Japura Development, an entity linked to Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Asset Holdings, has completed the acquisition of an apartment block in one of Singapore’s most affluent areas after the S$401.9 million ($289 million) collective sale had been blocked by two owners.
The purchase of City Towers, located in the city’s exclusive District 10, was concluded on 27 August following the issue of a sale order by Singapore’s High Court in May this year, according to Colliers International, which was appointed to manage the sale.
“This is their fourth attempt and the success is a happy outcome,” said the property services firm’s Singapore managing director, Tang Wei Leng, speaking on behalf of the owners.
The acquisition is the first time that an affiliate of the billionaire’s CK Asset Holdings has made a purchase in the collective sale market, and the only transaction since 2014 that an entity linked to the Hong Kong conglomerate has bought a property in Singapore.
Up to S$11M Windfall for Vendors
“Collective sale journeys tend to be long and complex and the owners are heartened that the sale is finally completed,” said M Singh, the chairman of the City Towers collective sale committee.
Now that the sale of the 1970s-era block has gone through, the owners stand to receive between S$2.8 million and S$11.5 million, depending on the size of the unit or units they are selling.
The Li Ka-shing-linked affiliate, Japura Development, had won the public tender for the 17-storey freehold property in February last year, outbidding six other suitors, after the property had been put on the market the previous month.
However, the sale process had stalled when two residents – a brother and sister who each owned a unit in the property – lodged a joint objection with the Singapore High Court.
The siblings are said to have contested the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty rates, as well as having raised concerns about their mother, also an owner of a unit in the block, according to The Business Times
Their objection has since been withdrawn.
High-End Redevelopment Potential
The developer is paying 13 percent more than the reserve price of S$355 million for the apartment block on Bukit Tamah Road, pricing the sale at the equivalent of S$1,847 per square foot, after taking into account the S$3.5 million development charge.
Occupying a 104,531 square foot (9,711 square metre) site, the property comprises 77 flats, plus one penthouse apartment and a shop.
Zoned for residential use, Colliers said the site could be redeveloped as a 24-storey apartment complex with a gross floor area of 219,516 square feet, yielding approximately 190 apartments at an average size of 1,098 square feet.
Both Newton and Stevens metro stations are within ten minutes walk of the site, while the elite leafy enclave of Nassim Road and the Botanic Gardens, where UOE’s Stephen Riady and billionaire household appliance tycoon James Dyson have recently bought homes, are a five minute drive away.
Despite being Japura Development’s first transaction in five years, the developer has not been dormant.
The Li-controlled entity put in an unsuccessful bid of S$1.4 billion for a site on Beach Road in the city’s Bugis area two years ago, with Malaysia’s GuocoLand and Guoco Group merging victorious from that tender after offering S$1.6 billion for the site.
Singapore Luxury Residential Uptick
Singapore’s high-end residential sector grew 19 percent over the first half of the year compared with the last six months of 2018, according to List Sotheby’s International Realty.
Chief operating officer of the luxury brokerage, Leong Boon Hoe, said that the proactiveness of the Singapore government in attracting foreign direct investment has spurred demand for residential property, while the growth of higher income groups and the expanding high-net-worth community in the city has also fuelled the demand for luxury residences.
In June, James Dyson broke the record for the most expensive non-landed residence in the city when he paid S$74 million for a super penthouse in the Guoco Tower.
That purchase topped the S$60 million that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is said to have paid for his 10,300 square foot city pad on the top floor of the 36-storey Sculptura Ardmore two years ago.
Saverin’s penthouse purchase had bested the S$51 million which Alibaba co-founder Sun Tongyu had shelled out for a 13,874 square foot apartment at Le Nouvel Ardmore in 2015.
Sun’s penthouse now ranks fourth among Singapore’s priciest apartments after an unidentified buyer, said to be a Chinese national, purchased an 11,098 square foot penthouse in Boulevard Vue in the city’s Tanglin area for S$52 million two months ago.