Verdun House in Farrer Park relaunched for sale en bloc at $55m in third attempt

The reserve price works out to $1,790 per sq ft per plot ratio. PHOTO: DELASA

SINGAPORE - Freehold commercial building Verdun House in Farrer Park has been relaunched for collective sale via tender at $55 million - its third try in four years.

The reserve price works out to $1,790 per sq ft per plot ratio on a potential commercial gross floor area of 30,727 sq ft. No development charge is payable.

Owners of 15 out of the 16 strata-titled units at Verdun House agreed to the sale, representing a mandate of 93 per cent. Property investment sales specialist Delasa, which is marketing the property, could not provide an estimate on how much the owners of each of the 16 units will receive.

A growing number of properties are trying their luck at collective sales following the sale of landmark Tanglin Shopping Centre in the Orchard Road area for $868 million in February after three failed attempts over a period of 15 years.

Despite the Dec 16 round of property curbs, demand for commercial properties remains strong as they are not affected by the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) regime.

In addition, acquisition costs for commercial properties are lower, at 3 per cent buyer's stamp duty (BSD). This compares with 9 per cent for a residential-zoned site, which comprises 4 per cent BSD and 5 per cent non-remittable ABSD.

Located at the corner of Verdun Road and Sam Leong Road near Farrer Park MRT station, the four-storey mixed-use building comprises four shops and eateries on the ground level and 12 apartments on its upper levels.

Built in the 1980s and occupying 7,300 sq ft, the commercial-zoned site has an allowable height of up to six storeys.

"With its central location and easy access to MRT, eateries and shopping, Verdun House could be well suited for multiple business groups - such as a commercial school, co-living operations or a corporate office with showrooms or F&B on the ground level," Mr Karamjit Singh, chief executive of Delasa, said.

"The site may be redeveloped into a six-storey retail-cum-office building with a gross floor area of around 31,000 sq ft, subject to approval from the planning authorities.

"We have been receiving an increasing number of inquiries from international schools for space. Such schools are beginning to consider city campuses as a viable option.

As a commercial school building, Verdun House can fit 30 classrooms, accommodating 700 to 800 students on three levels, while retaining the ground floor for F&B, subject to design and approvals.

"We also see strong demand from investors keen to tie up with co-living operators to manage the 12 apartments. With the commercial zoning, foreigners and public-listed entities can acquire the entire building for long-term hold. Investors can look towards gross returns of about 3 per cent per annum," he said.

The property was first launched for sale in March 2018 with a $60 million guide price, and again in August 2021 at a $55 million reserve price.

The current tender closes at 2.30pm on April 26.

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