Commercial Buildings

Singapore Shopping Centre up for sale en bloc with $255m reserve price

The Singapore Shopping Centre is located opposite Dhoby Ghaut MRT, and the area is "poised for a major rejuvenation with the redevelopment of Park Mall just across the street", said marketing agent SRI.

SINGAPORE - Singapore Shopping Centre has put itself on the collective sale market with a reserve price of $255 million.

The seven-storey retail and office development, located at 190 Clemenceau Avenue opposite Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, spans a land area of 2,449.8 sq m. It is zoned for commercial use under Draft Master Plan 2019 with a plot ratio of 4.2+.

The development also has a "prominent triple-road frontage onto Clemenceau Avenue, Penang Road and Penang Lane", said marketing agent SRI.

Mr Andy Gan, head of investment sales at SRI, said the area is "poised for a major rejuvenation with the redevelopment of Park Mall just across the street".

Mr Tony Koe, the realty firm's managing director, highlighted proposed plans by the authorities to pedestrianise part of Orchard Road and connect green spaces at the Istana Park, Dhoby Ghaut Green and the open space at Plaza Singapura.

The tender closes on Sept 9.

Source: Business Times, 17 July 2019

Entire office floor in Springleaf Tower up for sale with $29.5m guide price

Springleaf Tower, at the junction of Anson Road, is a 37-storey office building in Singapore's central business district. The sale offering, which will be sold on a vacant possession basis, comes with exclusive use of the lift lobby, restrooms and pantry.

The entire 30th floor located in Grade A office building Springleaf Tower is up for sale via an expression of interest, with a guide price of $29.5 million.

This works out to about $2,746 per square foot (sq ft) based on the strata area of 10,742 sq ft, exclusive marketing agent CBRE said on Wednesday (June 26). There will be no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty.

Springleaf Tower, at the junction of Anson Road, is a 37-storey office building in Singapore's central business district (CBD). The sale offering, which will be sold on a vacant possession basis, comes with exclusive use of the lift lobby, restrooms and pantry.

CBRE managing director for capital markets Jeremy Lake said the offering provides a good opportunity for an occupier or an investor to purchase a high-quality strata office.

"Office floors within Springleaf Tower are tightly held by a very small number of owners and the opportunity to acquire one full floor located on a high floor offering unblocked sea views is rare and hard to come by," Mr Lake said.

The last transaction in Springleaf Tower for its 22nd floor was sold for $2,602 psf in June 2018, setting a new benchmark within the building.

The offering will also appeal to investors looking to capitalise on the rising rents and capital values. Strong interest is also expected from end-users seeking investment in a high-quality premises for their own operations, he added.

The expression of interest exercise closes on Aug 1 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times, 26 Jun 2019

Two freehold commercial shophouses in Neil Road and Jalan Besar up for sale


Two freehold commercial shophouses located separately at 148 Neil Road and 114 Jalan Besar have been put up for sale via an expression of interest exercise, exclusive marketing agent CBRE said on Wednesday (June 12).

The two-storey Neil Road shophouse has a guide price of $15.5 million. It includes a basement and attic level, and sits on a freehold site of about 1,587 sq ft, with a total built-up area of about 4,197 sq ft.

The two-storey Jalan Besar shophouse has a guide price of $5.65 million and occupies a land area of about 1,173 sq ft, with a built-up area of around 1,901 sq ft.

The shophouse has permanent food and beverage (F&B) approval for its ground floor and recently underwent asset refurbishment works. Refurbishment works include the installation of a new M&E (mechanical and electrical) and air-conditioning system, as well as refreshed building interiors.

Interested buyers may purchase the freehold properties together or separately. Both properties are zoned "commercial" under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's 2019 Draft Master Plan, with no additional buyer's stamp duty or seller's stamp duty imposed on local or foreign buyers.

CBRE associate director of capital markets Yap Hui Yee said the two conservation shophouses will appeal to end-user occupiers seeking the property as their business premises as they are able to take over the space immediately. Both shophouses also enjoy prominent road frontages.

Ms Yap added that interest is also expected from both local and foreign investors actively looking for commercial shophouses with unique architecture exuding heritage charm for capital appreciation in the medium to long term.

The expression of interest exercise closes on July 18 at 3pm.

