Two floors at Southpoint sold for S$78.4m

Separately, pair of shophouses in East Coast Road sold for S$17.28m; buyer is Cheong Keng Hooi, whose family developed International Plaza

Fri, Aug 23, 2019

A COUPLE of commercial property deals were sealed recently.

Along Cantonment Road, two floors of the 16-storey freehold Southpoint office building are being sold for S$78.4 million or S$2,444 per square foot based on the strata area of 32,076 sq ft.

In the Katong area, a pair of freehold adjoining shophouses at the corner of East Coast and Joo Chiat roads, currently leased to German restaurant chain Brotzeit, have been sold for S$17.28 million.

Located at one of the busiest junctions in the area and opposite the 112 Katong mall, the single-storey shophouses at 124 and 126 East Coast Road may be redeveloped to two storeys in the front and up to five storeys at the back.

The freehold site of about 2,872 sq ft is zoned for commercial use with a 3.0 plot ratio. This means that it can have a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 8,616 square feet.

The transacted price reflects about S$2,215 per square foot based on the maxiumum GFA, inclusive of an estimated development charge of S$1.8 million, payable to the state for building a bigger property on the site, said Yap Hui Yee, associate director of capital markets at CBRE.

CBRE had launched a tender exercise for the sale of the property that was to have closed on Aug 7, 2019. However, it sold the property by private treaty before that date, following which the property was withdrawn from the market, said Ms Yap.

The lease with Brotzeit runs out around mid-2020.

Ms Yap declined to comment on the seller and buyer.

However, BT understands that the buyer is an entity owned by Cheong Keng Hooi, a member of the family that developed International Plaza in Tanjong Pagar.

The seller is Crescent Developments, controlled by the Bajaj family, some members of which also used to own Nanak Mansions along Meyer Road, which they sold to UOL Group and Kheng Leong in 2017 for S$201.08 million. The site is being redeveloped into MeyerHouse.

Crescent Developments also owns 320 Balestier Road, a four-storey building at the junction of Balestier and Kim Keat roads. The property is on freehold land of about 4,377 sq ft and is zoned for commercial and residential use. The building is currently under negotiation for sale.

The ground floor is currently leased to a lighting shop, though it has been approved for F&B use. The second level is being operated as a student hostel. On levels 3 and 4 are private residences.

CBRE also brokered the recent sale of Levels 10 and 11 at Southpoint but declined to comment on the buyer and seller.

BT understands that the buyer is a joint-venture company that is 60 per cent owned by JMD Holdings, the shareholders of which include Desmond Wang. JMD group is involved in property development and investment.

The other two partners in the joint venture, each with a 20 per cent stake, are: MVJESTIC Holdings (controlled by a Soh family) and ROYT Capital (owned by Tan Heng Kiat).

The joint venture is buying the two floors for investment; Southpoint is at the gateway to the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront.

The two floors are being sold by Golden Pacific Worldwide & Holdings Pte Ltd; its shareholders are Lee Sai Kit and Tay Lee Hoon. Golden Pacific is understood to have bought the two floors from Maersk in 2009 for S$26.9 million or S$840 psf. Maersk leased back the space and continues to occupy the two floors.

Over the past two years, the building has received a makeover. As a result, the building's facade now has aluminium panels. The building's chillers and generator set have also been replaced.

Southpoint was completed around 1986 and comprises 15 office floors (from Levels 2 to 16), each of them 1,490 square metres (or 16,038 sq ft). Going by a media report in 1984, this was the largest floor plate for an office building in Singapore.

It was developed by the Vesty family from the United Kingdom. By the time Southpoint's topping-out ceremony was held in September 1984, the developer had sold three floors.

Today, the majority of the space at Southpoint is held by entities controlled by Kuo International, an oil trading and investment holding firm founded by the late Peter Fu Yun Siak.

According to media reports, Kuo International paid about S$165 million or about S$840 psf for the space it bought in 1990.