New luxury hotel for landmark Capitol site, part of $750m redevelopment project

A new hotel brand will be launched for the six-star hotel to be built as part of the ambitious $750 million redevelopment of the Capitol site in Stamford Road.

The Patina brand hotel will become a major showpiece of the mixed-use redevelopment of the landmark colonial era buildings.

Owned by members of Pontiac Land Group's Kwee family, Patina Hotels and Resorts inked an agreement with developer Capitol Investment Holdings to operate the 157-room hotel yesterday.

This will be Patina's first and flagship hotel as the firm prepares to further develop the brand in China, the Maldives, the Middle East and South-east Asia.

Pontiac Land co-owner Kwee Liong Seen, whose firm owns other high-end hotels in Singapore such as Capella on Sentosa and The Conrad Centennial, is also a director and shareholder of Capitol Investment Holdings.

Other investors in the project that will see the site transformed into a retail, hotel, residential and arts precinct include Perennial Real Estate Holdings' Pua Seck Guan and Osim's Ron Sim.

The operator of the hotel was unveiled at a signing ceremony at the development's showflat in Grange Road yesterday. It is set to open by the end of next year.

The announcement comes more than two years after the consortium clinched the 1.43ha 99-year leasehold site in October 2010. Its bid was the highest of three shortlisted tenderers.

Pontiac Land Group director Melissa Kwee said that with changing consumer tastes, some travellers want more personalised services from boutique hotels.

This was partly why the firm created Patina instead of reaching into its existing portfolio of brands, she added.

The developer's 39-unit Eden Residences Capitol has also found buyers for 12 of its units. Average prices are about $3,000 per sq ft, with the units sold so far ranging from about $6 million to $10 million. The most expensive unit at Eden - which has yet to be launched - is a penthouse of more than 6,000 sq ft with a swimming pool, priced at about $20 million.

About 90 per cent of buyers are Singaporeans, said Mr Pua, a former CapitaLand veteran. However, sales might be halted temporarily as the developers take stock of January's cooling measures. They are in no hurry to sell.

"Our (entire) project will set a very high standard. I am very sure that this project will be something that not only we as developers will be very proud of but that many Singaporeans will be proud of too, as we uphold our history of more than 100 years... and bring life back to the Capitol," he said.

Mr Pua said the three partners had a "happy journey" and are looking to collaborate on more mixed-use projects here or overseas, leveraging on the expertise of each party.

esthert@sph.com.sg