ICB Shopping Centre headed for en bloc launch at S$65-70m

Analysts expect the mixed-use development to attract small to mid-sized developers

Sep 26, 2017

Lee Meixian

THE owners of ICB Shopping Centre, a mixed-use development in Yio Chu Kang Road, last Friday gave their consent for a collective sale.

This is the first en bloc attempt by the development, which is more than 30 years old. It comprises six apartment units (of between 1,324 sq ft and 1,550 sq ft) and 13 retail units, most of which practise scrambled merchandising.

The development's residential and commercial owners are looking for a price of S$65 million to S$70 million, said Strata AMC, the agency assisting in the deal.

The consent the owners gave is subject to a five-day cooling period, after which the development will launch for tender.

Based on its maximum potential gross floor area (GFA), the asking price range translates to a unit price of about S$1,390 per sq ft (psf) to S$1,500 psf.

The development sits on a freehold plot with a land area of 15,548 sq ft. It has a current GFA of 25,123 sq ft, but with a plot ratio of 3.0, it can be built to a maximum permissible GFA of 46,643 sq ft, the agency said.

ICB Shopping Centre is about 1 km from Nex shopping mall and Serangoon MRT station, and is also near eateries and other small retail shopping areas.

Anne Loh, executive director at Strata AMC, said the location is convenient as it sits along the main road.

"The Upper Serangoon/Hougang precinct is a potential growth area ... The space can potentially be redeveloped into a medical centre, since there is no large hospital within the vicinity."

Nicholas Mak, executive director of ZACD Group, said the project appears more suited to small to mid-sized developers, most of whom have been crowded out of the en bloc deals in the market because of the high asking prices.

Mr Mak had earlier expected the sentiment for en bloc sales - especially of 99-year leasehold projects - to cool a little, following the hike in development charge (DC) rates announced in late August.

Higher DC rates will increase the charges payable by developers for increasing the floor area of the new development, as well as for topping up the 99-year lease of the land.

"Yet, we see that this has not tapered demand; the en bloc momentum is continuing. This property may fall below the radar of medium-sized to large developers as its scale may not fit their portfolio or image, but it may work in the favour of smaller developers," he said.

If this collective sale goes through, it will follow three other sales of mixed-use or commercial properties to go through this year.

In May, a unit of BBR Holdings acquired Goh & Goh Building, a mixed-use property in Upper Bukit Timah Road, for S$101.5 million.

In July, Citimac, a freehold industrial complex near Tai Seng MRT station, was sold for S$430.1 million to a foreign developer.

This month, Elite Building, a freehold six-storey property near Aljunied MRT station, was sold through a collective sale for S$52 million to The Tabernacle Church and Missions Limited.