Prime Centre sold for $103m

Hong Leong Group have sold freehold Prime Centre on Middle Road for $103 million or $1,415 per square foot based on existing net lettable area of about 72,800 sq ft.

Buyer ERC Holdings group, a private commercial school operator is said to be planning to renovate the property for use as an educational hub and hotel.

DTZ brokered the sale of Prime Centre through a private treaty deal.

Market watchers say it makes more sense for ERC to renovate the existing 18-year-old office block rather than to tear it down and redevelop the site since Prime Centre’s existing gross floor area of 94,657 sq ft reflects a plot ratio of 4.69 on its site area of 20,162 sq ft – exceeding the 4.2 plot ratio allowed for the site under Master Plan 2008.

The site is zoned for commercial use. It has 73 car park lots.

The new premises will help ERC cater to its expansion programme. A year ago, the group picked up 60 units equivalent to about 90 per cent of the North Bridge Commercial Complex (opposite Bugis Junction) for $46 million. It has since spruced up the space and is using it for its headquarters as well as a campus for ERC Institute.

About $4 billion worth of office investment sales is estimated to have been transacted so far this year.