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09/06/2011

The site includes a 113-year-old conservation bungalow
 
PROPERTY giant Far East Organization continues to grow its stronghold in the Katong/East Coast Road/ Amber Road vicinity. This time it has clinched a 47,400 square feet freehold site on Marine Parade Road (near Parkway Parade) that includes a 113- year-old conservation bungalow, for $103.8 million. The price works out to $1,195 per square foot of potential gross floor area inclusive of an $18.8 million development charge (DC). This unit land price assumes a 2.1 plot ratio (ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area) for the 47,400 sq ft site allocated under Master Plan 2008 plus a bonus gross floor area (GFA) of 3,108 sq ft equivalent to the conserved bungalow's GFA accorded under Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) guidelines. 'This sale sets a new benchmark for the area. The last transaction in the Amber Road vicinity was that of Amber Towers in April this year, which achieved a land rate of $1,118 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr),' said Karamjit Singh, managing director of Credo Real Estate, which brokered the latest sale to Far East. Assuming Far East taps the bonus balcony GFA, its unit land price would work out to $1,153 psf ppr, inclusive of an estimated $22.4 million DC, said Mr Singh. Far East should be able to build a total GFA of 109,494 sq ft including bonus GFA for balconies. The site may potentially accommodate a condominium with about 100 units averaging 1,000 sq ft depending on layout and configuration, he added yesterday. When the tender for the property was launched last month, Credo had indicated the conservation bungalow may be used as a clubhouse in the project, in the fashion of Draycott 8, Grand Duchess at St Patrick's, and The Sea View, or it could be sold as a strata unit. The property Far East is buying comprises No 37 Marine Parade - where the conservation bungalow stands - and 42 A/B/C/D/E/ F East Coast Road, a three- storey block of six apartments and servants' quarters. Market watchers say this will be Far East's sixth property in the vicinity, after its SilverSea, The Cape, and The Shore Residences condo projects, which are being built; Paramount Hotel and Shopping Centre along East Coast Road which it bought in November last year for $214 million; and the Amber Glades site, which it picked up through a collective sale in March this year at $1,066 psf ppr inclusive of a DC of about $4 million. The freehold 40,917 sq ft Amber Glades site can be potentially redeveloped into a 22-storey condo with about 110 apartments averaging 1,000 sq ft, according to an earlier article. Far East is expected to spruce up the Paramount property by doing additions and alterations works. The group is making its latest acquisition at Marine Parade Road from the estate of the late Eric Choa - who was a lawyer and the grandson of Choa Kim Keat - after whom Kim Keat Road in Balestier is named. Mr Choa is understood to have been a compradore (or go-between) at Straits Trading Company. The villa was his weekend retreat by the sea, long before much of Marine Parade was reclaimed. Credo brokered the sale through a tender exercise which closed on Monday. Far East was the highest of five bidders. The other four bidders were listed companies, Credo said. 'The descendants of Mr Choa had mixed feelings about the sale as it has been in the family for generations. 'Nevertheless they took comfort in the fact that URA had ear-marked the bungalow for conservation and that it would be given a new lease of life in the future by the purchaser,' said Mr Singh.

SOURCE: COMMERCIAL DAILY



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