Singapore Companies
Published November 1, 2006

Work begins on Orchard Road's newest building
Developers eye record residential prices, rentals


WORK started yesterday on Orchard Road's newest and tallest building - the $2 billion Orchard Turn development above Orchard MRT station.

New landmark: Orchard Turn is the first residential and retail project in about 10 years on Orchard Road

The 56-storey residential and retail project - the first in about a decade on Singapore's prime shopping street - will tower over its neighbours at 218 m.

It will have one million sq ft of retail space to be completed by end-2008, and 177 luxury homes scheduled for completion at end-2009, the development partners said yesterday.

Orchard Turn is a joint venture (JV) between CapitaLand, Singapore's biggest developer, and Hong Kong's Sun Hung Kai Properties.

The chief executive of JV company Orchard Turn Developments, Soon Su Lin, said the 'super-luxury' apartments will be launched in the first quarter of next year.

And she hopes they will smash records. 'We hope to set benchmark prices, just like we're setting benchmarks with both our architecture and our design,' she said.

The current record price for a luxury apartment in Singapore is $3,000 per sq ft for a unit in City Developments' St Regis Residences.

Ms Soon did not say at what price the Orchard Turn apartments will be launched. 'I think . . . we'll take the cue from the market,' she said. 'At the moment, the residential market is doing very well, especially at the luxury end. Prices are still rising and demand is still very strong, both from locals and foreigners. And at our location, I think we'll be able to command a good price.' There will be a range of apartment sizes, including penthouses and 'garden' units.

As for the retail component, Ms Soon hopes Orchard Turn's eight storey mall will attract 100,000 visitors a day. Just as with the residential units, she expects the retail space to command the best prices in the market. 'Based on our location, we will already be able to get rents that are being paid on the market for prime retail space,' she said. The average rent in Orchard Road is now $39 per sq ft per month, up 13.2 per cent from last year, according to a recent report from Cushman & Wakefield.

Orchard Turn will have more than 450 shops and restaurants, including top brands not now in Singapore, Ms Soon said.

Also, retailers looking for a chance to do something different will have that opportunity as the building facade itself will be used to display brands, she added.

The JV partners paid $1.38 billion for their plot earlier this year. Building costs will take their all-in spending to about $2 billion, Ms Soon said.