Height could hit en bloc profit

But some residents of Nim Gardens happy to stay, citing condominium’s size, green surroundings

A planning provision has hampered the plans of some residents at Nim Gardens to make more money should their development go up for an en bloc sale. Nim Gardens in Seletar Hills is 10 storeys.

According to the rule, any new development cannot exceed this height, nor the gross floor area. This means residents would not see a bigger profit if the new development were limited to 10 storeys.

MediaCorp has learnt a resident had written to the Ministry of National Development in support of any new development to be built above Nim Gardens’ current height.

When approached, the resident – who declined to be named – referred to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) April 2000 circular, which spelled out that a 10-storey block could be increased to 12 storeys. The revision allows for more flexibility in design and to free up more space for communal use.

But, the URA said the planning relaxation does not apply to Nim Gardens, saying: “We are not able to support any further intensification at this location as it may have an adverse impact on the environmental character of the neighbourhood, which is safeguarded for three-storey landed housing.”

The area around Nim Gardens was part of an area designated for landed housing in 1994.

The sprawling 23,197 sq m site, was approved as a condominium development in 1982, with one block of four-storey apartments and three blocks of 10-storey apartments. There are 124 units there, each about 1,860 sq ft in area.

Mr Joseph Wong, 60, is happy to live there, saying: “Where can I get an apartment as big as this and birds chirping in such lush surroundings?”

Should Nim Gardens go en bloc, it could fetch $100 million or $286 psf per plot ratio, according to a conservative estimate from Chesterton Suntec International research and consultancy director Colin Tan.

Source : Today – 15 Jun 2010

Join The Discussion

Compare listings