Published July 21, 2007

Wheelock Properties gearing up for launch of Scotts Square


WHEELOCK Properties will launch its upmarket Scotts Square residential project only in September or October, but the developer is already pulling out all the stops now.

Getting marketing down to a fine art: Ms Tan with the Moore sculpture that will grace Scotts Square

To showcase the 338-unit freehold project, the company recently spent over $500,000 to build a 'corporate gallery', which is now being used to entertain potential buyers - even as the showflats are being constructed.

Furnished with a fully equipped dry kitchen cum bar complete with champagne and piped-in music, the gallery also comes with a $2.3 million sculpture - British artist and sculptor Henry Moore's 1971 Working Model for Sheep Piece. The sculpture will be one of the four pieces of art that will grace Scotts Square once it is completed in 2010.

Market watchers said that it is unsurprising that Wheelock is willing to fork out such large sums of money to market Scotts Square ahead of the launch as prices are expected to hit $5,000 per square foot (psf) there.

Last month, SC Global said that a unit at its freehold The Marq On Paterson Hill has been sold for $5,100 psf. In all, a total of 21 apartments were sold at an average $4,137 psf.

Scotts Square is generally considered to be in a better location, market watchers said.

Pre-marketing for the project started two weeks ago, and the response has been 'very good' so far, said Tan Bee Kim, an executive director at Wheelock.

'We don't price our properties until they are ready for launch,' said MsTan when asked about Scotts Square's launch price. 'But I am optimistic. We are getting a lot of demand.'

There have been offers from both local and foreign funds to buy multiple units in the development for investment, Ms Tan said. But she added that Wheelock will prefer to sell to individual buyers, many of whom are likely to be previous customers of Wheelock.

Typically, about 50 per cent of units in each of its projects are bought by foreigners, but Ms Tan expects the proportion to be higher this time around.

Wheelock will be departing from current market trends in a few ways with Scotts Square. Unlike other upmarket launches of late, all the units will be launched at one go, rather than in phases.

And Scotts Square will offer smaller units than other recent luxury projects - and no penthouses.

The 338 units will consist of one, two and three-bedroom apartments of 600 sq ft, 900 sq ft and 1,200 sq ft respectively.

Ms Tan said that Scotts Square is the only project the developer intends to launch for the rest of 2007.

Two other upcoming freehold residential developments - Orchard View at Angullia Park and Ardmore Vue at Ardmore Park - are likely to be launched only next year, Ms Tan said.

Wheelock's shares closed six cents up at $3.40 yesterday.