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Merchant Square and Waldorf Mansions up for sale

MERCHANT Square, a four-storey office building off Merchant Road, is up for sale with a guide price of $73 million.

With a total net lettable area (NLA) of about 50,262 square feet, the unit price works out to $1,450 psf of NLA.

The property, which was developed by carpet manufacturer Jackson Carpet and completed in 1996, sits on a land area of approximately 28,083 sq ft and has two levels of basement carparking for 76 vehicles.

CB Richard Ellis is marketing the 99-year leasehold building and its director (Investment Properties) Charles Hoon said the entry yield is about 2 per cent.

He added that while the average rental is $3.80 psf per month, new leases are being contracted at $6.50 – $7 psf per month.

The lease profile also shows that close to 50 per cent of the current leases will be expiring over the next two years.

‘Smallish mid-sized office buildings similar to Merchant Square present a good acquisition opportunity and remain sought-after amongst end-users in view of tight office space supply,’ Mr Hoon said.

The property is currently 96 per cent occupied and has as its anchor tenant cosmetics company Estee Lauder.

Waldorf Mansions at Balestier Road has also been put up for sale. The asking price is $21 million, or $659 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr).

The freehold 11-storey block comprising 16 apartments has a site area of 11,384 sq ft, a plot ratio of 2.8, and maximum gross floor area of 31,876 sq ft.

The site is marketed by Realtorhub Real Estate (RH), whose executive director Daniel Ng said it can be redeveloped into a high-rise condominium with 26 units of about 1,200 sq ft each.

He added that the site is capable of being amalgamated with the two adjoining sites, Balestier Towers and Scenic Heights, to form a larger development.

Based on the asking price, Mr Ng said that the en bloc sellers will make a premium of about 33 per cent over the current market price for Waldorf Mansions.

In July last year, RH brokered the deal for nearby Ruby Plaza which was sold to Soilbuild Group for $69 million, or $582 psf ppr.


Source: Business Times 19 Feb 08


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