Published July 29, 2008

Lum Chang gets $65m from selling 2 Belmont

3 Singapore firms controlled by Indian investors are the buyers


LUM Chang Holdings has sold all 16 units of its newly refurbished 2 Belmont for a total sum of about $65 million, BT understands.

Refurbished: The price for the freehold property is said to be in the $1,600-$1,700 per square foot range

The price is said to be in the $1,600 to $1,700 per square foot range.

Lum Chang bought the property, formerly known as Belmont Gardens, in 2006 for $22 million and has refurbished the apartments. At the time, the asset comprised 15 apartments but Lum Chang had said that it would convert a penthouse into two separate units.

Now, the 16 units in the four-storey freehold property are being purchased by three Singapore-registered companies controlled by Indian investors. Eight units (on the first and fourth levels) were bought for a total $36.36 million by a company controlled jointly by Govind Sahai Gupta of Kolkata and Amit Gupta, a Singapore permanent resident.

Another company controlled solely by Ashok Gupta bought four units on the third floor for a total $14.33 million, while the third company, owned solely by Asha Khatoria of Jaipur - the Indian city famous for gemstones - bought all four units on the second floor of 2 Belmont for a total $14.31 million.

BT understands that 2 Belmont's sale has been inked but has yet to be completed.

CB Richard Ellis is understood to have brokered the deal.

2 Belmont has a site area of about 54,800 sq ft, and is located in a designated Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area. This means that if the property is completely torn down and the site redeveloped, it can be redeveloped only into GCBs, accommodating perhaps three bungalows at most given the minimum GCB plot size of 1,400 sq m (15,069 sq ft).

'So it made more sense for Lum Chang to refurbish the asset instead of redeveloping it,' an industry observer suggested.

The sellers are entities controlled by Lum Chang.

According to Lum Chang's 2007 annual report, three Lum Chang subsidiaries inked deals in 2006 to sell four units at 2 Belmont to a director of Lum Chang.

'These sales are expected to be completed at any time before June 30, 2008, after the completion of the redevelopment of 2 Belmont. Full consideration for the sale of these four apartment units has been received,' Lum Chang's 2007 annual report said.

Back in May 2006, when Lum Chang bought Belmont Gardens, the company had said that managing director David Lum would buy four units.