High Street Centre enbloc relaunched after grant of extension

High Street Centre at One North Bridge Road is up for collective sale with approval for commercial and hotel use (Image: C&W)

High Street Centre enbloc may have a lower reserve price of $700 million if owners agree

High Street Centre enbloc
High Street Centre enbloc has approval for commercial and hotel use (Image: C&W)

Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) the sole property consultant of the enbloc of High Street Centre at 1 North Bridge Road said the development has launched its second collective sale tender after obtaining a six-month extension granted by the Ministry of Law.

Although the price of High Street Centre enbloc is still set at the original reserve of $800 million, the property consultant is said to be working with the collective sale committee to lower the reserve price to $700 million.

“High Street Centre will be a trophy asset for any developer who wants to put its mark on Asia’s leading city. This is an opportunity to create a stellar skyscraper,” said Ms Christina Sim, director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield.

“With the scarcity of commercial sites available for development in the CBD today and the expected tight supply of commercial space up till 2025, One North Bridge Road represents an even more compelling opportunity for developers,” Ms Sim added.

High Street Centre is a sizeable prominent commercial site boasting a 3-sided frontage towards Hill Street, North Boat Quay and North Bridge Road. It has a waterfront promenade of more than 100 metres towards the Singapore River and is accessible via North Boat Quay and North Bridge Road.

With a site area of 5,601.9 sq m (60,299 sq ft) and an allowable gross plot ratio of 7.72, the total gross floor area for High Street Centre amounts to a significant 43,300.72 sq m (466,085 sq ft).

According to Cushman & Wakefield, the URA will support a development of at least 60 per cent of total gross floor area (GFA) for commercial use which may comprise a mix of office, retail (including F&B) and 40 per cent for hotel. For the hotel portion, the total number of allowable rooms shall not exceed 450 keys. Alternatively, the URA will also support residential or serviced apartments for this 40% quantum.

The sales committee has sought approval for a top-up to a fresh 99-year lease. Based on the reserve price of $800 million and depending on the potential developer’s intention on the proposed uses for the site, the land rate would work out to be in the region of $2,257psf per plot ratio to $2,439 psf per plot ratio. This includes the payment of a differential premium (if any) and a lease upgrading premium.

Located within the Civic District of Singapore, High Street Centre has a commanding 360-degree view of Marina Bay, Raffles Place, Chinatown, Fort Canning, and the Beach Road corridor. Her distinguished neighbours include Parliament House, The Treasury and Supreme Court Buildings, the Old Hill Street Police Station and the historic Fort Canning Park.

The High Street Centre site is easily accessible to other parts of the island via the Central Expressway (CTE), East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Kallang Paya-Lebar Expressway (KPE). It is within walking distance to City Hall MRT interchange, Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations.

“The High Street Centre enbloc launched in June last year closed in August of that same year without finding any buyer,” noted Mr Paul Ho, chief officer at iCompareLoan.

“With the possible lowering of the reserve price the enbloc sale has a better chance of succeeding,” he added.

Mr Ho said, “although Covid-19 crisis may have somewhat decreased the appetite for large investments, a commercial building like High Street Centre coming to the market may present some excitement for investors.”

He added, “Besides the prime location, the High Street Centre site has approval for commercial and hotel use. this could be another star factor for enthusiastic investors. Even during the pandemic the economy hotels sector did much better than the luxury hotels.”

Mr Ho pointed out that “at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, the Singapore government several thousand hotels rooms for housing essential workers. The pandemic shows to some investors that putting money in economy hotels may be better that investing them in other kinds of properties.”

He added, “By putting money in such properties, you are more assured of getting returns even in tough times. It is true that the amount of money it takes to keep economy hotels or a mid-scale hotels open is far less than what it takes to keep the lights on in luxury hotels.”

Written by Ravi Chandran

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