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Thread: Dempsey Hill: The next hot spot to hit for food, entertainment

  1. #1
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    Default Tanglin Village gets a 'lease' to stay trendy till 2015

    Top Print Edition Stories
    Published November 8, 2006

    Tanglin Village gets a 'lease' to stay trendy till 2015
    The area, shaping up to be a haven for F&B outlets and play schools, could be worth some $5-8b


    (SINGAPORE) Tanglin Village around Dempsey Road sits on some of Singapore's most prime land, but for the next 10 years at least it will enjoy the respite from bulldozers and remain a haven for hipsters and kids alike.

    The owners of Oosh, touted as S'pore's largest alfresco F&B outlet, pay monthly rent of $23,000 but aim to break even in three years.

    Announcing the launch of the public tender of two more pre-War buildings for adaptive re-use such as F&B outlets and play schools, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee said yesterday the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has plans for Tanglin Village up to 2015.

    'Depending on how this works out and what plans the Urban Redevelopment Authority has, who knows . . . I think this may be continued after that,' said Assoc Prof Ho.

    Based on recent asking prices for residential sites in the Holland Road/Napier Road area, which range from $700 to $1,200 psf per plot ratio, assuming a plot ratio of 1.6, the 40 ha Tanglin Village could be worth anywhere from about $5 billion to $8 billion.

    There are about 50 buildings at Tanglin Village - formerly the Central Manpower Base - and about 25 have been tenanted out on short leases. Only one, St George's Church in Minden Road has been gazetted as a national monument.

    Typically, leases on a three-year basis with an option to extend for an additional 3+3 years.

    The short leases have not been a deterrent. Clarence Ti, director of land resource services at SLA, says more than 40 bids have been received for seven parcels made available over the past three years.

    Most recently, 11 bids were received for a building with a gross floor area of about 13,000 sq ft, which was awarded to businessmen Richard Goh, Tommie Goh and Daniel Ong for monthly rent of $23,000.

    Mr Richard Goh says the rent works out to be between $2 and $3 psf - much cheaper than $10-20 psf at nearby Holland Village. Still, he and his partners pumped a further $6 million into restoring the old building, now touted as Singapore's largest alfresco F&B outlet, called Oosh.

    Mr Goh expects up to 350 customers a day and aims to break even in three years.

    Oosh is a lot more upmarket than other F&B offerings at Tanglin Village like the successful PS Cafe down the road. But Mr Goh is bullish. 'We have created something very unique with Oosh,' he says.

    Other entrepreneurs seem to be bullish about Tanglin Village too.

    The former Civil Service Club, which has a gross floor area of 27,717 sq ft, is one of the buildings that has just been put up for tender. And already, T Nagarajan, manager of Samy's Curry Restaurant, which is still a tenant there, says he sees prospective bidders viewing the site 'every day'.

    Samy's has been at the location for 25 years. Mr Nagarajan has been working there for 12 years but realises the restaurant's days are numbered. 'This is why we opened a new outlet in Katong,' he said. At present, Samy's lease at Tanglin Village is renewed on a month-to-month basis.

    He says the restaurant's owners are considering bidding for the site themselves. But like Oosh, it is likely to be hotly contested.

    Explaining the concept for the tender process at Tanglin Village, which is being carried out in stages, SLA's Mr Ti says: 'There is an interesting trade-off for businessmen in this approach. Winners of earlier tenders get some first-mover advantage but their financial projections could prove to be optimistic once competition sets in.

    'We do not protect our earlier winners from the competition from late winners. Each will have to distinguish themselves in the marketplace.'

    The irony, of course, is that nobody can accurately predict what the market wants - be it condominiums or fish head curry.

    Architect Aamer Taher, who designed both PS Cafe and Oosh - helping to make Tanglin Village trendy in the process - reflects: 'Maybe it would have been better if the whole place was more of a secret.'

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    Default Re: Tanglin Village gets a 'lease' to stay trendy till 2015

    June 29, 2007

    SLA awards two more sites at Tanglin Village

    AN ART gallery and recreational outlets including an indoor children's entertainment centre are adding to the buzz at Tanglin Village.

    The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) announced yesterday it has awarded two more sites with an area of 40,135 sq m, consisting of 11 blocks, to construction company Country City Investment.

    Both sites are on a three-year lease, with an option to renew up to 2015.

    Some of the new additions of fine-dining restaurants, recreational and retail outlets are already open for business on one of the sites at 8 Dempsey Hill, which has seven blocks.

    The 16 new outlets on the site include cafe Dome, ice-cream parlour Ben & Jerry's, and Harry's Bar.

    Other outlets on the site, like art gallery Red Sea Gallery and Go-Go Bambini, a children's entertainment playground, opened recently.

