SINGAPORE - A plum site in Marina View that allows for a range of uses has been released from the Government's reserve list with a bid of $1.508 billion - signalling rising demand for prime residential units within the Central Business District, analysts said.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which said on Thursday (June 10) that the white site had been triggered for launch, did not name the developer that successfully applied for its release.
URA will launch the site for sale by public tender on June 28.
The developer has undertaken to bid at least $1.508 billion - which works out to $1,379 per sq ft per plot ratio (ppr) - for the site.
It can yield 905 private residential units, 2,000 sq m gross floor area (GFA) of commercial space and 540 hotel rooms.
Located in the CBD, 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.
Mr Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty, said that most government land sales (GLS) white sites in the Marina Bay downtown area were used mostly for office development.
But the Marina View site is different because a large proportion will be for residential development and a hotel, he added.
Developers may be drawn to the site as it allows them to build residential units and capitalise on the relatively limited residential supply in the downtown core planning area.
"Some new launches in the downtown core area have been quite well-received, including The M and Midtown Modern," said Ms Wong Siew Ying, head of research and content at PropNex.
Mr Wong Xian Yang, head of research, Singapore, at Cushman & Wakefield said that with more family offices setting up shop in Singapore, demand for prime residential units within the CBD is expected to rise.
"The last major project launched in District 1 was Marina One Residences and the project is almost sold out. There were a total of 185 units transacted (including both new sales and resales) in 2020, up from 140 units transacted in 2019," he added.
The 99-year Marina View 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.
The white site had previously been available for sale through the reserve list since October 2011, but was removed in 2015 for a "review of its development plans", URA said in June 2015.
In 2018, the site was again made available for sale after the review was completed, and has been on the reserve list since that year.
Analysts say the most comparable land sale to Marina View is the white site in Central Boulevard, next to Asia Square Tower 1.
The site was was triggered at $1.536 billion and sold in November 2016 to IOI Properties Group for about $2.57 billion.
That worked out to a land rate of $1,689 psf ppr.
Given Singapore's current dismal tourist arrivals of 108,633 between January and May 2021 as a result of travel restrictions following the Covid-19 resurgence in Asia, the Government remains cautious by not introducing any new hotel sites for sale in the confirmed and reserve list, said Mr Leonard Tay, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore.
"The sole hotel site in River Valley Road on the reserve list has been there since the second half of 2019," he added.