Singapore’s first farm resort in Lim Chu Kang to offer villas

Lim Chu Kang looks all set for a change if the Singapore Land Authority’s plans for the first agri-tainment resort work out.

Developers of the agri-tainment farm resort hope to offer visitors a more unconventional experience when it opens its doors in August 2008.

Visitors will be able to find out how crops like corn and coffee are grown and may even get the chance to harvest their own vegetables.

In addition, the five-hectare site, which is equal to the size of six football fields, will have 21 villas and a nearby spa. And the villas will be going for up to S$200 a night.

HLH Agri International is paying S$880,000 for a 20-year lease which it admits is ‘cheap’.

It plans to sub-lease 21 plots to entrepreneurs and will charge 10 per cent of their total earnings in management fees.

Dr Tan Siang Hee, CEO of HLH Agri International, said: “We’re going to create the opportunity for people to have a storefront. They can be planting from somewhere else and bringing in the product. Or in another sense, they could be planting within the 700 square metres that we give them as a demonstration port.”

HLH has refused to disclose other financial details.

Each operator will be given a two-year operating permit that will be renewable subject to the overall performance of the operator.

Interested operators will be able to operate rent-free and will only have to pay a minimum management fee.

Operators will need to submit a business plan specifying crop type.

Other nearby farm owners that Channel NewsAsia spoke with said they don’t feel threatened by the new resort farm and expect it to help renew interest in the industry.

Developers are aiming to draw 500,000 local and foreign visitors a year with plans to increase that number to 650,000 by 2012. – CNA/vm

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Apr 2008

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