GuocoLand is scaling up its S$2.4 billion ($1.73 billion) Guoco Midtown project by merging a S$800 million residential site acquired last month into the mixed-use development, according to a stock exchange announcement by the Singapore-listed developer.
The builder says it will use a Tan Quee Lan street site in Singapore’s Beach Road-Ophir area, which it acquired at government auction, to add 521,296 square feet (48,430 square metres) of gross floor area to Guoco Midtown — increasing the total project size by half.
The bolt-on of the site acquired from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority means that Guoco Midtown, which is due to be completed in 2022, will now occupy 344,445 square feet of space in the northern fringe of Singapore’s urban core, providing a combined 1.5 million square feet of gross floor area for homes, offices, shops and entertainment venues.
“The Tan Quee Lan Street site increases our footprint by 50 percent,” said Cheng Hsing Yao, group managing director of GuocoLand Singapore said in describing the importance of the new acquisition. “Sitting directly above the Bugis MRT Interchange station, we can now create a much more seamless connection between the MRT station and Guoco Midtown.”
The announcement comes five months after the Singapore property development divisio of Malaysia’s Hong Leong Group unveiled its masterplan for Guoco Midtown, which is expected to bring in an additional 10,000 office workers, residents and visitors daily to the area, and only four days before the development’s 33-storey residential tower, Midtown Bay, is scheduled to begin sales.
Half a Million Sq Ft of Additional GFA
GuocoLand, through a joint venture with Singapore’s Hong Leong Holdings, paid roughly S$1,535 per square foot of gross floor area for the development site, which is zoned for residential use with one storey of commercial space.
The chairman of Kuala Lumpur-based Hong Leong Group, Quek Leng Chan, is a cousin of Hong Leong Holdings chairman Kwek Leng Beng.
Covering 124,107 square feet opposite the Duo office and retail complex, which was purchased only last month for S$1.6 billion by Allianz Real Estate and Gaw Capital, GuocoLand’s new luxury residential project carries a 99 year lease term.
Cheng said that adding the additional residential space will allow the developer to “enlarge Guoco Midtown’s retail concept, public spaces and place making possibilities to strengthen the district’s identity and vibrancy.”
Midtown Bay’s Cheapest Apartments Priced at S$1.38M
Cheng said that the concept for this additional batch of homes will be distinct from the 219-unit Midtown Bay tower, which forms the original residential element of Guoco Midtown.
“Midtown Bay is created for an urban lifestyle that integrates living, working and entertaining,” Cheng said. “For Tan Quee Lan, we will be focusing on luxury family apartments.”
Midtown Bay residents will have access to a private pool, running track, and sky terraces, as well as an 80,000 square foot business and social club dubbed Midtown Hub.
The starting price for a 409 square foot one bedroom apartment at Midtown Bay is S$1.38 million, or S$3,374 per square foot, according to a GuocoLand media briefing cited by Today.
Singapore Home Prices Expected to Keep Climbing
The imminent launch of the 33-storey Midtown Bay project, as well as Guocoland’s acquisition of the Tan Quee Lan Street site, come as home prices in Singapore continued to rise in the third quarter.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority’s property price index flash report for the three months ending September 30th shows that private home prices rose 1.7 percent in the first nine months of 2019.
In a research note following the release of the latest URA data, Colliers International’s head of research for Singapore, Tricia Song, predicted further price hikes in the fourth quarter.
“For the full year 2019, Colliers Research now expects overall home prices to rise by two percent year on year, up from our initial growth forecast of one percent,” Song said, pointing to continued low interest rates as supporting the city-state’s housing market.