A joint venture between UOL Group and its Singapore Land Group subsidiary won a residential project in Singapore’s East Coast for S$392.18 million ($295.39 million) and now plans to redevelop the project into as many as 250 luxury homes, the Singapore-listed developers announced Friday.
After winning a tender for the the Meyer Park condo complex at 81 and 83 Meyer Road, UOL and SingLand can now replenish their land banks with a 96,672 square foot (8,981 square metre) freehold site located just a few blocks away from an existing UOL project which completed sales within the last month. Once this latest acquisition is completed, the partners aim to launch sales on their latest project along Singapore’s lower East Coast next year, according to company representatives.
“This acquisition is a timely replenishment, especially with the recent 100% sell out of our Meyer House development,” Wee Sin Liam, group chief executive of UOL Group, said in a statement. “We see the opportunity to develop this site into a luxury development with about 230 to 250 units in a high-rise block to capitalise on the unblocked views.”
Marking the second successful collective sale in Singapore this year, UOL’s win comes on the heels of the en bloc sale of Bagnall Court in the Upper East Coast last month, which Mingtiandi understands was clinched by a consortium led by local property and hospitality group Roxy-Pacific Holdings for a discounted price of S$115.3 million.
Owners Cut Price
UOL, being the controlling shareholder of SingLand, maintains an 80 percent stake in the JV while its subsidiary keeps a 20 percent share. The pair is paying the asset owners about S$1,448.86 per square foot of the site’s maximum gross floor area of 270,681 square feet.
Since the site has a seven percent bonus GFA, the JV is shelling out an additional S$90.9 million for the land betterment charge payable to the Singapore Land Authority, which translates to total cost of S$483.08 million or about S$1,784.68 per square foot of GFA.
The owners found a buyer for their 1985-vintage building after slashing the asking price to S$390 million on their third attempt at collective sale. The final selling price represents a 6.6 percent discount from the asking price of S$420 million when the complex was first put on the market on 25 July.
The project was relaunched on 13 October last year with the price unchanged before this latest sale attempt was launched on 17 January at a reduced price.
While detailed redevelopment plans have not yet been made public, the developers can replace the current 21-storey structure with a new complex of up to 36 storeys in height. UOL and SingLand are financing the acquisition through a mix of bank borrowings and internal funds.
“Leveraging our experience in developing a luxury collection and the strong attributes of the site, we expect to see keen interest from both homebuyers and investors looking for a prime newly built high-rise residential development with freehold tenure, which is increasingly rare,” Liam said.
Located within a ten minute walk of East Coast Park and near the upcoming Katong Park MRT station, Meyer Park currently has 60 apartments with unobstructed views of the sea to the south and a two-storey housing estate stretching to Paya Lebar to its north.
“The tender award demonstrates that sites with strategic location and exceptional attributes, coupled with a reasonable asking price, will garner strong interest from developers who are understandably becoming selective in their site acquisitions,” said Shou Fern Swee, head of investment advisory at Edmund Tie, which was the sole marketing agent for the property.
Homes Selling Out Fast
“Projects with the coveted address along the prestigious Meyer Road have always been highly sought after by homebuyers due to its prime location, and this is evidenced by the fully or almost-fully sold status of new freehold projects in the immediate vicinity,” added Swee.
Located within five minute’s walk from Meyer Park site, UOL has recently completed sales of all 56 units in Meyer House, a luxury condo complex the group jointly developed with Kheng Leong Co. – a privately held property investment and development firm owned by the Wee family which controls UOL.
The partners won the site for that freehold project in a collective sale in September 2017 for S$201.1 million, or about S$1,429 per square foot per plot ratio. After entering the market in 2019, in December last year a unit in Meyer House changed hands in the resale market for S$7.55 million – the highest price recorded for a second hand condo in the city fringe that month.
UOL, SingLand and Kheng Leong have been teaming up to develop major residential projects in their home city, including the AMO Residences condo project in Ang Mo Kio which sold 98 percent of its 372 units on its launch day in July last year.
UOL and SingLand are also building a 520-unit housing complex on the 242,565 square foot leasehold Pine Grove site they won via a government land sale last June for S$671.5 million.