Source: Straits Times, 12 Jun 2019

CapitaLand, CDL complete S$400m Liang Court mall purchase


CAPITALAND and City Developments Ltd (CDL) completed their S$400 million acquisition of Liang Court mall on Friday.

The two property groups confirmed the completion of the purchase by their equal joint venture, in a statement to BT.

"The new owners' immediate focus is the daily operations of the mall.

"As part of their active asset management strategy, the joint-venture partners will continually explore ways to enhance the value of the asset," they added.

This confirms an earlier BT story in March that a put-and-call option agreement had been entered into between the mall's owner at the time, an entity linked to PGIM Real Estate, and CapitaLand and CDL.

Market watchers said that with the completion of the transaction, control of the overall Liang Court mixed-development complex has been reduced from three parties previously to two, and that this should facilitate its redevelopment.

Besides the mall, the other two components of the Liang Court complex are: Somerset Liang Court Singapore serviced residence, which is owned by CapitaLand's listed unit Ascott Residence Trust; and the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay hotel, owned by CDL's indirect subsidiary CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT).

Completed more than three decades ago, the Liang Court complex is located beside the Clarke Quay riverside area and is next to the Fort Canning Station on the Downtown Line.

It is also a short distance from the Clarke Quay Station on the North-East Line.

The site has a leasehold tenure of about 97 years from April 1980, leaving 58 years on its lease.

Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Draft Master Plan 2019, the site is zoned for commercial and residential use.

The Liang Court complex was developed in the early 1980s by tycoon Goh Cheng Liang's Wuthelam Group.

In the deal just completed, the mall has been sold by the PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund, an open-end private investment vehicle managed by PGIM Real Estate, the property investment business of PGIM, Inc, which in turn is the global investment management business of US-based Prudential Financial, Inc.

Source: Business Times, 1 Jun 2019

Gaw Capital, Allianz in talks to buy Duo office, retail space for over S$1.5b


A GAW Capital Partners-led consortium that is expected to include Allianz Real Estate is negotiating to buy the office and retail space at the Duo project in the Bugis area.

The Business Times understands that a deal has yet to be inked. The pricing being discussed is expected to be shy of S$2,600 per square foot for the total net lettable area (NLA) of about 615,000 sq ft for the office and retail space.

Assuming the pricing comes in at, say, S$2,570 psf, the absolute price would work out to S$1.58 billion.

The mixed development also includes the 342-room Andaz Singapore hotel, for which separate negotiations are still ongoing for a sale to RB Capital, BT understands.

The Duo project was developed by M+S Pte Ltd, a 60:40 joint venture between Malaysia's Khazanah Nasional and Singapore's Temasek Holdings.

It sits on a site with 99-year leasehold tenure that starts from July 1, 2011, leaving about 91 years on the lease.

The project's office component, known as Duo Tower, occupies levels 4 to 23 of the 39-storey tower in the mixed development. The office NLA is about 560,000 sq ft; tenants include Abbott Laboratories, Chevron and Mastercard.

Andaz Singapore occupies the upper levels of the same tower.

The Duo project's other tower, which is 49 storeys high, is where the 660-unit Duo Residences, is located. Three of these residential units were unsold as at March 31, 2019, based on data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

The development's retail component, Duo Galleria, comprises about 55,000 sq ft NLA on Level 1 and in Basement 3.

Designed by renowned architect Ole Scheeren, the Duo project received its Temporary Occupation Permit in stages between end-2016 and end-2017.

An expression of interest exercise to seek buyers for the Duo office and retail space as well as Andaz Singapore began around October last year.

M+S declined to comment when approached by BT, as did Gaw Capital as well as Allianz Real Estate.

Last November, the property investment arm of insurance giant Allianz acquired a 20 per cent stake in Ocean Financial Centre, a Grade A office tower in Singapore's Central Business District, for S$537.3 million.

Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners, a private equity firm set up by brothers Goodwin and Kenneth Gaw, owns two properties near the Duo project: Hotel G in the Bencoolen Street and Middle Road locale and PoMo in Selegie Road.

In January this year, Gaw Capital completed its acquisition of Robinson 77 for S$710 million.

If Gaw Capital and Allianz Real Estate forge a tie-up to acquire the office and retail space at Duo, this would mark their latest partnership.

In 2017, Allianz Real Estate participated in Gaw Capital's acquisition of PoMo.

