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Thread: CapitaLand to build 1,500 high-end homes on site off Farrer Road

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    Default CapitaLand to build 1,500 high-end homes on site off Farrer Road

    CapitaLand to build 1,500 high-end homes on site off Farrer Road

    Posted: 17 July 2008 1645 hrs

    SINGAPORE: CapitaLand intends to build an estimated 1,500 mid- to high-end homes in prime District 10 on a site that currently houses the Farrer Court estate.

    The developer and its partners bought the site off Farrer Road in a collective sale last June for some S$1.34 billion.

    Revealing plans for the project on Thursday, CapitaLand said the new development will have seven blocks of 36-storeys each, with mainly two, three and four bedroom units. The development will also include 12 garden villas.

    The unnamed project is expected to be launched in the first half of 2009.

    CapitaLand said it is targeting high net worth individuals, both in and outside of Singapore.

    Liew Mun Leong, President & CEO of CapitaLand Group, said: "They can choose Hong Kong, they can choose Shanghai, but I think that Singapore is the most attractive. It has good connectivity, good infrastructure and is a very safe investment."

    CapitaLand expects the breakeven cost to range between S$1,350 and S$1,450 per square foot.

    Industry watchers said that depending on the market conditions at the time of the launch, the new units could fetch between S$1,500 and S$1,800 per square foot on average.

    The entire project will cost S$3 billion in total. CapitaLand and its partners have signed an agreement for a loan of S$2 billion to fund development costs.

    Mr Liew continued: "The sentiments have been affected in US, but I think here in Asia in terms of economic growth, the demand and urbanisation is still very strong for us. So I think the effect is something I am not overly concerned about."

    Farrer Court currently has 618 private apartment units. The 99-year leasehold site spans 838,488 square feet and has a maximum gross plot ratio of 2.8.

    It is within walking distance of the future Farrer MRT station. - CNA/vm

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    July 18, 2008

    $3b Farrer condo boasts sensuous, curvy towers

    Renowned architect Zaha Hadid behind their design; project to be launched in 2009

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent

    UNIQUE DESIGN: The as-yet-unnamed condo's 36-storey towers will feature a series of sensuous lines not commonly seen in residential developments in Singapore. The penthouse units (above) in the project offer good views. The project will be launched in the first half of next year. -- PHOTOS: CAPITALAND

    PROPERTY giant CapitaLand has unveiled the 'branded' upmarket designs for a $3 billion residential project in Farrer Road that it aims to launch next year.

    The as-yet-unnamed condominium boasts a series of sensuous lines that are not commonly seen in residential projects in Singapore, while the curving towers give an ultra-modern feel without the harsh edges present on many blocks.

    It is all very much in the recognised style of architect Zaha Hadid, the first female recipient of the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize.

    This is her first condo project in Singapore but she has designed two bungalows for niche developer Elevation Developments.

    Past Pritzker Architecture Prize winners include Mr Frank Gehry, Sir Norman Foster and Mr Rem Koolhaas.

    The seven 36-storey blocks on the sprawling 838,488 sq ft site will hold about 1,500 homes. There will also be six pairs of unique semi-detached houses.

    CapitaLand is developing the 99-year leasehold plot with three partners. Hotel Properties and a Morgan Stanley Real Estate fund will each hold 22.5 per cent, while Wachovia Development will take 20 per cent.

    These parties, which borrowed a whopping $1.996 billion for the ambitious project, yesterday held a signing ceremony for the loan with their bankers at the Four Seasons Hotel.

    It is the largest syndicated residential property development loan ever arranged in Singapore and comes amid a slow housing scene and tight credit markets.

    CapitaLand said the deal comprises a $1.362 billion term loan, $500 million of revolving credit and $133.9 million in bank guarantees.

    The collective sale deal for the former Farrer Court condo site was inked in June last year at $1.338 billion, or up to $783 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area.

    Ms Patricia Chia, chief executive of CapitaLand Residential Singapore, said the project's break- even cost is around $1,350 psf to $1,450 psf.

    The condo will be launched in the first half of next year.

    Developers generally see no need to hurry given the slow property sector, falling share markets and continuing bad news from the United States.

    CapitaLand chief executive Liew Mun Leong said at the signing ceremony that the past few months have been challenging, but the business world must go on, notwithstanding the current economic turbulence in the US.

    He said bankers, developers, businesses and potential partners could come together to exploit opportunities that increase during bad times.

    Mr Liew added later: 'Sentiment has been affected in the US, but I think the fundamentals in Asia - in terms of economic growth, the demand, urbanisation - are still very strong.'

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    Friday, July 18, 2008

    New face in Farrer

    Pritzker Prize-winning architect to design new $3-billion development

    Christie Loh

    [email protected]

    WHEN 31-year-old Farrer Court is demolished over the coming months, its replacement will be a “curvaceous” condominium that is set to dominate the skyline of District 10 and clock several firsts.

    Giving the media a sneak peek yesterday, a CapitaLand-led consortium gave hints of how it planned to transform the site of Singapore’s biggest-ever en bloc sale.

    In a precinct made up largely of landed homes and low- to mid-rise buildings, the upcoming 99-year leasehold project will comprise seven towers, which will each reach a height of 36 storeys. There will be a total of1,500 homes, including 32 penthouses and 12 garden villas.

    The condominium, yet to be named, will be launched in the first half of next year and is estimated to cost $3 billion to build, said CapitaLand Group chief executive Liew Mun Leong. The breakeven price ranges from $1,350 to $1,450 per square foot.

    Unite pricing will be set closer to the launch, “but it will be affordable and we can make money”, said Mr Liew. He was confident that the project would find takers as en bloc sellers still need homes.

    He said: “I am not worried about the economic downturn in the United States. Business must still go on.”

    Behind the Farrer design is Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner Zaha Hadid, the first woman to clinch the architecture world’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize and the one who drafted the masterplan for the Buona Vista science hub, one-north. This will be her first condominium contract here.

    “Zaha is very famous for her ‘sensuous architectural silhouettes’, whatever that means,” straight-talking Mr Liew said to laughter all round. “It just means curves to me.”

    Later at the briefing, Mr Liew again had the audience in stitches when he replied to a question on how the consortium persuaded Ms Zaha to take up the job.

    “It started with Mr Ong Beng Seng having a relationship — I mean ...” Mr Liew paused abruptly as the room erupted with laughter. “... Having a good working relationship with Ms Zaha, because all these require personal relationships.”

    Mr Ong heads Hotel Properties Limited (HPL), which is the number-two shareholder of the consortium after CapitaLand.

    Mr Liew was addressing business partners, lawyers and senior executives from the 10 banks that have sewn up a loan of $1.996 billion, the largest ever syndicated residential property development loan arranged here.

    The funds will be used to cover some of the construction costs — which are estimated to total $3 billion — and to partly finance the cost of the site, which has a maximum gross floor area of 2.35 million square feet.

    Last year, CapitaLand and its three partners — HPL, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Special Situations Fund III and Wachovia Development Corporation — agreed to pay$1.34 billion to buy Farrer Court.

    It was the biggest collective sale in local history and made 618 homeowners instant millionaires, as each unit fetched an average of $2.15 million.

    The en bloc sellers of Farrer Court will be invited to a preview of the new condominium. “But there will be no special price for them,” said CapitaLand Residential Singapore chief Patricia Chia.

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