    Country City will seek sub-tenants to open outlets on its second site at 25 Dempsey Road, formerly occupied by the Civil Service Club (CSC).

    The SLA said it received a good response from bidders with nine bids ranging from $38,000 to $94,000 for the 16,300 sq m site, which has four blocks.

    Country City's first sub-tenant at Tanglin Village is established food haunt Samy's Curry Restaurant. It had remained on site on a temporary licence when the CSC moved out last year.

    General manager of Country City, Mr Nicholas Ng, said he hopes the new outlets and fine-dining restaurants will 'be a new lifestyle destination' for Singaporeans, expatriates and tourists.

    The SLA said another property at 45 Minden Road will be put up for public tender in August.


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    Default Dempsey Hill: The next hot spot to hit for food, entertainment

    Weekend, June 30, 2007

    Chill on this hill

    Dempsey Hill: The next hot spot to hit for food, entertainment

    Lin Yanqin
    [email protected]

    IF there was any doubt that the Dempsey area was going to be the next hot dining and entertainment district, the number of restaurants that have sprung up at Dempsey Hill in the past two months should dispel any reservations.

    Vintage India, Harry's, Ben & Jerry's, Margarita's, Quaruba'r are just some of the outlets that have set up shop in what was a former British army barracks. Scheduled to open early next month is a 2,787-sq-m spa-and-restaurant by Spa Esprit, and Rain — a fusion restaurant featuring VIP karaoke.

    Also listed as tenants on the website of Country City Investment (CCI) — the developer and sole bidder for the Dempsey Hill site awarded by the Government earlier this year — are Go Go Bambini, a children's entertainment centre, and Red Sea Gallery, an art gallery and school.

    Said Hacienda's Michel Lu, whose club is at nearby Dempsey Road: "The news last year was all the big players opening like St James Powerhouse … the big news this year is going to be Dempsey."

    The influx of tenants into Dempsey Hill, he said, would bring "new opportunities" for existing establishments like PS Café and Oosh. "This is a whole new lifestyle destination — you are going to have spas, grocery shops like Culina, and art galleries, in a very lush and relaxed setting. Where else are you going to find a place like this?" he said.

    His sentiment is echoed by the CCI's tenants Today spoke to. They uniformly praised Dempsey Hill's unique location and ambience.

    "I knew this was the place the minute I saw it. It's a getaway, and yet just minutes away from Orchard," said Spa Esprit managing director Cynthia Chua, whose spa-restaurant-bar House, Barracks and Camp is slated to open on July 7.

    Vintage India — which serves up Indian dishes in a colonial setting — opened its doors on Monday, and general manager Venkat Reddy is confident that the restaurant will have no problem drawing diners, even those who do not drive.

    "There aren't many places for outdoor dining in Singapore, with all the greenery and fresh air," he said.

    Rain's director Dennis Kuah feels that Dempsey Hill is "special and a bit mysterious, so it draws people".

    Hacienda's Lu is not worried that plans to develop the area will result in Dempsey losing its isolated charm and becoming "commercial".

    "There's still a lot of room to grow, a lot of potential," he said. "Small places like this, and Changi Village — these are all going to be places to watch."

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    Default Re: Dempsey Hill: The next hot spot to hit for food, entertainment

    Revamped Dempsey Hill area to cater to families and diners

    By Satish Cheney, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 12 July 2007 2101 hrs

    SINGAPORE: The Dempsey Road area is getting more buzz - as another historical area has been redeveloped into Singapore's latest wining-and-dining scene.

    Spanning one hundred square feet of lush greenery, Dempsey Hill used to be the former British Army barracks and later, Singapore's Central Manpower Base.

    The grand old colonial buildings are receiving a major touch up as the area is set to become Singapore's latest "place to see and be seen".

    Besides the usual nightlife fare, there is a spa located right in the heart of the area.

    There is also a place for parents to leave their kids while they wine and dine.

    The area's developer, Country City Investment, hopes that its 18 tenants will attract more families, in their push towards daytime activities like breakfast and even grocery shopping.

    Nicholas Ng, General Manager, Country City Investment, said: "Everyone is trying to find a place where they can get away over the weekend, to be somewhere different from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

    "So I see that this is an ongoing trend. To look out for new places, to redevelop and transform them into lifestyle destinations."

    And many tenants are confident of booming business due to the good location and greenery.

    "When I first look at Dempsey Hill, it reminds me of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley in Australia. We're a wine distributor. And it is close to nature and it's just a stone's throw away from Orchard Road," said Peng Yam, CEO, Angel's Share.

    Country City Investment has pumped in S$3 million to transform the area.

    Its next project here will be the redevelopment of the former Civil Service Club. - CNA/yy

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