Published September 14, 2006

Lippo puts in top bid for Sentosa condo site
It offers new benchmark $817.66 psf ppr price for 99-year lease plot


LIPPO has set a new benchmark price for condo land on Sentosa Cove. Its top bid of $234.7 million yesterday for the 99-year leasehold Marina Collection site reflects a unit land price of $817.66 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

This is 28 per cent higher than the previous benchmark of $638.62 psf per plot ratio set in January this year for The Baywater Collection plot sold to Ho Bee Group. The earlier plot is slated for a part six-storey, part eight-storey condo fronting the sea.

The Marina Collection parcel, which is located next to One Degree 15 Marina, can be developed into a four-storey project with up to 170 units.

The parcel comprises two sites totalling 239,198 sq ft in land area and has a 1.2 plot ratio (ratio of potential maximum gross floor area to land area). It's the last condo site to be sold in Sentosa Cove's Northern Residential Precinct.

Lippo was the highest of seven bidders in the tender for the Marina Collection site, a spokesman for Sentosa Cove Pte Ltd (SCPL) said yesterday.

Ho Bee is understood to have been the second highest bidder with an offer of slightly under $220 million - or about 7 per cent lower than Lippo's price.

The other bidders are believed to have included City Developments, CapitaLand, Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, and the developer of One Degree 15 Marina.

The Marina Collection parcel is likely to be awarded in a few weeks' time, the SCPL spokesman added. The master developer of the upscale waterfront residential precinct coming up on Sentosa Island had previously said that the award would be based solely on price.

This is the first time Lippo will bag a major site in Sentosa Cove, although members of the Riady family which controls Lippo are said to have bought four adjoining bungalow plots in the location a few years ago. The Riadys bought the earlier plots for development into two bungalows for their personal use, BT understands.

Lippo Realty (Singapore) executive director Thio Gim Hock estimates that the group's breakeven cost for a new condo project on The Marina Collection parcel would come up to just under $1,100 psf. The project will have 'an outstanding concept' to set it apart from surrounding projects. It is likely to be launch-ready by June next year, he reckons.

The latest condo project launched in Sentosa Cove - CityDev and TID's 15-storey The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove - is understood to have fetched an average price of close to $1,350 psf.

While the Marina Collection has a much lower height limit of just four storeys and does not face the sea directly, a condo project on the site should still be able to ride on strong demand for homes in Sentosa Cove, reckon market watchers. The four-storey height limit is the shortest for all the condo plots sold so far on the island and that is in keeping with the low-rise character around the pier.

The earlier condo plots sold in Sentosa Cove's Northern Precinct, or North Cove, can be built up to at least six storeys.