Published May 24, 2007

Two commercial sites at Balestier up for en bloc sale

URA reserve list hotel site near Lavender MRT Station available for application


INVESTORS looking for hotel development sites have just been given a choice of three properties in the Balestier/Lavender area.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday made available for application a 99-year leasehold reserve list site at Jellicoe Road opposite Lavender MRT Station.

And the freehold Ruby Plaza and adjoining Balestier Towers are being offered for collective sale.

Realtorhub Real Estate, which is marketing the two adjoining properties through separate sale exercises, said the joint owners expect bids above $670 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

Based on this unit land price, the price for Ruby Plaza would be at least $79 million and that for Balestier Towers at least $60.3 million.

Ruby Plaza is on a 39,493 sq ft site and Balestier Towers on 29,986 sq ft. Both sites are zoned for commercial and residential use with a 3.0 plot ratio - the ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area - under Master Plan 2003.

Ruby Plaza has received outline planning permission for hotel use and Realtorhub believes the same permission will probably be given for Balestier Towers.

Realtorhub director Daniel Ng believes developers could also seek URA permission to redevelop the sites into a medical centre, to capitalise on strong demand for such space.

As for the 45,408 sq ft hotel site at Jellicoe Road being offered by URA, CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho reckons it can be developed into a hotel with about 400 rooms.

He estimates the site could fetch slightly more than $420 psf per plot ratio achieved for the tender of URA hotel site at Belilios Road this week.

This is because the Jellicoe Road plot has a better location and easy access to the MRT.