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Koh Brothers buys 2 Shell kiosks for $19.6m

It aims to use one site for condo, other for hotel project

KOH Brothers has bought two petrol kiosks from Shell – one in Bukit Timah and the other in Changi – for close to $19.6 million.

The first site, at 383 Bukit Timah Road, is next to Koh Brothers’ freehold serviced apartment complex, Alocassia Apartment. The site has a strata land area of 13,500 square feet and cost Koh Brothers $13.3 million.

Singapore-listed Koh Brothers bought Alocassia Apartment – a residential and commercial site – in May last year for $30 million.

The company intends to convert the whole site to full residential use and launch a luxury condominium with about 50 units in the third quarter of next year, chief executive Francis Koh told BT.

With the new acquisition, the entire freehold site covers 44,900 sq ft and has a 1.4 plot ratio. The latest purchase brings the price paid by Koh Brothers for the site to $799 per square foot (psf) per plot ratio, including an estimated development charge of $6.9 million.

Mr Koh estimates the project could break-even around $1,250 psf since the company does not plan to tear down the whole building. Luxury apartments in the Bukit Timah area now go for about $1,800-$2,000 psf.

‘Given its prime location, freehold status, proximity to reputable schools and easy accessibility to the city centre, we are confident the site will appeal to home buyers who appreciate the exclusivity and prestige,’ Mr Koh said.

The second site bought by the company – at 80 Changi Road – adjoins its freehold Changi Hotel.

Bought for $6.3 million, the site has a strata area of 8,000 sq ft. The entire freehold Changi Road site now has a total area of 26,400 sq ft.

Mr Koh said the company will look to build a newer, larger hotel on the combined site. Changi Hotel is now a three-storey, 61-room hotel.

Shell’s general manager for retail, Henry Chu, said such sales allow the company to capitalise on the hot property market.

‘The timing of closure and sale of these sites is a commercial decision and is to allow us to take advantage of the buoyant property market to maximise our returns,’ he said.


Source: Business Times 23 Nov 07

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