Last year, Allianz joined Gaw Capital to buy two out of the four office blocks in the Sky SOHO development in Shanghai's Hongqiao District.

In the same year, Allianz announced that it had acquired a 50 per cent interest in a portfolio of core modern logistics assets across China. The assets were developed by Vailog China and are owned by a Gaw Capital-managed fund. Vailog China and Gaw Capital Partners continue to hold the remaining 50 per cent interest as well as manage the assets.

Based on data from Savills Singapore, office transactions (of S$10 million and above) in the private sector so far this year have totalled S$1.9 billion. The figure for the whole of last year was S$5.2 billion.

Foreign investors continue to be drawn to the Singapore office market, notes Alan Cheong, executive director of research and consultancy at Savills Singapore. "Most overseas institutional investors are keen on buying Singapore office assets, but there is a dearth of investible-grade stock that is available for sale. The challenge is that yields have been compressed due to owners' rising price expectations; it is difficult to write an investment paper seeking approval from a property fund's investment committee to make an office acquisition in Singapore based mainly on prospects of capital appreciation without corresponding rental increase."

Source: Business Times, 31 May 2019

New co-working space to encourage groups to collaborate and create social impact

Organisations that want to create a social impact have a new space in the city where like-minded partners can collaborate.

The Temasek Shophouse is a 25,000 sq ft co-working hub set up by investment company Temasek as a gift for its philanthropic arm, Temasek Trust.

The centre in a historical building in Orchard Road and near Plaza Singapura opens officially on Monday (June 3).

It will be able to accommodate 120 people who can brainstorm ideas, hold project meetings and network with other collaborators.

Temasek Shophouse director Yvonne Tay said during a media tour of the building on Friday (May 31) that the centre aims to become a cradle for social impact.

"We hope that this space could become a convener where like-minded partners come together to collaborate on working out solutions for a better earth and a better tomorrow," she added.

The 91-year-old gazetted building comprises five shophouses that previously housed a department store. They have been refurbished to create lounge spaces, offices and meeting rooms.


The redesigned interior is also the new office for Temasek Trust, Temasek Foundation and the Stewardship Asia Centre.

The social entrepreneurial companies - Miniwiz, a Taiwanese upcycling firm, Foreword Coffee, an inclusive cafe that hires the differently-abled, and socially conscious private equity fund ABC World Asia - are also in the building.

Ms Tay added that the rent will be subsidised for social enterprises and non-profit organisations who are selected to move it.

Visitors can expect exhibitions, seminars, workshops and film screenings in the common space once the Shophouse opens on Monday.

The first exhibition, which aims to raise awareness about world's growing waste problem, will run from June 7 and is free.

A petting zoo will be set up this weekend at the open area in front of Plaza Singapura to mark the opening. Visitors can expect to see animals from Mandai Zoo at 11am, 3pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

"It is very significant for us to bring in like-minded co-working partners as well so that we can encourage cross-pollination of ideas and enable better collaboration forward in the future," said Ms Tay.

Source: Straits Times, 31 May 2019

Shenton Way, Tanjong Pagar among top locations for tech, media and telco tenants in Asia: Colliers


Singapore has been ranked among Asia's top commercial real estate locations with attractive submarkets for technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) occupiers, according to a research report by property services firm Colliers International.

In particular, the Shenton Way/Tanjong Pagar district was rated top in Singapore for TMT firms and flexible workspace operators due to its "excellent accessibility", Colliers said on Monday (May 27),  with TMT occupancy at 21 per cent of total space and current vacancy at 3.1 per cent.

Rejuvenation is supporting the district, with two new Grade A buildings since 2016 and a couple more to be completed in 2020-2021, said the firm. Accessibility is excellent, with MRT stations at Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer, plus many bus routes, Colliers added.

 "City Hall and the Raffles Place/New Downtown area are also good locations with ample supply of quality office stock," it noted.

 The extension into Marina Bay or New Downtown has added more premium buildings and solidified the city’s financial hub status. But with technology occupancy about 12 per cent of the total, Raffles Place New Downtown cannot be called a tech cluster at present, said Colliers. On the other hand, the office stock consists of many premium Grade A buildings, with vacancy at 3.4 per cent, it added.

