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Confirmed: Atrium @ Orchard for sale

THE Singapore Land Authority has confirmed a BT report yesterday that it plans to sell The Atrium @ Orchard – the first state sale of a Grade A prime commercial building.

‘The government does not own other commercial buildings of the same grade and category as The Atrium,’ an SLA spokeswoman said. ‘It is not in the government’s strategic interest to continue to own a well-developed and pure commercial asset like The Atrium @ Orchard.

‘It is best to let the private sector take over its commercial utilisation. Given the buoyant market conditions, the government has decided that now is a good time to divest it with best value for the state.’

SLA has appointed CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) sole marketing consultant to advise on the planned sale.

CBRE was chosen from a short list of five firms, SLA said. It clinched the job based on its competitive bid and strong track record under a two-stage selection process, SLA said without elaborating.

Market watchers suggest the other contenders were likely to have been Colliers, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, Jones Lang LaSalle and Knight Frank.

‘On the mode of sale, the government expects CBRE to recommend a sale strategy that is consistent with the prevailing best market practices for selling large commercial buildings, to enable the state to obtain the best price for the property in a level playing field for all interested buyers,’ SLA said.

The Atrium @ Orchard, next to Plaza Singapore and above the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, comprises two towers of seven and 10 storeys with a total net lettable area of about 375,000 sq ft. The building’s basement carpark has 100 lots. The project received Temporary Occupation Permit in April 2002.

SLA did not indicate how much the property is worth, but in yesterday’s BT report a market observer suggested a range of $2,500 to $3,000 psf of net lettable area, which would work out to $937.5 million to $1.13 billion.

A plus point is that SLA is expected to sell The Atrium on a fresh 99-year lease.


Source: Business Times 2 Nov 07

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