Fragrance buys Jervois block for S$46.3m; Eu Realty sells two shophouses

The two shophouses - at 273 and 275 South Bridge Road - were sold for S$26.5m to SilkRoad Property Partners

Thu, Mar 15, 2018

Kalpana Rashiwala

A UNIT of Fragrance Group has bought Lotus at Jervois, a four-storey freehold apartment block, for S$46.3 million.

The price works out to around S$1,683 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) inclusive of an estimated development charge of S$200,000.

Fragrance Group, controlled by tycoon Koh Wee Meng, is expected to redevelop the District 10 property.

The existing development - comprising 20 rental apartments ranging from one bedroom with study units to four-bedders - was built some 20-plus years ago. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Master Plan 2014, the 19,741 sq ft site is zoned for residential use with 1.4 plot ratio (ratio of maxium gross floor area to land area).

The property is being sold by Pulau Properties, which is owned by the Lee Foundation and members of the Lee family behind OCBC Bank.

Sammi Lim, director of capital markets at CBRE, confirmed that she brokered the deal through private treaty but declined to comment on the buyer and seller's identities.

She noted that residential sites in Singapore's prime districts, particularly freehold ones, are increasingly on the radar of developers who are ready to ride on the recovery in the luxury residential segment.

"This market is set for a steady recovery supported by a strengthening economy and improving sentiments."

Separately, Eu Realty (Singapore), a fully-owned subsidiary of Eu Yan Sang International, has finally sold a pair of adjoining shophouses at 273 and 275 South Bridge Road.

Buyer SilkRoad Property Partners is paying S$26.5 million, which works out to S$2,643 psf on the gross floor area of 10,027 sq ft.

This is the same price at which Eu Realty had granted mainboard-listed Top Global an option to buy the 999-year leasehold property last November. That deal was subject to the authorities granting approval for a change of use for the upper levels of the property to "hotel or hostel".

In January, Top Global said it had aborted the proposed purchase as the condition precedent for the change of use could not be fulfilled.

The two shophouses, which span three levels and an attic, sit on a single land lot of 3,089 sq ft.

Eu Yan Sang International's fully-owned unit Eu Yan Sang Integrative Health - which operates a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) clinic on the ground floor of both shophouses - is expected to lease back this space.

The second level is vacant while the third and attic levels are leased to an office tenant.

The deal was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield, and Savills.

Eu Realty also owns four adjacent shophouses at Nos 265, 267, 269 and 271 South Bridge Road. The ground level of Nos 267, 269 and 271 is where the iconic flagship store of Eu Yan Sang (Singapore), another fully-owned unit of Eu Yan Sang International, is located. The upper levels of these three units, as well as the whole of No 265, are leased to third parties.

Eu Realty does not plan to sell these four shophouses.

SilkRoad Property Partners, a major shophouse investor, was set up here in 2012 by the former AEW Asia senior management team led by Peter Wittendorp.