Tenders withdrawn for Hillview residential sites, 'for other development plans'

Wed, Jan 19, 2022

SHORTLY before their scheduled closing date, 2 sale tenders for a total of 25 factories, all zoned for residential use and spanning more than 132,000 square feet (sq ft) of land in Hillview, have been taken off the table, The Business Times (BT) has learnt.

One of the tenders, marketed by Colliers and carrying a S$106 million indicative price, is for the 999-year leasehold plots located at 32-38D Hillview Terrace. The other, marketed jointly by Colliers and OrangeTee Advisory with a S$122 million price tag, is for the freehold sites at 31-35 and 50-64 Hillview Terrace.

Both were launched in November last year and slated to close at 3pm on Thursday (Jan 20). The withdrawals were announced in notices printed in BT on Jan 19 for the 999-year leasehold site, and on Jan 18 for the freehold plots. No reason was offered.

In response to BT’s queries, Colliers on Jan 19 said that the owners’ decision to scrap both tenders for the residential redevelopment sites was not related to the latest round of cooling measures introduced on Dec 16, “as we have been receiving a good response” for the tenders.

Instead, the Hillview Terrace parcels “are currently being strategically repositioned for other development plans, and more information will be available in due course”, the real estate services firm noted.

Meanwhile, the owners are working towards a relaunch of the sale tenders “in the near future”, Colliers added.

In late December 2021, a week after the Singapore government introduced fresh cooling measures in the property market, Colliers had told BT that the tenders it was handling would continue and any decision would be made based on the submissions.

All the owners of the Hillview Terrace plots, which are zoned for residential use with an allowable gross plot ratio of 1.62 under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019, had consented to the intended joint sales of their land parcels, Colliers and OrangeTee Advisory said in their earlier press statements.

On the 32-38D Hillview Terrace site, there are currently 14 contiguous terrace factories with a combined land area of about 70,302 sq ft. This was put on the market last year on Sep 30 and again on Nov 18.

The freehold sites at 31-35 and 50-64 Hillview Terrace comprise 11 factory units - 8 terrace factories, a pair of semi-detached factories, and a detached factory - with a combined land area of 62,213 sq ft. These were offered for sale through a separate tender exercise on Nov 18.

The freehold parcels could potentially yield up to 141 new units, subject to approval from the authorities, according to Colliers and OrangeTee.

Colliers also previously suggested that “more ambitious developers” could acquire both the 999-year leasehold and freehold sites to develop them into a larger residential project.

In its Nov 17 statement, OrangeTee Advisory noted that the Hillview area has been transformed into an attractive residential location, with more than 30 condominium and apartment projects already developed there, since URA re-designated it as a residential zone in 1994.

The latest round of cooling measures is expected to slow the momentum in the collective sale market. For instance, Shun Tak Holdings has called off its S$556.7 million purchase of High Point condominium in the Orchard area, BT reported on Dec 24.

That said, the new property curbs have not entirely stifled demand for land. On Wednesday (Jan 19), it was announced that freehold condominium Gloria Mansion was sold en bloc for S$70.3 million.

A handful of sites, including Chuan Park Condominium and Choon Kim House, have also recently moved into private treaty talks after their tenders closed.