Sim Lim Square fails in 2nd collective sale bid; 11 shops put up for sale

Eleven shops in Singapore gadget central Sim Lim Square were put on the market after the well-known tech mall failed at its second en bloc tender attempt.
Eleven shops in Singapore gadget central Sim Lim Square were put on the market after the well-known tech mall failed at its second en bloc tender attempt.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Eleven shops in Singapore gadget central Sim Lim Square were put on the market after the well-known tech mall failed at its second en bloc tender attempt.

Mr Francis Tan, chief investment officer of real estate consultancy SLP Scotia, the mall’s marketing agent, told The Straits Times that there were no bids at the close of its second tender on Dec 30 last year.

This despite owners of the strata-titled mall keeping the reserve price unchanged at more than $1.25 billion but with the added sweetener of another 27 per cent of built-up space plus the possibility of lower development charges. Their first en bloc attempt in July last year also ended without any formal bids.

Asked why they tried a second time, Mr Tan said: “We just have to go out for the tender for one final push before expiry of the collective sale agreement in March 2020.”

Built in 1985 and located beside Rochor MRT station, the Sim Lim Square strata titled mall sits on 99-year leasehold site spanning 78,152 sq ft. Spread out over six storeys and two basements are 492 commercial units.

The plot is fully zoned for commercial use, so there was no mandatory requirement to top up the lease, which has 63 years left.

While collective sale fever has gone cold for residential properties, interest for commercial properties has not entirely faded. The tender submission date for the $780 million collective sale of The Arcade in Raffles Place has been extended to March 5 from Jan 8, following feedback from developers that they require more time to assess the site.

As for Sim Lim Square, on Wednesday (Jan 8),it looks like come shop owners are not waiting to get third time lucky at a collective sale. On Wednesday, a portfolio of 11 shops in Sim Lim Square was put on sale via expression of interest for $22 million.

The shops, which can be bought collectively or as individual units, face the central podium on the fifth floor of mall. The last three transactions for such units saw sale prices achieved prices of more than $5,000 per sq ft, said sole marketing agent Knight Frank Singapore.

As it is a commercial property, the sale is open to both locals and foreigners, with no additional buyer’s stamp duty and seller’s stamp duty imposed on the purchase of the properties.

The sale exercise for the retail shops closes at 3pm on Feb 1.