Marina View site launched for sale, bids below $1.508 billion will not be accepted

The Marina View site is located in the Central Business District, near the upcoming Shenton Way MRT station. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
The Marina View white site is intended for a mixed-use development with residential, hotel, commercial and/or serviced apartments. PHOTO: URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched the sale of a plum site in Marina View on Monday morning (June 28), after an unnamed developer undertook to bid at least $1.508 billion for it.

The white site, which is intended for a mixed-use development with residential, hotel, commercial and/or serviced apartments, comes under the reserve list of the first-half 2021 Government Land Sales programme.

The public tender for the land parcel will close at 12pm on Sept 21.

Any tender below the minimum bid price of $1.508 billion - which works out to $1,379 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) - will not be accepted.

The site can yield 905 private residential units, 2,000 sq m in gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 540 hotel rooms.

Located in the Central Business District, near the upcoming Shenton Way MRT station, the Marina View site should benefit from the future Greater Southern Waterfront development, which extends from Pasir Panjang to Marina East.

An entity linked to IOI Properties Group was reportedly the party that triggered the release for sale of the site, according to The Business Times.

When contacted on Monday, a spokesman for the group declined comment.

The Malaysia-listed group is developing another white site in Central Boulevard, which it acquired for about $2.57 billion in November 2016 after triggering its release for sale with a minimum bid of $1.536 billion. That worked out to a land rate of $1,689 psf ppr.

IOI Properties told The Straits Times on Monday that its IOI Central Boulevard Towers is "progressing and is slated to be completed by the third quarter of 2023".

Located near Lau Pa Sat and four MRT stations - Downtown, Marina Bay, Raffles Place and Shenton Way - the predominantly office project will offer 1.25 million sq ft of Grade A office space in two towers. Typical office floor plates will range from 21,700 sq ft to 25,400 sq ft.

The project, which includes an urban sky park and food and beverage outlets, will also have 30,000 sq ft of retail space.

Mr Wong Xian Yang, Cushman & Wakefield's head of research, Singapore, noted that the Marina View white site is different as it is envisaged for a residential and hotel development, with a small retail component.

"Therefore, the main play here is on the growth of the private residential market in the CBD and the recovery of the hotel market... With more family offices setting up shop in Singapore, demand for prime residential units within the CBD is expected to rise," he said.

PropNex chief executive Ismail Gafoor said the site could garner good interest given a limited supply of new homes in the prime district, particularly the downtown core, amid plans to "inject vibrancy in the Marina Bay area and ensure the Central Business District does not become a ghost town after work hours".

The 99-year parcel comprises two plots - a 7,817.6 sq m land parcel and an 18 sq m underground space. In all, the site has a maximum GFA of 101,629 sq m.

He added: "The Marina View site has the potential to become a trophy project for a developer in downtown Singapore. Given the sizeable financial commitment required for the site, developers may join forces to bid for it via a joint venture to manage risk."

Developers can take advantage of the flexibility of the commercial white use to propose uses such as co-working office spaces or entertainment venues, Mr Ismail said.

"As the development will include... the equivalent to a mid-sized hotel establishment, it will make sense to incorporate meeting and convention facilities, perhaps even medical facilities that allow for routine Covid-19 testing and vaccinations as part of the new normal going forward," he said.

PropNex's head of research and content Wong Siew Ying said that compared with the Central Boulevard site, developers may be more interested in the Marina View site due to the limited supply of residential units in the prime district.

The site could potentially attract five to eight bids, and fetch a top bid of between $1,650 and $1,750 psf ppr. That will work out to a land price range of about $1.8 billion to $1.91 billion, she said.

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