Tech hub Sim Lim Square has extended the closing date for its collective sale tender by one month to give prospective bidders more time to explore the possibility of converting the commercial site into a hotel, the property’s marketing agent SLP International told CNA on Monday (Jun 24).
The tender, which was meant to close on Monday, will now close at 3pm on Jul 22.
Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Draft Master Plan 2019, the 7,260 sq m plot is zoned for commercial use.
Mr Francis Tan, project lead at SLP, said interested parties have “made contact over the course of the last few weeks, exploring the possibility of converting the entire space into (a) mixed-use development or hotel”.
This comes as many of the developments on the same stretch along Rochor Canal Road, where Sim Lim Square is, have been zoned for hotel use.
“They need more time as it’s a complex exercise that requires multiple parties”, said Mr Tan.
In order to convert such plots, developers need to submit applications to the URA, detailing how they intend to use it.
It takes about 20 working days to process these applications, which CNA understands are evaluated based on criteria such as the impact on surrounding infrastructure.
However, analysts said the effort needed to convert the plot may be worth it, as a mixed-use development in the area would be more strategic than a commercial one.
“If it’s commercially zoned, you can only either do retail or have an office. Some developers might shun offices, because the Sim Lim Square area is not the traditional office market,” said Mr Desmond Sim, head of research at real estate agency CBRE.
Considering the current challenging retail landscape, Mr Sim added that dedicating the entire plot to retail could result in difficulty achieving full occupancy rates.
On the other hand, having a mixed-use development could allow the space to be better utilised.
“They are not confined to office hours or retail opening hours,” he said.
“So with mixed-use – if you’ve got hospitality, you’ve got retail – the use of the actual site is actually more diverse and can be better used across a 24-hour timeline.”
Source: CNA – 24 Jun 2019