Novena White Site Draws Record High Bid

Business Times – 5 December 2012

Smashing all previous records, a white site at the junction of Thomson Road and Irrawaddy Road yesterday drew a top bid of $492.5 million, or $1,631.59 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The bid, which was jointly put up by Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd, Sunway Developments Pte Ltd and Hoi Hup JV Development Pte Ltd, topped that of eight other bidders.

The 0.66-hectare plot, which has maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 301,852 sq ft, is classified “white”, which means it can be put to commercial, residential or hotel use. According to the terms set by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, a minimum 30 per cent of the GFA must be set aside for hotel use.

When the site was triggered for sale, analysts said that they had expected keen interest in the site, given the location’s proximity to Novena MRT station and several medical centres, including Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Novena Medical Centre and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

The site is also surrounded by many existing commercial developments, such as Velocity @ Novena Square.

Assuming the site is awarded to Hoi Hup, the company intends to embark on its first hotel project, and build a 3.5 to 4-star hotel. The remaining 70 per cent of GFA will be dedicated to commercial facilities and medical suites.

“Majority of the commercial space will be medical suites, but I think we need some shops on the ground floor,” said a spokesman from Hoi Hup. “We will also have a linkway between Novena MRT and the basement, which will be lined with shops.”

The site was earlier triggered for sale by public tender after a developer offered a bid of at least $211.3 million for the site, which translates to $700 psf ppr.

The second highest bid was jointly put up by CapitaLand Commercial’s Swift One and Swift Two, and Ascott Holding’s Taipan Trustee. It came in at $444.9 million, or $1,474 psf ppr.

Other bidders include a joint bid by Far East Civil Engineering, Far East Orchard, and Sekisui House, at $393.3 million, or $1,303.07 psf ppr; and UOL and Singland’s United Venture Investment (Thomson) Pte Ltd, at $363.3 million, or $1,203.57 psf ppr.

The lowest bid was put up by UEM Land Berhad, at $340.5 million, or $1,128 psf ppr.

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