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Thread: Farrer Court Villas (D10, 99 years, Capitaland)

  1. #1
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    Default Farrer Court Villas (D10, 99 years, Capitaland)

    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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    Published September 26, 2008


    Developers tap starchitects for added cachet


    THE phenomenon known as the starchitect has been around for a while but it was only after 1997 - when the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, became an international hit - did these architects become global celebrities.

    Star power: Wing Tai has commissioned two starchitects - Jean Nouvel and Toyo Ito - to design Le Nouvel Ardmore (above) in Ardmore Park and Belle Vue Residences in Oxley Walk, while CapitaLand has signed on Zaha Hadid to design Farrer Court Villas, its new condominium development at Farrer Rd

    The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao was designed by the eminent American starchitect Frank Gehry. While the titanium-clad museum is spectacular, it was the fact that the museum had such a huge multiplier effect on the economy of the little seaside town that got many municipal governments (and some developers too) excited.

    Within the first three years of opening, it was reported that the museum was receiving almost one million visitors a year, generating about US$130 million for the town's economy, and helping the local government collect over US$20 million in taxes.

    This multiplier effect has since been dubbed the Bilbao effect and governments and developers alike have been scrambling to sign up starchitects in hopes of replicating it.

    Singapore came close to having a Frank Gehry designed development after CapitaLand signed him up to design their proposal for the integrated resort at Sentosa.

    CapitaLand did not win but it never lost sight of the power of starchitecture. Earlier this year, CapitaLand announced that it had signed on Zaha Hadid to design its new condominium development at Farrer Road. And in the universe of starchitects, few are more stellar than Ms Hadid.

    Patricia Chia, CEO of CapitaLand Residential Singapore added: 'In a challenging market where homebuyers are faced with many choices, it becomes even more important to create a distinct point of differentiation for our developments.'

    Ms Hadid is certainly a good designer but developers now also appreciate the cachet a starchitect's name carries. 'We believe that Zaha's signature style and international brand position, together with the site's many attributes, will provide a strong competitive edge for us when we launch the project in 2009,' added Ms Chia.

    Keppel Land also snagged a starchitect Daniel Libeskind for Reflections at Keppel Bay back in 2006 when 'iconic architecture' was the buzzword of the day.

    Keppel Land general manager (marketing) Albert Foo added: 'With globalisation, consumers are now well travelled and informed, and have over time, developed a taste for fine living. As such, the home has gone beyond brick and mortar to factor in lifestyle, luxury, prestige and unique product offering to appeal to these discerning customers.'

    Of course, developers know they have to pay a premium for starchitects' services. In 2006, Mr Libeskind himself said: 'There are premiums. And if it is worth it, it is worth it.'

    Some starchitects are more savvy at parleying their names. Philippe Starck, who has pop-star status, co-founded the design, marketing and branding company yoo Inspired by Starck and has Heeton Holdings as its first client in Singapore. For Heeton, getting Starck on board for its new Grange Road development also helps their own brand.

    Heeton chief operating officer and executive director Danny Low said: 'It is a fantastic opportunity for us to collaborate with the world famous Philippe Starck and this development will further enhance Heeton's profile both locally and regionally.'

    Mr Low said that there was definitely a price premium over local designers but he is confident that it will pay off. 'From their previous track record, the Philippe Starck brand has been able to achieve premiums in the range of 10-25 per cent, and selling 20-30 per cent faster than other competitive developments launched at the same time,' he added.

    Far East Organization (FEO) is no stranger to starchitects either, having worked with the likes of Arquitectonica, and more recently Rem Koolhaas' OMA.

    Chia Boon Kuah, COO (Property Sales) at FEO, added that most of their luxury home buyers have homes in other international cities. 'With Singapore staging itself to be a vibrant global city attracting international businesses and talent, there will be demand for world-class accommodation complete with top notch services and facilities,' he added.

    But the partnership with international architects is just one aspect of the value-add that FEO's luxury developments bring to our buyers, Mr Chia said.

    Mr Chia also believes that interest in brand-name architecture and design is not a new thing, but he noted: 'Internationally, homes designed by famous architects in the past remains one of the most coveted addresses.'

    Upping the ante is Wing Tai which has commissioned not one but two starchitects - Jean Nouvel and Toyo Ito - to design Le Nouvel Ardmore in Ardmore Park and Belle Vue Residences in Oxley Walk.

    Looking at the designs in more detail reveals that regardless of their star status, starchitects do deliver that certain je nes sais quoi.

    For Le Nouvel Ardmore, Mr Nouvel somehow manages to weave living bamboo into the 33-storey facade of the building while Mr Ito sculps organic spaces out of glass and concrete to mimic the branches of trees for Belle Vue Residences.

    Is it art or architecture? With starchitects, you get both.

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