A joint venture of City Developments Ltd and Hongkong Land affiliate MCL Land has made the top bid for a residential plot near Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood.
The partnership’s bid of S$445.9 million ($336.2 million) for the 99-year leasehold site at Northumberland Road, bounded by Gloucester Road and Race Course Road, eclipsed nine other offers at the tender for the city’s first government land sale of 2021.
“We are elated to be the top bidder for this coveted site in District 8 and honoured to have our first collaboration with MCL Land,” said CDL group CEO Sherman Kwek. “Our residential projects have sold well over the past few years and the acquisition of the Northumberland Road site ensures that CDL maintains a healthy inventory level in Singapore.”
The blue-chip developers made their uber-bid as Singapore home prices continue to rise on the back of recovering consumer confidence and a more positive economic outlook as the city-state readies for the end of the pandemic.
Mass Transit Access
The land parcel, zoned for residential development with commercial on the first storey, spans 8,732.9 square metres (94,000 square feet) with an allowable gross floor area of 36,679 square metres. If the tender is awarded, the JV will pay S$12,156.49 ($9,166) per square metre of GFA.
Plans call for the site to be developed into a mixed-use project comprising 408 residential apartments of up to 23 storeys, with commercial retail space (including a mandatory early childhood development centre) on the ground floor.
Once completed, the development will enjoy direct access to Farrer Park MRT station on the North East Line, with Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, a triple-line MRT interchange, only two stops away, CDL said. The site is a 15-minute drive to the Central Business District and Singapore Sports Hub.
The tender, overseen by the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), was launched last October and closed on Tuesday. The joint venture’s bid outstripped the next-highest amount of S$421.9 million, offered by Winrich Investment, by a 5.7 percent margin.
Tan Wee Hsien, chief executive of MCL Land, a Singapore-based subsidiary of developer Hongkong Land, praised the “excellent site” now in the JV’s grasp.
“We have full confidence in the long-term fundamentals of the Singapore residential market and we look forward to creating a unique and exciting project for the community,” Tan said.
The property development boss was not alone in his assessment of the market, as data released by the URA last Friday showed that private home prices in the city grew for a fourth straight quarter during the first three months of 2021.
The 3.3 percent increase over the previous three months was the steepest growth the market had seen since mid-2018.
“As economic recovery continues to gain traction, we see an uplift in buyers’ confidence and further improvement in market sentiment,” said Ismail Gafoor, CEO of local real estate agency PropNex. “We expect buying interest for both new and resale homes to remain fairly buoyant among local end-users in the near-term in view of the more positive outlook, ample liquidity, and the low interest rate environment.”
For CDL, the collaboration marks the listed developer’s latest hometown project after the February announcement of its tie-up with Temasek-backed CapitaLand on a development in the Sengkang area called Sengkang Grand Residences.
Situated atop Buangkok MRT station in the northeastern region of the city-state, Sengkang Grand Residences aims to serve as a hub for the Buangkong precinct. With a planned 680 units spread across nine residential towers, it is the largest commercial and residential site granted since 2015, Digital Journal reported.
MCL Land is currently marketing Leedon Green, a residential joint venture with Shanghai-based Yanlord Land in District 10. The partners bought the former Tulip Garden development near Farrer Road MRT for S$906.9 million in 2018, with the 638-unit project becoming the district’s hottest selling freehold property when it kicked off sales last year.