A joint bid by Singapore-based Far East Organization and Hong Kong’s Sino Group has won a tender for a commercial and residential site in the leafy Jalan Anak Bukit area of central Singapore, with the S$1.03 billion ($770 million) offer furnishing fresh evidence of developers’ growing confidence in the city-state’s housing market rebound.
The 3.2 hectare (8 acre) plot next to Beauty World MRT station can yield a maximum gross floor area of 96,555 square metres (1.04 million square feet), meaning the sister companies controlled by the Ng family will pay roughly S$10,650 ($7,928) per square metre of GFA.
After submitting three bids itself during the tender’s first round in June, the Far East-Sino venture topped two shortlisted bids in the second stage: one by Wing Tai Holdings and Mercatus Commercial Trust for S$1.01 billion (S$10,470 per square metre) and the other by Allgreen Properties and Kerry Properties for S$809 million (S$8,378 per square metre).
The proposed mixed-use project will have an integrated transport hub with 5,000 square metres of GFA set aside for a bus interchange in the second storey, plus civic and commercial spaces across the first three storeys, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said Monday in a release.
Airing Out Concerns
Under the concept designed by lead architect WOHA, the active three-storey frontages along Upper Bukit Timah Road and Jalan Jurong Kechil will create “a vibrant and layered pedestrian experience that is visible from the street level”.
In addition to 20,000 square metres of retail, dining and office space in a podium, the development will have 700 residential units and 150 serviced residences, as well as 2,000 square metres of community space, according to the winning bidders.
In a nod to COVID-19 concerns, a naturally ventilated central atrium at the heart of the development, called Village Centre, will accommodate seasonal programming and community-based events.
Publicly-accessible gardens on the third storey fronting Upper Bukit Timah Road and Jalan Jurong Kechil will contribute to the presence of greenery visible from the street level, while an underground pedestrian link will connect to Beauty World MRT station.
Sense of Place
According to property services firm Colliers International, the sale of the site for a mixed-use integrated transport hub should help rejuvenate and inject vibrancy into the Jalan Anak Bukit area.
“We think this site has good potential for place-making, to capitalise on the mainly private residential catchment, education institutions, and the vast nature elements including Bukit Timah Hill in the vicinity,” a Colliers representative said in an analysis released ahead of the tender’s first round.
Local real estate agency PropNex reported that private new-home sales surged to 1,589 in July, or almost twice the 872 units transacted in the previous month, when sales volume hit a low because of an absence of new launches. Sales in July 2020 had totalled 1,083 units.
PropNex CEO Ismail Gafoor observed that a good number of fence-sitting investors and buyers decided to enter the market in July, in anticipation of possible price hikes.
“The news of aggressive land prices triggered many to realise that future launch prices are likely to rise further,” Gafoor said.