Woodlands commercial site released

Reserve plot unlikely to draw takers soon, due to impending office-space glut: Analysts

A second commercial site in Woodlands Square was released yesterday, although experts do not foresee a buyer any time soon, given the huge supply of office space in the pipeline.

The 2.24ha, 99-year-leasehold plot, which is part of the development of Woodlands Regional Centre, is on the reserve list and comes with stringent conditions.

Its maximum permissible gross floor area (GFA) is 843,319 sq ft, of which at least 506,000 sq ft, or about 60 per cent, must go to office use.

A maximum of 86,111 sq ft may be for shops and food and beverage uses while at least 10,764 sq ft must be set aside for childcare.

Remaining GFA can be used for more office, serviced apartments or residential use. Small strata shops or offices will not be allowed.

Apart from any space for serviced apartments or residential use, the remaining GFA must be contained in not more than three strata lots, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said yesterday.

This is a departure from the nearby Woods Square, the first commercial site in Woodlands Regional Centre, which was awarded in April last year. The slightly smaller plot was sold for about $634 million, or $906 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) and is being developed by a consortium comprising Far East Organization, Far East Orchard and Sekisui House.

"Developers interested in this site are likely to watch closely the take-up at (Woods Square)... A strong take-up rate is likely to whet the appetite of developers," said Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP International executive director.

Reserve sites are triggered for sale once an acceptable initial bid is received but the high level of new office supply expected to hit the market over the next few years means the plot is not expected to attract buyers soon, experts said.

The site could go for about $710 million to $784 million, or $842 to $930 psf ppr, say market watchers.

When fully developed over the next 10 to 15 years, the northern gateway is to have about 7.53 million sq ft of commercial space and offer about 100,000 new jobs, the URA said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Woodlands commercial site released'. Print Edition | Subscribe