Keen bidding expected for River Valley site

Some enthusiastic bidding is expected for a prime condo site in River Valley that was released for sale yesterday under the Government Land Sales programme.

This is despite a cap on the number of units that can be built, which means they will be larger and harder to sell.

The Martin Place 99-year leasehold plot can yield up to 450 units and is just the third site in District 9 to be made available in the past 10 years, noted Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director.

The stipulated maximum number of units works out to an average unit size of 1,067 sq ft. "This will mitigate aggressive attempts in developing too many small units in order to achieve a high rate per sq ft (psf)," said Mr Ong Teck Hui, JLL national research director.

The location is attractive, near a number of pubs and bistros with a vibrant nightlife offered at nearby Robertson Quay, said Dr Lee Nai Jia, DTZ regional head (SEA) of research. It is also connected to the central business district via park connectors, appealing to those who may want to cycle to work. The plot is close to River Valley Primary School and the future Great World MRT station, Dr Lee added.

Recent prices of resale units in nearby developments are from $1,700 to $2,000 psf, although these are mainly freehold in tenure, said Mr Ong of JLL.

The eventual land price could be about $1,000 to $1,200 psf per plot ratio, with about 10 bids.

"While the absolute land price would be high, and pricey end-products more difficult to market, the lack of new development opportunities as well as an improved mood in the market will probably result in keen competition for this site," said Mr Ong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2016, with the headline 'Keen bidding expected for River Valley site'. Print Edition | Subscribe