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Five estates sold to one buyer in collective deal

FIVE small adjoining freehold apartment blocks near Thomson Road have been sold en bloc to Kim Seng Heng Realty, a subsidiary of listed KSH Holdings, for $120 million.

The construction and property development group said yesterday that the combined site could be redeveloped into a high-rise residential block with about 142 luxury apartments of 1,250 sq ft on average.

It added that it is currently negotiating with other investors to form a joint venture to develop the site.

Credo Real Estate, which brokered the deal, said it is possibly the first time in Singapore that as many as five estates have been successfully combined and sold en bloc to one buyer.

The properties – Norfolk Court, Mergui Lodge, Northern Mansion, Mergui Court and The Mergui – are located near Rangoon Road and Moulmein Road.

They are single apartment blocks sitting on relatively small plots ranging from 10,061 sq ft to 18,524 sq ft.

When combined, they form a land area of 74,355 sq ft, which would permit a gross floor area of 208,196 sqft.

If small pieces of state land in between are thrown in, the developer will have a site of 87,092 sq ft, said Credo’s executive director, Ms Yong Choon Fah.

In any case, three of the developments could not have otherwise been redeveloped on their own. ‘They need each other because there’s a 30m buffer requirement from the expressway,’ said Ms Yong.

This Urban Redevelopment Authority rule would mean that it is impossible for Norfolk Court, Mergui Lodge and The Mergui to be redeveloped individually. But if combined with the other two sites, a bigger development that does not fall within the 30m buffer zone can be built.

The five estates have 88 units in total. Each unit owner will get between $906,856 and $1.91 million.

The $120 million price reflects a price of $580 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.

After factoring in the cost of the state land in between, the rate could come down to about $540 psf, said Ms Yong.

KSH Holdings’ recent projects include a construction contract for a luxury boutique hotel at Clifford Pier.


Source: The Straits Times 22 Nov 07


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