Published April 5, 2007

Far East buys Ocean Apartments for $39m

East Coast site may be combined with another for redevelopment


FAR East Organization has bought Ocean Apartments in East Coast Road for $39 million or $481 psf of potential gross floor area including an estimated $150,000 development charge (DC).

Ocean Apartments: Owners will receive more than $800,000 a unit

The collective sale, brokered by Colliers International, is understood to have taken place about a fortnight ago.

Just before that, Far East is said to have bought Sheridan Court next door for $13.5 million or $483 psf per plot ratio including an estimated $50,000 DC.

Assuming Far East combines the plots, it will have a freehold land area of 78,195 sq ft. The combined plots could be redeveloped into a project with about 80 units averaging 1,500 sq ft.

Both plots are zoned for residential use with 1.4 plot ratio - the ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area - and a five-storey height limit.

Ocean Apartments now comprises a couple of four-storey walk-up blocks totalling 48 units. Owners will receive more than $800,000 a unit from the collective sale - about 35 per cent more than if they had sold individually.

As for Sheridan Court, which comprises 14 apartments, industry sources say another investor had signed a deal to buy all the units through a collective sale, but before the deal could be completed in July this year, he 'flipped' the properties to Far East.

Market watchers note that because the Ocean Apartments/Sheridan Court combined site is slightly L-shaped, Far East could consider buying some adjoining properties to give the site a more squarish shape. 'But this is just speculation at this stage,' said a source.

Last week, Far East teamed up with Frasers Centrepoint in an equal joint venture to buy Tampines Court for $405 million or $260 psf per plot ratio inclusive of DC and a premium to top up the site's lease to 99 years. The 702,162 sq ft site is zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and can be redeveloped into 1,600 condo units.

'It will likely be a master-planned development, given the very large site and an opportunity for both developers to join forces to produce some innovative housing in Tampines,' Far East CEO Philip Ng said in a statement last week.

Frasers Centrepoint chief executive Lim Eee Seng said that the duo would create 'a landmark residential project'.