Dual-envelope tender launched for Jalan Anak Bukit site

The 3.2 hectare site in Upper Bukit Timah can yield 865 private housing units. PHOTO: URA.GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Tuesday (June 30) launched a "dual envelope" tender of a choice site at Jalan Anak Bukit for a landmark residential and commercial development with a bus interchange to help rejuvenate the Beauty World area.

The 3.2 hectare site in Upper Bukit Timah can yield 865 private housing units, which can be flats or serviced apartments, or a combination of both.

Of the maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 96,551 square metres, 5,000 sq m must be used for the bus interchange, while a maximum of 20,000 sq m can be for commercial use, of which up to 7,500 sq m can be for shop and restaurants.

The parcel is the last of three confirmed list residential sites under the government land sales (GLS) programme for the first half of this year. The Government last week announced a reduced supply of private homes from confirmed GLS sites for the second half of 2020 to take into account the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the Jalan Anak Bukit site, URA wants a "distinctive development and identity marker for the Beauty World precinct", which it envisions as a green urban village that will be a centre of community life and southern gateway into Bukit Timah's nature attractions.

The development on the site must be lushly landscaped and provide residents and visitors with a seamless underground connection to nearby Beauty World MRT station on the Downtown Line, as well as pedestrian-friendly networks to bus-stops and the surrounding nature attractions and well-designed public spaces.

Aiming for a quality and landmark development, 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. In the first stage, the concept proposals will be evaluated against a set of criteria specified in the tender. In the next stage, the shortlisted proposals will then be assessed on price only.

In view of the Covid-19 situation, developers have been given a longer period of nine months to submit their bids for the 99-year leasehold site, with the tender for the site closing at 12 noon on March 30 next year.

While shopping 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such as Beauty World Plaza, Beauty World Centre and Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, are mostly strata-titled and somewhat outdated, the precinct is undergoing some rejuvenation with the completion of the Coast-to-Coast trail, upcoming completion of the Rail Corridor and Rifle Range Nature Park and new public and private development projects such as the upcoming new Bukit Timah Community Building, as well as The Linq @ Beauty World mixed-use development on the site of the former Goh and Goh Building.

Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International said the site has the potential to become an iconic landmark and requires a substantial investment. As such, she expects larger and experienced developers to be interested, who are likely to form partnerships to combine their strengths and share the risks.

"We expect buoyant interest, with at least seven to 10 concepts proposals, and land bids to be $1.1 to 1.3 billion or $1,050 to $1,250 per square foot (psf) per plot ratio," said Ms Song. With the tender's closing date nine months out, market sentiment could also have improved, she said.

Currently, there are ample new residential launches nearby, with over 1,000 available units, of which less than half have been sold, she noted. As of end-May, Daintree Residences has sold 108 out of 327 units at an average price of $1,665 psf since its launch in July 2018 while Mayfair Modern has moved 68 of 171 units at prices averaging $2,015 psf since its launch in April 2019.

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