APP seeks buyer for factory site in Pioneer Road

The three-storey detached factory in Pioneer Road was built by APP in the late 1990s. It has a remaining tenure of 39 years.
The three-storey detached factory in Pioneer Road was built by APP in the late 1990s. It has a remaining tenure of 39 years.PHOTO: KNIGHT FRANK

Indonesia's largest pulp and paper firm is selling its vacant premises in Pioneer Road at an indicative value of above $40 million.

The site was put up for auction in 2007 by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore after Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) failed to pay more than $1.8 million in property taxes.

But the property was withdrawn from auction after the company settled the tax bill.

The three-storey detached factory in Pioneer Road was built by APP in the late 1990s and used for paper-related manufacturing until operations ceased in the early 2000s. The property is believed to have been vacant since then.

It was considered a well-appointed building at the time and boasted a basement carpark.

APP, which is part of the Sinar Mas Group, has no other manufacturing facilities in Singapore. It considered reviving the facility last year but decided not to for commercial reasons.

The company has not had an office here since 2001 when it was embroiled in a US$14 billion default case but is understood to be moving into Golden Agri Plaza in Pasir Panjang in the coming weeks.

"The decision to put the property up for sale is a purely commercial one," Mr Jose Raymond, APP's vice-president of corporate affairs (Singapore), told The Straits Times.

The corner site of 173,225 sq ft has a prominent double frontage along two major roads, Tuas West and Pioneer roads, said Colliers International, which is marketing the property.

The industrial site, which is zoned for Business 2 use with a plot ratio of 2.5, has a remaining tenure of 39 years. This compares with the shorter 20-year term of new industrial land leases, said Mr Lim Kien Kim, executive director of industrial services at Colliers. "The site is conveniently located between Jurong Industrial Estate and Tuas Industrial Estate, presenting an excellent opportunity for end-users looking to own a sizeable asset," he added.

The area should also be boosted by nearby Tuas Mega Port, which will be ready in 2021 and is designed to consolidate all existing Port of Singapore Authority ports. The site is near the future Tuas West Road MRT station, part of the Tuas West Extension which will be completed by the end of this year.

The site will be sold by private treaty sale.

"We expect keen interest in this site as it is suitable for most industrial trade... The site has huge redevelopment potential and the eventual buyer will benefit from being able to fully exploit the size of the land and its accessibility options as major transport infrastructure improvement works are in progress," said Mr Lim.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'APP seeks buyer for factory site in Pioneer Road'. Print Edition | Subscribe