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Playfair Rd site gets bullish top bid of $142 psf ppr

Sim Lian unit’s offer is whopping 63% above second highest bid

A 60-YEAR leasehold industrial site at Playfair Road has attracted a top bid of $142 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) from Sim Lian Development unit Trio Link Development – a record price for such a site in the Ubi/Paya Lebar/Eunos area.

The tender for the 92,870 sq ft reserve-list plot attracted 12 bids, reflecting growing interest in industrial property as it comes into play amid the breather in residential and office values, says Colliers International director (industrial) Tan Boon Leong.

Sim Lian’s top bid of $33 million, or $142.13 psf ppr, was a huge 63 per cent above the next highest bid of $20.23 million, or $87.13 psf ppr, by Orion-Three Development.

Orion group, which is linked to Indonesian interests, has also been active in state tenders for industrial sites. It clinched plots at Serangoon North Ave 4 and Changi North St 1 in 2006.

Asked about Sim Lian’s aggressive bidding in yesterday’s tender, executive director Ken Kuik said the company had been encouraged by recent demand for strata-titled flatted and ramp-up factories at its Vertex project at Ubi Ave 4/Ubi Link.

‘We’ve sold about 160 of the 200 units released since September last year, achieving an average price of about $330 psf,’ he said.

The eight-storey property has 552 strata-titled units. Sim Lian is developing it on a 60-year leasehold site it won at a state tender in 2006.

Like the Playfair Road site contested yesterday, the Ubi plot is zoned for Business 1, allowing clean and light industrial and warehouse uses.

Mr Kuik said Sim Lian plans to develop the Playfair Road plot into a 13-storey project with strata-titled units for sale.

He noted that the site is just a few minutes’ walk from Upper Paya Lebar MRT Station on the Circle Line.

Colliers’ Mr Tan estimates Sim Lian’s breakeven cost could be around $260 psf, considering the saleable area for such industrial developments can exceed the maximum permitted gross floor area by 15-20 per cent after factoring in features like terraced areas and air-con ledges.

‘This is the first time a 60-year leasehold industrial site is being sold in the area, which traditionally has freehold industrial properties. That may have added to the plot’s attraction,’ he suggested.

Property consultants say the $142 psf ppr that Sim Lian offered for the Playfair plot surpasses the last high achieved in the Ubi/Paya Lebar/Eunos area – $85.50 psf ppr for a 60-year plot at Eunos Link/Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 in 1996.

However, yesterday’s top bid is still shy of the island-wide high of $170 psf ppr achieved late last year for a 30-year leasehold site near Commonwealth MRT Station.

The other bidders in yesterday’s tender were KNG Development, Soilbuild Group, Prosperity Realty (linked to Hotel Royal’s Lee family), HLH Development & Brothers (Holdings), Superbowl Land, See Young Investments, Lian Beng Group unit LB Property, Boustead Projects, Boon Keng Development and  Lim Huay Ren, which placed the lowest bid of $12 million or $51.68 psf ppr.

 

Source: Business Times 15 Feb 08

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