Developers buying into the future master plan?

SINGAPORE — A mixed commercial and residential site in Bukit Batok attracted a strong response from developers by the close of tender yesterday, with the highest bid of S$301.2 million coming from Chinese developer Qingjian Realty, showed Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) data.

The 99-year leasehold site in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, released from the Confirmed List of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme for the first half of this year, sits on 158,194sqf and has a plot ratio of 3, giving it a maximum permissible gross floor area of about 474,591sqf. This site can potentially yield more than 400 residential units, with a maximum gross floor area of 64,583sqf stipulated for commercial use, said the URA. Upcoming executive condo include Treasure Crest and Northwave EC while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Visionaire EC, Parc Life EC , Waterwoods EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Vales EC, The Criterion EC, Bellewaters EC, Bellewoods EC.

The tender drew 11 bids from developers despite the lacklustre property market over the past few years. Mr Nicholas Mak, executive director and head of research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants, said developers were attracted to the site because it is the only mixed commercial-cum-residential site in the GLS programme for the first half of this year.

“This is a greenfield suburban site and the developers are basically buying into the future master plan for this section of the west region. There are several HDB housing projects that are in development near the subject site. By the time the retail mall on the subject site is ready for business, the HDB flats should also be completed,” said Mr Mak.

This site is well connected to other parts of Singapore via the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) while the Bukit Batok MRT Station is about 1km away, he added.

Some of the amenities nearby include a polyclinic, market and food centre, hospital, community clubs, a future civic and community institution development and West Mall. It is also in proximity to a number of secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

Another reason for the high number of bids is the absence of a strong competing mixed development in this location, said Mr Mak, adding that the site will be surrounded by high-density residential projects resulting in a relatively large catchment of shoppers and potential home buyers.

“The average number of bids for the two mixed-development land parcels in 2014 was 10 bids while that for purely residential land tenders that were closed previously in 2016 was slightly lower at nine bids. This is lower than the number of bids received for the subject site today. The Government did not sell any mixed-development site in 2015,” he noted.

Mr Li Jun, general manager, Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group, said: “We are pleased to note that Qingjian is the highest bidder for the Bukit Batok commercial and residential site. The Government has exciting and progressive development plans for the Jurong district, and Qingjian has always been a keen supporter of the Government’s development plans.”

If the site is awarded to Qingjian, it will be its first mixed-development project in Singapore, and its second successful land acquisition for private housing development this month, said the Chinese developer.

Last week, Qingjian announced it had entered into a collective sale agreement with the owners of Shunfu Ville worth S$638 million. The developer said it plans to build about 500 condominium units at the Bukit Batok site.

With the land price of S$635 per sqf (psf) per plot ratio, the estimated break-even prices for the residential space in the new condominiums to be developed on the site range from S$920 psf to S$980 psf, said Mr Mak.

“As this is an upcoming residential estate, the developer would do well if it were to manage the shopping mall under a single ownership rather than to sell the retail space as strata units,” he added.

executive condo and the land site pic 4