Adjoining freehold conservation shophouses at Keong Saik enclave up for sale

A pair of adjoining freehold conservation shophouses with rare roof terrace within the Keong Saik enclave is up for sale at guide price of $30.8 million

adjoining freehold conservation shophouses
image: CBRE

CBRE announced on 15 July that it is pleased to offer for sale a pair of adjoining freehold three-storey conservation shophouses located at 83 & 85 Keong Saik Road.

The sale of the adjoining freehold conservation shophouses will be conducted through an Expression of Interest exercise which closes on 18 August 2021, Wednesday at 3pm.

Strategically located within the vibrant Keong Saik enclave, the two shophouses sit on a 2,762-square-foot site and enjoy prominent road frontage of about 17 meters. Spanning a total floor area of approximately 8,783 square feet, the shophouses feature a beautiful roof terrace with an excellent view of the CBD. Under the Master Plan 2019, the site is zoned “Commercial” within the Chinatown (Kreta Ayer) Conservation Area.

To be sold collectively, 83 & 85 Keong Saik Road has an indicative price of S$30.8 million that works out to about S$3,507 per square foot on the total floor area. As they are commercial properties, foreigners are eligible to purchase the property. There is no Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty or Seller’s Stamp Duty imposed on the property purchase.

Mr Clemence Lee, Senior Director, Capital Markets, Singapore, at CBRE, said, “Ranked as one of the top 10 ‘Best in Asia’ travel destination by Lonely Planet in 2017, the Keong Saik enclave remains an exciting F&B and lifestyle destination with a longstanding reputation of attracting some of the hippest new-to-market operators.

“It has garnered a strong following by both local and foreign patrons and is anchored by some of Singapore’s most esteemed restaurants, chic cafes, designer bars, collaborative working spaces and boutique fitness centres. Against such popularity, shophouses in this area are rarely put up for sale; not to mention, the subject property still boasts of a roof terrace which is rare for such assets.”

Mr Lee added, “Subject to approval from the relevant authorities, the successful buyer can explore multiple value-add opportunities to unlock the underlying value of the asset. The options include adding roughly 700 square feet of outdoor deck on Level 2, converting the roof terrace into a rooftop café, or converting the upper floors into a hotel, or serviced apartments or for co-living use.

“Coupled with the property’s strong attributes such as its prime location, freehold tenure, proximity to two MRT stations and rare F&B approvals for the ground floor, the incoming purchaser can expect to enjoy strong capital appreciation in the mid to long term.”

Keong Saik is also home to fancy boutique hotels such as Hotel Soloha, Hotel 1929 and Kesa House and trendy restaurants such as Potato Head, Mag’s Wine Kitchen, Thevar, Gaston Burgundy Bistro & Wine Bar and The Guild. The Working Capitol, which offers collaborative working spaces, is also in the area.

The adjoining freehold conservation shophouses is conveniently located within short walk to both Chinatown MRT stations. The adjoining freehold conservation shophouses are also easily accessible to other parts of Singapore via Ayer Rajah Expressway, Marina Coastal Expressway and Central Expressway.

Mr Paul Ho, chief officer at iCompareLoan, commenting on the sale of the adjoining freehold conservation shophouses at Keong Saik enclave said, “this will be appealing to investors because it is an alternative to putting money down on residential properties.”

He added, “As far as commercial real estate goes, shophouses are good investments especially in an area like Keong Saik enclave.

“Potential buyers have to ensure that they have the up to date on the current valuation of the property as it will determine the maximum loan and the possibility of having to top up the equity to qualify for financing a commercial property.   Buyers should also use calculators to see if the mortgage payments on the loan is affordable given their income. 

Keong Saik Road is a one-way road located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area in Singapore. The road links New Bridge Road to Neil Road, and is intersected by Kreta Ayer Road.

Keong Saik Road was named in 1926 after the Malacca-born Chinese businessman, Tan Keong Saik, the son of Tan Choon Tian. The street in Chinatown is named in remembrance to his contribution to the Chinese community.

Keong Saik Road became a prominent red-light district with a high concentration of brothels located in the three-storey high shophouses flanking either side of the street in the 1960s. The street, along with Sago Lane areas became notoriously known as one of the “turfs” operated by the Sio Loh Kuan secret society.

The 1990s opened a new chapter for the road, with the site sprouting many “boutique hotels” like Naumi Liora, Hotel 1929, the Regal Inn and Keong Saik Hotel. Keong Saik Road now mainly houses coffee shops, art galleries and other shops for commercial use.

Keong Saik Road is located within a conservation area known as the Bukit Pasoh Conservation Area, which was given conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on 7 July 1989. The buildings in the area mainly consist of two and three-storey shophouses in transitional, late and art deco architectural styles. In 2017, it was selected as one of the top ten destinations in Asia by Lonely Planet Magazine.

One of the most sightworthy buildings is Cundhi Gong Temple at No. 13 Keong Saik Road, which was built in 1928 in the Nanyang style. The temple, which is dedicated to the Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, is a two storey building without a forecourt and has an area of 400 square metres. Sri Layan Sithi Vinayar Temple at no. 73 Keong Saik Road was built in 1925. The temple was consecrated in 1973, 1989, 2007 and in 2019. The five storey Rajagopuram was added in 2007 when the temple was renovated and redesigned.

The Keong Saik enclave has morphed from a street of disrepute into an enclave for chic food and beverage outlets, boutique hotels and offices.

Written by Ravi Chandran

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