Mixed Development Site to Catalyse Rejuvenation

A residential + commercial site along Jalan Anak Bukit, near the Beauty World MRT station, has just been released for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). Property consultants are of the opinion that it has several strong attributes.

However they added that the uncertainly amidst the economic recession triggered by Covid-19, and the likely high land cost of at least SGD$1 billion, could lead to cautiousness among potential bidders.

Balanced against that is the possibility that business sentiment may lift by the time the URA tender closes on 30 March 2021. The tender for this 3.22 hectare land parcel near the Beauty World MRT station, will be a dual-envelope one.

Under this system, URA requires the bidders to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in separate envelopes.

Dual Envelope Tender

The concept proposals will be opened first, and evaluated against 3 categories of criteria. Namely impact on the public realm, quality of design concept, and track record of the design team and developer.

(This is similar to the process for the sale of the Pasir Ris 8 site, which is also an integrated development. In that instance, the 2-envelope tender by URA for Pasir Ris 8 was awarded to a joint venture of Allgreen and Kerry Properties.)

According to URA: ”Only compelling concept proposals will be shortlisted to proceed to the second stage of evaluation, which will be based on price only. Tenderers are encouraged to propose quality concepts that are closely aligned with the planning vision for the site, while submitting a competitively-priced bid.”

The site can accommodate up to a maximum of 96,551 square metres (sq m), equivalent to almost 1.04 million square feet (sq ft), of built up gross floor area (GFA). Of that, no more than 20,000 sq m can be for commercial use.

This can comprise up to 7,500 sq m for restaurants and shops, with the rest being other commercial usages such as medical clinics, commercial schools, gyms, offices, and entertainment or recreational use. Another 5,000 sq m or so will be set aside to build a bus interchange.

The remaining floor area will be residential, possibly providing around 845 units. This could come in the form of serviced apartments, and / or private residential flats.

Analysts’ expectations of the bidding for this site varies widely. From just one up to 10 bids. And from possibly SGD$750 to $1,250 PSF PPR (per square foot per plot ratio). Translated into absolute quantums, the expected bid price could be anywhere between SGD$780 million to $1.3 billion.

Given such a huge investment outlay, even at the bottom end of the range, developers bidding for the site are expected to form consortiums to do so.

Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL Singapore’s senior director for research and consultancy highlighted that: “Due to the scale of the project and its impact on the surrounding, a concept-and-price tender is indeed appropriate to ensure the quality of the development.”

He added that this site is envisioned to be a landmark commercial and residential development that would help revitalise the Beauty World area.

Catalyst for Rejuvenation

Mr Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty’s head for research and consultancy, was of the same opinion, saying that: “The new mixed-use development that will eventually be built on the subject site would be a much-needed catalyst to rejuvenate the Beauty World neighbourhood.”

He also felt that if it was priced reasonably, the project could well prove to become one of the most popular residential launches. Given how Linq at Beauty World next door sold out 116 of its 120 units on launch day alone, and the interest shown for Ki Residence nearby, this might indeed be the case.

However, on a more subdued note, there is competition from existing launches nearby. Such as View At Kismis, Daintree Residence, Verdale, and Forett @ Bukit Timah, in addition to the upcoming Ki Residences at Brookvale, as well as Clavon at Clementi.

Despite its many attractions that include being within 1 km of highly regarded primary schools such as Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School, and Methodist Girls’ Primary school, the site suffers from a drawback. That of being right next to the Pan-Island Expressway, with its attendant noise and dust.

However to offset that, integrated developments such as this are usually preferred by home-buyers for their connectivity to a bus interchange, an MRT station, and a mall.

In releasing the site, URA highlighted that: “Located within one of Singapore’s endearing identity nodes, the Beauty World precinct is envisioned to be a green urban village that will be a centre of community life and southern gateway into Bukit Timah’s nature attractions.”

The vision for the site is that it should be “a distinctive development and identity marker for the Beauty World precinct when completed. It is envisaged to offer a lushly landscaped and attractive living environment that is well connected to the surrounding nature attractions. It should include thoughtfully-designed public spaces and pedestrian networks that are well integrated with transport and community uses.”

All of which could enhance the attractiveness of the surrounding area, and augur well for upcoming launches like Clavon and Ki Residences, sandwiched as they are between the future Greater Southern Waterfront district, and the Beauty World neighbourhood transformation.

Read the source article for more details.

Source: The Business Times . 1 July 2020