Colliers' research uses four metrics - existence of a tech cluster, availability of office stock, accessibility and cost of rent - to identify the top city submarkets for TMT occupiers.

TMT companies have become a key driver of demand for office space, said Andrew Haskins, executive director of research for Asia at Colliers.

These submarkets are typically in the central business district (CBD) or CBD fringe locations for large TMT enterprises, while smaller tenants often prefer business parks, Mr Haskins said.

Other top tech locations in Asia include Hong Kong, Bangalore, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo, according to the report.

In India's Bangalore, Colliers recommended the Outer Ring Road, Whitefield and North Bengaluru for TMT enterprises, while Hong Kong's Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay and Cyberport are said to attract top talent with optimal locations and premium office facilities.

Source: Straits Times, 27 May 2019

Take-up rate for Funan's twin office blocks hits 98%


The twin office blocks of CapitaLand's revamped Funan integrated development has garnered 98 per cent pre-leasing commitment of its total office net lettable area (NLA) of 214,000 square feet (sq ft).

The CapitaLand Mall Trust-owned (CMT) Funan secured the pre-leasing commitment of about 210,000 sq ft of its NLA when it got its Temporary Occupation Permit in April.

Funan's office tenants, which comprise public agencies, multinational corporations and startups, are slated to move into the two six-storey blocks progressively from the second-quarter of 2019.

The south office block, which has a total NLA of 95,600 sq ft, has been fully leased to three public agencies: the Attorney-General's Chambers, Singapore Department of Statistics and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office.

The north block's office tenants include German sporting goods company Adidas' South-east Asia office and co-working space WeWork.

"The revamped Funan caters to the new generation of professionals who prefer to work in a collaborative and inspiring environment, at a convenient location where they can unwind at the end of the day with a whole host of lifestyle amenities under one roof," said Tony Tan, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management.

"With a high commitment of 98 per cent, Funan's diversified and quality office tenant base will progressively contribute earnings to CMT from 3Q 2019."

CapitaLand shares closed up 0.85 per cent, or $0.03 at $3.57 on Tuesday, while CapitaLand Mall Trust units also closed up 0.82 per cent, or $0.02 at $2.45.

Source: Straits Times, 8 May 2019

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

Hmlet to open its largest co-living space in Singapore at former CPIB headquarters


Singapore-based co-living start-up, Hmlet, has signed a new property in the Tanjong Pagar, Cantonment Downtown CBD precinct.

The building was the former location of Keppel Primary School, before it was used as Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) headquarters from 1998 to 2004.

Hmlet will operate more than 150 rooms as serviced apartment units at the property, which will be its largest co-living building to date.

The co-living space is set to open in July, and will see Hmlet increase its number of members to more than 2,400 across the Asia-Pacific by the end of the year, Hmlet said.

Located at 150 Cantonment Road, the property has a site area of about 76,000 sq ft, with a gross floor area of about 47,000 sq ft. It is housed across three levels in two blocks, and is situated near Tanjong Pagar station and the Outram Park interchange.

The property was part of a Singapore Land Authority public tender for the rental of state property. The tender was awarded to LHN Facilities Management, an indirect subsidiary of Catalist-listed real estate management services group, LHN.

LHN is partnering Hmlet to customise the design and renovation of the property. "With Hmlet leading the design input, LHN will build additional facilities such as a swimming pool, a gym and an all-day in-house cafe," Hmlet said in a press statement on Tuesday.

"The tender for this property was aligned with the Urban Redevelopment Authority's plans to build new homes in the CBD, and rejuvenate predominantly office developments into mixed-use buildings, with an aim to bring greater footfall and activities after work hours into the Anson Road, Robinson Road and Tanjong Pagar areas."

Added Hmlet's CEO and founder Yoan Kamalski: "We are seeing a growing demand for more co-living options in Singapore, and look forward to offering the great services that Hmlet has become known for to even more members."

In November last year, Hmlet raised a US$6.5 million Series A funding round led by Sequoia India.

Founded in 2016, the company provides community-centric homes in Singapore and Hong Kong. It provides custom-designed rooms and apartments with monthly rolling contracts, as well as offerings such as cleaning, laundry services and professional workshops.

The company also uses its proprietary technology to match flatmates, increasing the likelihood that members will build "harmonious and vibrant relationships", Hmlet said in November.

Source: Straits Times, 9 April 2019