The Straits Times – May 30, 2006

RECORDS are tumbling fast in the red-hot en bloc sale market.

Lucky Tower in Grange Road was sold yesterday for $383 million – breaking a 12-year record for the highest price paid for a plot of freehold land.

Prior to this, the highest price paid for a premium freehold site was $315 million for Cairnhill Court back in 2000.

Last week, the former Housing and Urban Development Company estate Waterfront View made the headlines when it was sold collectively for $385 million.

The 99-year leasehold site was the biggest collective sale deal in terms of number of units, size and absolute price. It measures 169,188 sq ft and has 90 units and one mini-mart.

Owners of 82 units – which are 2,637 sq ft in size – will get about $4.1 million each, said Mr Jeffrey Goh, head of investment sales at Newman & Goh, which brokered the deal.

The four who own the bigger ground-floor units will get $4.4 million each, while owners of the four penthouses will get $6 million each.

The mini-mart owner gets $1.5 million.

Lucky Tower’s price works out to $1,134 per sq ft, inclusive of an estimated development charge of $20 million.

Aston Properties, a wholly-owned subsidiary of City Developments (CDL), put in the highest of three bids in a tender that closed last week.

The site can be redeveloped into 175 apartments of 2,000 sq ft each. These luxurious homes may break even at about $1,800 psf and could cost as much as $2,350 psf, Mr Goh said.

The new condominium may even have a helipad for a helicopter to ferry owners to the upcoming integrated resorts, offices and airports, he said.

In a statement yesterday, CDL said the site has a plot ratio of 2.1 and can be redeveloped into a 24-storey luxurious condominium.

Said CDL group general manager Chia Ngiang Hong: “The purchase of this site is in synergy with CDL’s strategy to remain the proxy for the Singapore property market and to continue as a leader in the development of luxury condominiums here.”

The site will be the latest addition to CDL’s landmark projects in the area, where it owns Kim Lin Mansion, a freehold 138,404 sq ft site along Grange Road and the freehold Biltmore site in the Orchard Boulevard vicinity.

It also developed the nearby Spring Grove.