrowings obtained to fund the tender. It plans to repay Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and United Overseas Bank a principal amount of up to RM765.3 million each.

Hong Leong Investment Bank said IOI's gearing will be reduced to 0.61 from 0.70 times.

Source: Business Times, 16 Mar 2017

CDL plans to spruce up flagship office building

Group's net profit for Q4 slips due to absence of gains booked for Q4 FY2015 from monetising 3 office assets

PROPERTY and hotels group City Developments Ltd (CDL) is planning a major refurbishment of its flagship Singapore office property in Raffles Place, turning an imminent outflow of some tenants into an opportunity to spruce up the ageing building.

CDL deputy CEO Sherman Kwek, speaking to reporters after the group posted weaker fourth quarter and full year earnings, said works at Republic Plaza are likely to begin in Q4 2017 and may stretch up to four to five years in a phased revamp. As tenants move out, the space they vacate will be renovated.

The works planned include modernising the lift system, a makoever for the lobby and other common areas as well as raising the building's technical specifications to keep up with the new competition. "Certainly now when the office market is still not in the best shape it is a good time for us to make use of this downturn to enhance our assets," said Mr Kwek.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), the anchor tenant in the building, is likely to vacate the 150,000 square feet it occupies in Q4 this year. In Q3 this year, ING and Itochu, which occupy 70,000 sq ft and about 30,000 sq ft respectively, will leave Republic Plaza.

At City House, an even older office asset of the group, "we are looking at some innovative things", Mr Kwek hinted but declined to elaborate before plans are firmed up. However, a redevelopment is not on the cards as there is no unutilised plot ratio, said CDL's group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong.

At Republic Plaza, more than 60,000 sq ft of the space to be vacated by BTMU has been leased to Distrii, a leading operator of co-working spaces in China that is making its first international foray. Last month, CDL agreed to take a 24 per cent stake in Distrii.

Mr Kwek revealed that mamahome, one of China's fastest growing online apartment rental platforms and in which CDL last year took a 20 per cent stake, has set up a Singapore office and plans to launch a local Singapore website in Q2 this year. mamahome is in discussions with CDL as well as other developers to list completed but unsold residential inventory on its site.

CDL posted 40.6 per cent drop in fourth quarter net earnings to S$243.78 million despite a 36.5 per cent revenue rise to S$1.17 billion. The lower profit was posted on an absence of substantial gains booked for Q4 FY2015 from CDL's second profit participation securities (PPS) platform which involved the monetisation of three of the group's Singapore office properties.

Profit before tax including share of after-tax profit of associates and joint ventures from property development doubled to S$242.60 million in Q4 FY2016 from S$115.86 million in Q4 FY2015. However, profit from rental properties slipped to S$100.81 million from S$349.06 million following the monetisation of the three Singapore office assets in Q4 FY2015. Hotel operations posted a S$9.25 million loss before tax - against a S$9.12 million profit before tax previously. The hotel business was affected by ongoing refurbishments, increased supply of rooms inventory in gateway cities where CDL's hotels subsidiary Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) operates, concerns over terrorist attacks in Europe and increased competition from non-traditional lodging options. Impairment losses were also required for several properties. The weak sterling, the reporting currency for M&C, also had an adverse impact when M&C's results were consolidated at the CDL group level.

For the year ended Dec 31, 2016, CDL's group net earnings fell 15.5 per cent to S$653.22 million, while revenue surged 18.2 per cent to a record S$3.91 billion.

The counter ended 42 Singapore cents higher at S$9.66 on Thursday. CDL released its results before the market opened.

CDL's chief executive Grant Kelley said: "We will continue to pursue our funds management and capital recycling programme which may take the form of another PPS or traditional private equity structures. PPS ... suits what we would call asset realisation and the private equity vehicle is more (for) asset acquisition."

CDL is maintaining its full-year dividend payout at 16 Singapore cents per share. This constitutes 22.7 per cent of the 70.4 Singapore cents earnings per share for FY2016.

When quizzed about prospects for a higher payout ratio, CDL's executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng noted that the group needs a war chest to make opportunistic acquisitions amid current global uncertainties.

"We (Kwek family) are the major controlling shareholder and if I can get better dividends, why not? I am looking after the interests of all shareholders as a whole.

"I am concerned about Brexit; it can become worse before it becomes better. Then we have President Donald Trump, who has been a controversial figure ... He is a good businessman but how soon can he implement all the right strategies? Your guess is as good as mine. Don't forget the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) is another issue." The US Fed is also poised to hike interest rates. "The world is facing disruptors everywhere. The world economy is uncertain. I welcome all these because this is where I want to bottom fish. I have done it before and I hope I can do it again."

Mr Kelley also highlighted that 1.9 per cent dividend yield (16 cents payout for FY2016 divided by CDL's S$8.28 share price at end-2016), combined with the 8.2 per cent rise in the share price last year, resulted in an 10.1 per cent total shareholder return.

CDL booked its maiden profit from the Hong Leong City Center project in Suzhou in the fourth quarter, following the completion of the first phase, and the progressive handover of units to buyers.

In Singapore, the group has sold 56 units in the North Tower of Gramercy Park condo in Grange Road since its soft launch last May and now plans to launch the South Tower by H1 2017. Subject to market conditions, the group intends to roll out its New Futura condo along Leonie Hill Road in H2 2017.

Source; Business Times, 24 Feb 2017



Red Dot Traffic building no longer red; will be restored to original off-white hue as part of $25 million restoration

The fiery red hue of the Red Dot Traffic Building in Tanjong Pagar will be a thing of the past soon.

The Ministry of Law, which is taking over the 1928 conservation building at 28 Maxwell Road, will be restoring it to its original off-white colour in May.

The building, which currently houses the Red Dot Design Museum, and other tenants, had re-opened in 2005 in a striking red hue.

The lease of The Traffic, the building manager, expires on April 30.

Heritage conservation expert Ho Weng Hin of Studio Lapis, who was appointed for the project, said the neutral colour will help showcase the building's "original splendour" such as the ornamental plasterwork of its pediments and floral patterns on its facade.

Award-winning architect Mok Wei Wei, who is leading the restoration effort, said the neutral colour will also blend in seamlessly with Maxwell Chambers, Singapore's international arbitration centre, next door at 32 Maxwell Road.

Mr Mok is behind projects such as the refurbishment of the National Museum of Singapore, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, and the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Details of the $25 million restoration were unveiled on Friday morning to the media.

The ministry took over the structure as part of expansion plans for Maxwell Chambers to meet growing demand and boost Singapore's position as an international dispute centre.

The Red Dot building originally served as barracks for the Police Force and later housed the Singapore Traffic Police Headquarters for more than 70 years until 1999.

The restoration will include restoring the building's timbre louver windows, repairing the cast-iron rainwater downpipes and gutters from Walter MacFarlane and Co of Glasgow Scotland, and reinstating the courtyards to their original open-to-sky design.

A new annexe building and a link bridge connecting 28 and 32 Maxwell Road will be constructed as well.

The restored building will house about 50 new offices for international dispute resolution institutions, arbitration chambers, law firms and ancillary legal services, over four floors.

The ministry said the complex will support the growth of dispute resolution institutions here, which have seen a significant increase in their caseload.

Last year, 212 arbitration cases were heard at Maxwell Chambers, an 18 per cent increase over the 179 cases in 2015.

The restoration project is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Source: Straits Times, 3 Feb 2017