Dual-envelope tender launched for Jalan Anak Bukit site

Concept proposals, prices for 3.2ha plot with bus interchange to be submitted separately

A site at Jalan Anak Bukit earmarked for residential and commercial use with a bus interchange to help rejuvenate the Beauty World area has hit the market.

The 3.2ha plot in Upper Bukit Timah could yield 845 homes - flats or serviced apartments or a combination of both.

Up to 20,000 sq m of the maximum gross floor area of 96,551 sq m can be for commercial use - with up to 7,500 sq m for shops and eateries - while 5,000 sq m is for a bus interchange.

The site is the last of three confirmed list residential plots under the government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of this year.

Supplies of private homes from confirmed GLS sites for the second half will be reduced to take into account the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday that it wants a "distinctive development and identity marker" for the Beauty World precinct, which it sees as a green urban village that will be a southern gateway into Bukit Timah's nature attractions.

The development on the Jalan Anak Bukit site must be lushly landscaped and provide a seamless underground connection to Beauty World MRT station on the Downtown Line as well as pedestrian-friendly networks to bus stops and the surrounding nature attractions.

The URA has called for a dual-envelope tender for the site, with bidders required to submit their concept proposals and tender prices in two separate envelopes.

The first stage involves evaluating the concepts against criteria specified in the tender. Shortlisted proposals will then be assessed on price only in the second phase.

Developers have been given a longer period of nine months to submit their bids for the 99-year leasehold site, given disruptions from the pandemic. The tender closes at noon on March 30 next year.

While malls in the area, such as Beauty World Plaza, Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, are mostly strata-titled and somewhat outdated, the precinct is undergoing some rejuvenation.

The Coast-to-Coast Trail has been completed while work is under way on the Rail Corridor and Rifle Range Nature Park and new public and private development projects such as the Bukit Timah Community Building and The Linq@Beauty World mixed-use development on the site of the former Goh and Goh Building.

Ms Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, said the site requires a substantial investment so larger developers that will perhaps form partnerships to share the risks will likely be attracted.

"We expect buoyant interest, with at least seven to 10 concept proposals, and land bids to be $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion, or $1,050 to $1,250 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio," said Ms Song.

She added that market sentiment could have improved by the tender's closing date nine months away.

There are ample new residential launches nearby, with plenty of units available, she noted.

Daintree Residences has sold around 110 out of 327 units at an average price of $1,665 psf since its launch in July 2018, while Mayfair Modern has moved about 70 of 171 units at prices averaging $2,015 psf since its launch in April last year.

Correction note: This story has been edited for accuracy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2020, with the headline 'Dual-envelope tender launched for Jalan Anak Bukit site'. Print Edition | Subscribe