Singapore's red-hot en-bloc market attracts fresh $1b sale bid for site once home to US ambassador

Home owners of Spring Grove condominium are confident they can net at least $1 billion, after having asked for $1.39 billion in 2014.
Home owners of Spring Grove condominium are confident they can net at least $1 billion, after having asked for $1.39 billion in 2014.PHOTO: SPRING GROVE

SINGAPORE - Spring Grove condominium, in Singapore's swanky diplomatic district, is going back on the market - three years after its first collective-sale bid failed.

Home owners are confident they can net at least $1 billion, after having asked for $1.39 billion in 2014, a sale committee representative said on Thursday (Sept 21).

But selling the 325-unit Spring Grove, built on the estate of the former United States diplomatic residence, will require co-operation with the US government.

Ownership reverts to the Americans after the expiry of the 99-year lease, which has 73 years left on the clock.

"Our clubhouse is a heritage-listed property as it used to house the US ambassador. So the developer that buys the land will have a heritage-listed building as well," said Mr Adrian Loh, 45, the chairman of the Spring Grove sale committee, on Thursday (Sept 21).

"The developer will have to pay the owners of Spring Grove as well as the US government, which owns the land, to top up the lease."

Upbeat home owners cite the development's prime location, as well as recent en bloc fever, as reasons behind their sunny outlook.

Mr Loh told The Straits Times: "We don't have a price in mind, but it will be a project worth a billion dollars or more."

This works out to about $1,807 per sq ft (psf), based on a maximum gross floor area of 553,377 sq ft - well above the price tags of $1,285 psf to $1,438 psf that apartments have fetched so far in 2017.

Mr Loh, a corporate adviser who has lived in Spring Grove for seven years, said that home owners have gained "immense experience and knowledge" from their first failed en bloc sale bid, which they expect will speed up the process this time round.

The sale committee pointed to the condomium's proximity to the residential areas of Chatsworth Road and Bishopsgate, as well as the Orchard Road retail belt and the central business district.

Former HUDC estate Pine Grove in September launched its third collective-sale attempt, while Braddell View is working to kick-start the process.

Successful residential sales in 2017 include Tampines Court, Eunosville and Rio Casa.

The tender for Bartley Road condominium Sun Rosier closed on Thursday (Sept 21).

As it angles for a buyer, the sale committee, formed after an extraordinary general meeting on Sept 16, is also on the hunt for a marketing agent and a law firm.

Committee members met for the first time on Sept 20 to discuss potential options.