Sale of CPF Building could net $450m

People walking past the CPF Building logo at the foot of the building along Robinson Road.
People walking past the CPF Building logo at the foot of the building along Robinson Road. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

CPF Board's relocation will free up prime office space in CBD

The CPF Building in Robinson Road is up for sale with a land price of around $450 million expected.

The CPF Board, which has been occupying most of the building since it was completed in the 1970s, initiated the sale after it signed a long-term lease agreement to rent space at Novena Square Towers A and B for its operations.

Its relocation later this year will free up prime office space in the central business district for higher-value uses, said CBRE, the marketing agent.

"The market has been anticipating the sale of this landmark commercial building, given the multiple number of development options it offers," said CBRE director Galven Tan in a statement yesterday.

A prospective buyer could redevelop CPF Building (above) into a mixed-use development with office, retail, serviced apartments or possibly hotel, subject to approval, CBRE said.
A prospective buyer could redevelop CPF Building (above) into a mixed-use development with office, retail, serviced apartments or possibly hotel, subject to approval, CBRE said. PHOTO: CBRE

"Developers and property funds have been starved of such opportunities in the Singapore market over the last few years."

The tower is at the junction of Robinson and Maxwell roads, with a frontage of 120m in Robinson Road. "Given its strategic corner location, the property enjoys unobstructed sea views," CBRE said.

The regular-shaped site is about 47,056 sq ft, with net lettable area of about 324,000 sq ft.

About 30 per cent of the space not rented by the CPF Board is being leased to a third party. Any future tenancy agreements will be up to the new owners.

The site is zoned commercial with a plot ratio of 12.88, inclusive of the bonus for land size and proximity to an MRT station, with a height restriction of 50 storeys. This translates to a potential gross floor area (GFA) of over 600,000 sq ft, or over 24 per cent more than the existing GFA.

The differential premium to maximise the GFA is about $75.5 million, CBRE said. The building's tenure is 99 years from 1968.

A prospective buyer could redevelop the property into a mixed-use development with office, retail, serviced apartments or possibly hotel, subject to approval, CBRE said.

The immediate vicinity of Tanjong Pagar MRT station is undergoing rejuvenation with a good mix of new commercial, hotel and residential developments being built, it added.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is also envisaging a direct link from CPF Building to Tanjong Pagar MRT station, which would enhance the building's connectivity.

"Furthermore, the area will continue to evolve with the imminent development of the Southern Waterfront City when the container port is relocated," it added.

Mr Tan of CBRE said it expects strong participation from local players and foreign developers. He said: "The CPF Building is a rare opportunity to create a landmark development in an otherwise tightly held asset class."

The CPF Board's service centre in Robinson Road will continue to operate till further notice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'Sale of CPF Building could net $450m'. Print Edition | Subscribe