Balestier Road land parcel launched for sale

A hotel site at Balestier Road has been launched for sale.

The 1.77-hectare plot is one of two hotel sites on the Confirmed List of the Government Land Sales Programme for the first half of this year.

But for the first time, the government has made developing a park a requirement as part of the tender.

Balestier Road is buzzing with activity.

And adding to it will be a new contemporary hotel which draws inspiration from Chinese culture.

The site, released for sale by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), will have a maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) of 39,000 square metres.

60 percent of the area will be for hotel-related uses, with the remaining GFA going toward complementary commercial and residential uses.

Some 0.46 hectares of the plot will also be dedicated to the development of a public park.

Named Zhongshan Park, it is envisioned to be the grand entrance of the hotel, leading to the heritage attraction, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Tan See Ni, Deputy Director, Development, Physical Planning Division, URA, said, “The public event space will be 1,000 square metres in area; it’s actually to provide the space for the public, National Heritage Board, even the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, to hold events in the park if they so desire.

“In addition, we also allow some F&B developments within the park, up to 450 square metres of built-up area, and this is to enable some activities to be generated within the park.”

URA estimates that the site will yield between 500 and 600 hotel rooms.

Analysts said the project could draw less than five bids due to the unique condition attached to the project.

In addition, developers will also need a strong concept to the leverage on the historical value of the place and draw visitors to the park.

Nicholas Mak, Director, Knight Frank, said, “The development of this site will also have some challenges, such as the development will be separated by a park in between, and the developer is required to develop and maintain the park, so this may increase the development cost somewhat. The land price will be in the range of S$150 million to the low end of S$200 million.”

The URA has met extensively with local and overseas developers to market the site.

It also took part in the Mipim real estate convention in Hong Kong last year to showcase the plans to investors from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

URA said this project has generated some foreign interest, but it was unable to disclose the names of the companies who came to assess the site.

Tender for the site will close at 12 noon on July 16.

The selection of successful bidders will be based on tendered land prices only.

As the project is a key development along Balestier Road, the development proposal for the site will be subject to review by a Design Advisory Panel to ensure it meets quality standards. – CNA/ms

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 31 Mar 2008

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