Horizon Towers eyes $1.1b in new collective sale bid

District 9 condo back on market after $500m sale was overturned by Court of Appeal in 2009

In 2007, Horizon Towers was to be collectively sold for $500 million but the sale was subsequently overturned in court two years later.

Now the prime District 9 condominium is back on the market, this time asking for more than twice that price.

This could well be the first billion-dollar deal in the current collective sale upcycle if it goes through, and the largest high-rise residential redevelopment offering in the Orchard Road area in at least two decades.

A public tender was launched yesterday for the Leonie Hill development by marketing agent JLL, with a reserve price of $1.1 billion.

More than 80 per cent consensus among the owners has been achieved. Owners of the 200 apartments could receive between $4.7 million and $5.2 million each, while the owners of the 11 penthouses could reap between $9.2 million and $10 million each.

These numbers are markedly higher than the estimated gains they would have pocketed from the previous sale attempt 10 years ago, had it gone through. Back then, the unit owners were to get $2.3 million, and the penthouse owners, between $4 million and $6.28 million.

Built in the late 1970s, the 99-year leasehold development comprises 211 units in two towers located on an elevated site with access from two roads. The 1.9ha site is zoned residential in the 2014 Master Plan, with an allowable height of up to 36 storeys. It has an "as-built" gross plot ratio of around 3.28 and may be redeveloped into a luxury high-rise residential development.

Back in 2007, Horizon Towers was nearly sold for $500 million to a consortium led by Hotel Properties. However, a group of minority owners disputed the sale and it was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2009, which found the sales process was not properly handled.

The Horizon Towers site is 150m away from the upcoming Great World MRT station and 600m from the Orchard MRT interchange (Thomson-East Coast Line), which will be integrated into the existing Orchard station.

At a reserve price of $1.1 billion, Horizon Towers' unit land rate reflects about $1,964 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) after factoring in the lease top-up premium, estimated to be $220 million. As there is no development charge or differential premium for the intensification of the site, the reflected unit land rate is $1,786 psf ppr.

The biggest collective sale since 2016 in total value terms was recorded for Pacific Mansion, which was acquired for $980 million, or $1,987 psf ppr, by Singapore-listed GuocoLand, Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty.

The unit land rate of Horizon Towers compares favourably with the recent 99-year Government Land Sale site in Cuscaden Road that sold for $2,377 psf ppr, the freehold collective sale site of Park House in the same district that achieved a record-breaking unit land price of $2,910 psf ppr, a Nassim Road site at $2,744 psf ppr, and the Pacific Mansion site in River Valley Close at $1,987 psf ppr, JLL noted.

The tender for Horizon Towers closes on Aug 7.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2018, with the headline 'Horizon Towers eyes $1.1b in new collective sale bid'. Print Edition | Subscribe