Orchard Bel Air up for en bloc sale at S$587.5m

Jul 28, 2022

ORCHARD Bel Air, located at the doorstep of the soon-to-open Orchard Boulevard MRT Station, is up for sale by public tender at S$587.5 million.

The prime District 10 development, whose 99-year leasehold tenure started in August 1980, has a land area of about 93,126 square feet (sq ft). Under the Master Plan 2019, it has a gross plot ratio of 2.8 and a building height control of up to 36 storeys.

The guide price of S$587.5 million translates to a land rate of approximately S$2,600 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) after factoring in an upgrading premium of approximately S$131 million for the lease top-up. No development charge is payable. Taking into consideration the 7 per cent bonus gross floor area allowed for balconies, this translates to approximately S$2,526 psf ppr.

Built in 1984, Orchard Bel Air comprises 71 residential units across 25 storeys. In its vicinity are high-end residential developments, hotels, offices and shopping malls in Singapore’s retail belt, including Tanglin Mall, ION Orchard and The Forum.

According to sole marketing agent Knight Frank, the Orchard Bel Air site has the potential to be redeveloped into a high-end luxurious residential development up to its existing verified gross floor area of around 276,298 sq ft, based on a gross plot ratio of 2.96. It said an estimated 128 new residential units averaging 200 sq m or 2,152 sq ft could be developed on the site, depending on layout and configuration, and subject to approval from the relevant authorities. The redevelopment would not require a pre-application feasibility study on traffic impact.

Knight Frank says Orchard Bel Air is unique in that it falls within a corridor of properties along Orchard Boulevard on which 36-storey developments may be permitted under the Master Plan 2019. Most of the other sites located across the road from Orchard Bel Air have a height control of up to 20 storeys.

“Although we have attempted to initiate the collective sale exercise in the past, this is the first time we have managed to secure the 80 per cent consensus mandate to launch the tender,” said Baldev Singh, chairman of the Orchard Bel Air collective sale committee.

Owners of the apartments, whose sizes range from 300 to 303 sq m or 3,229 to 3,261 sq ft, stand to receive minimum gross proceeds of approximately S$8.1 million. The penthouse owner with a unit size of 605 sq m or 6,512 sq ft, could walk away with at least S$16.3 million from the sale.

The last successful large-scale en bloc sale in the Orchard Boulevard vicinity was Park House, located just across the road from Orchard Bel Air. Park House was sold for S$375.5 million or S$2,910 psf ppr in June 2018.

According to caveats lodged, the new development on the site, Park Nova, has sold about 69 per cent or 37 out of 54 units since its launch a year ago, with prices fetching an estimated S$4,970 psf on average.

It said demand for luxury residences in Singapore has steadily grown as witnessed by the handful of notable transactions since last year. For example, Eden at 2 Draycott Park sold out all 20 units in March 2021 for S$293 million, at an estimated S$4,827 psf on average.

A unit at Les Maisons Nassim achieved a record price of approximately S$37 million or S$5,461 psf in April 2022, while a resale unit at The Nassim registered a record price of S$20 million or S$4,915 psf in May 2022.

“Singapore has already witnessed some increase in foreign buying interest with international borders opening this year,” said Chia Mein Mein, head of capital markets (land & collective sale) at Knight Frank. “We anticipate a further pickup in demand, particularly in the high-end residential market, which has not experienced as much price growth in the last 2 years when compared to suburban homes.”

She expects strong interest from local and overseas developers and said the successful bidder can look forward to creating an iconic and ultra-luxurious landmark development with new homes “soaring above the neighbouring developments with unobstructed views of the cityscape”.

The collective sale tender for Orchard Bel Air will close at 3 pm on Sep 6, 2022.