Published August 13, 2008

New SC Global building may have car showroom


A high-end car showroom could very well open its doors in the unlikely Newton area by year-end if SC Global Developments Ltd's plans zoom off.

Newton 200: SC Global has been marketing the ground floor of the soon-to-be- completed nine-storey luxurious office building as being suitable for showcasing an exclusive make of automobiles

The upmarket property developer has been marketing the ground floor of its soon-to-be-completed Newton 200 office building as being suitable for showcasing an exclusive make of automobiles.

'Newton 200, with its vantage location and visibility to passing vehicular traffic, would make a great site for a car showroom,' explains an SC Global spokeswoman.

But she adds that while the mainboard-listed company is 'making the necessary provisions to cater for a potential car showroom, there is also extremely strong interest from other types of retail tenants attracted by the prominent space and location.

'We will be evaluating all the potential options and proposals,' she says. 'Therefore, it could end up being something else.'

Newton 200 is a nine-storey luxurious office building located at 200 Newton Road, beside the junction with Thomson Road. Directly linked to the nearby MRT station, it has an 'avant-garde floating glass box design' with an 'asymmetric prismatic facade' and 'faceted glass blades'. TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) is in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As the plot size is relatively small, there will only be one 2,200 sq ft unit on the ground floor, while each of the seven office floors will be tenanted out on a floor by floor basis only. The rates are generally around $12 to $13 psf, according to the spokeswoman, who says they reflect the current market rates in that area.

SC Global decided that rental would be the most suitable option since selling the units on a floor by floor basis 'may compromise the overall concept of the building design'.

'We are also looking at the possibility of moving our offices into the building, so at this juncture it makes sense not to sell the units,' says the spokeswoman.

This is not the luxury property developer's first foray into the automotive arena. In March, it announced that it would field a car in this year's Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series and become the title sponsor of the Singapore round of the race.

As a result, the September event will be officially named 'Porsche SC Global Carrera Cup Asia - Singapore 2008' and run as an official support race to the inaugural 2008 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Newton 200 is SC Global's first commercial development. The developer is best known for its prime residential properties such as The Ladyhill, BLVD, The Tomlinson, Thr3e Thre3 Robin and The Lincoln Modern. Other projects include The Marq on Paterson Hill and Hilltops.

Most car showrooms in Singapore are located in the main Leng Kee Road motor belt and the Ubi industrial area. Although unusual, it will not be the first time that the Newton area will host a car showroom. Some years ago, there was a Volkswagen dealer in the shops along Thomson Road opposite Novena Church.

One high-end sports car distributor says the Newton 200 location is 'very nice' and suitable for an exclusive brand like his, 'which does not have to be in Leng Kee Road'.

'But with rental of about $30,000 a month, I have to think carefully before I decide to open a branch there,' he adds.