SINGAPORE – The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on 30th June 2020, Tuesday, initiated a “dual envelope” tender of a prime parcel at Jalan Anak Bukit for a landmark commercial and residential mixed development, with a bus interchange, to help revamp the Beauty World region.
The 3.2 hectare site along Upper Bukit Timah can yield 865 private homes, which can be serviced apartments or flats, or a combination of the 2.
Out of the total gross floor area (GFA) of 96,551 square metres, 5,000 square metres needs to be used for the bus interchange, while a maximum of 20,000 square meters can be for commercial usage, of which up to 7,500 square metres can be for restaurants and retail.
The site is the last of 3 confirmed list residential sites from the government land sales (GLS) programme for the initial half of 2020. The authorities last week announced a drop in supply of private housing from confirmed GLS parcels for the second half of the year, to take into consideration the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. This fallout fortunately did not affect the sales at Dairy Farm Residences, as can be seen from the Dairy Farm Residences Balance Units Chart.
For the Jalan Anak Bukit land, URA is looking for a “distinctive identity marker and development for the Beauty World precinct”, which they envision as a nature and urban village that will be the hub of community life and southern gateway leading to the Bukit Timah’s nature attractions.
The mixed development on the parcel needs to be lushly landscaped and provide home owners and visitors with a smooth underground link way to the Beauty World MRT station next door, as well as pedestrian-friendly connections to the surrounding nature attractions, bus-stops, and well-formulated public spaces.
Targeting a landmark and quality development, URA has welcomed a dual-envelope tender for the site from bidders who are required to hand in their concept proposals and tender rates in 2 separate packages. In the initial stage, the concept proposals will be assessed against a set of criteria stated within the tender. In the second stage, the shortlisted proposals will then be evaluated based on price only.
In light of the Covid-19 environment, property developers have been provided a longer period of 9 months to hand in their bids for the 99-year leasehold land, with the tender for the parcel ending at 12 noon on March 30 2022. With such a prime location, we may see the Penrose developer making efforts to secure this site.
Shopping centers in the area such as Beauty World Centre, Beauty World Plaza and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, are mainly strata-titled and slightly outdated. However, the precinct is undergoing some rejuvenation with the finishing of the Coast-to-Coast trail, the up and coming finishing of the Rifle Range Nature Park and Rail Corridor, and new private and public development projects. These projects include the new Bukit Timah Community Building and The Linq @ Beauty World, which is a mixed-use development that was the result of the collective sale of the former Goh and Goh Building. This area of rejuvenation will also benefit the neighbouring estates of Hillview and Dairy Farm, where the Dairy Farm Residences is sited.
Miss Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, mentioned that the site has the prospect to become an emblematic landmark and needs a substantial investment. Therefore, she expects experienced and bigger developers to be interested, who are likely to joint venture in order to combine their strengths and share the risks, like how UVD has developed the Clavon site.
“We anticipate buoyant interest, with a minimal of 7 to 10 concept proposals, and land bids to be in the region of $1.1 to 1.3 billion, or $1,050 to $1,250 per square foot (psf) per plot ratio,” analyzed Miss Song. With the tender’s closing date 9 months away, market sentiment could have also become better, she commented.
Now there are ample new residential launches in the vicinity, with just over 1,000 units, of which less than 50% have been sold, noted Miss Song. As of end-May, Dairy Farm Residences has sold about 30% at an average price of $1,4xx psf since its launch in 2019, while Mayfair Modern has sold 68 of 171 units at median prices of $2,0xx psf since its launch in April 2019.
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