Mediacorp places site of Caldecott Broadcast Centre for sale

The site that formerly housed the Caldecott Broadcast Centre at Andrew Road has been offered for sale by vendor Mediacorp, Singapore’s national media network. The hilltop site spans 752,015 sq ft and served as the hub for broadcast for more than six decades until 2015 when Mediacorp moved to its current location in Mediapolis.

Real estate consultants – CBRE and Showsuite Consultancy – have been appointed by Mediacorp to advise and market the property. The property will be sold via a public tender exercise which will close on Dec 9.

The 99-year leasehold island site currently has a balance lease term of 73 years and is zoned as a ‘Civic & Community Institution’ in the 2019 Master Plan. Located at the heart of the Caldecott Hill Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area, Mediacorp has been granted an Outline Approval by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for a proposed site redevelopment into two-storey bungalows with a minimum land area of 800 sq m per house.

Mediacorp has appointed an architect who has worked out a subdivision scheme for the site, accommodating 67 bungalow plots, subject to approval from the authorities.

CEO of Showsuite Consultancy, Mr Karamjit Singh, said: “With the buildings vacated, the land is now ripe for redevelopment and harmonisation with the immediate surroundings of posh detached houses. These ‘junior-GCBs’ would perfectly cater to the under-served mid-tier segment of detached houses – the market between GCBs and entry-level bungalows. There has been no large-scale project of brand-new GCBs, junior or conventional, for a very long time. The closest proxy would be bungalows at Sentosa Cove, which were launched between 2005 and 2010.”

“As a result, the number of detached houses in Singapore has remained stagnant over decades. It was 10,000 plus 25 years ago and it remains 10,000 plus today. This represents less than 1% of the country’s total housing stock. During the same period, the average household net wealth has increased by over 300%,” continued Mr Singh.

The gross land value for a proposed bungalow redevelopment on the site is expected to be in excess of S$400 million including a differential premium and lease upgrading premium, which would translate to a land rate in the region of S$540 per sq ft (psf).

Based on the vendor’s architect’s scheme of 67 bungalows, this would work out to a land cost of around S$6 million per land plot. At this price, a developer may break even at about S$9 to S$10 million per bungalow.

The new detached houses at the proposed development are expected to be priced between $11 and $14 million, subject to design and configuration.

An application has been made to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for an in-principle approval for the lease to be extended to a fresh 99-year lease tenure.

Mr Michael Tay, Head of Capital Markets, Singapore at CBRE added: “The perception of leasehold tenure has been changing over the years. In a market where freehold capital values are high, there is a growing generation of buyers who see the more affordable leasehold properties as an opportunity to tie down less capital for their homes, while achieving their aspirational goals. In so doing, they free up capital to invest in another property for rental income.”

Mr Tay said: “We are optimistic that developers will be excited about this opportunity, as the proposed ‘junior-GCBs’ project will appeal to buyers and upgraders who are seeking bungalow ownership within a brand-new estate, with the added cache of being part of an established GCB area.”

“In addition to the bungalow redevelopment potential, we understand that URA may also be prepared to consider a proposal for the site to be redeveloped into a retirement village, subject to detailed evaluation,” added Mr Tay.

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