Thursday, July 17, 2008

Balestier Road Hotel Site Draws Three Bids

Source : TODAY, Thursday, July 17, 2008

THREE companies have entered bids for a hotel-and-park land parcel along Balestier Road, compared to the zero interest for a Little India hotel site tender that closed just two months ago.

Of the three, the top bidder was HH Properties, a unit of Singapore-listed Hiap Hoe. It offered about $172 per-square-foot per plot ratio, or a total of $73.3 million, the Urban Redevelopment Authority revealed yesterday.

The other bids were considerably lower: Garden City Hotel Holdings offered $53.1 million, Park Plaza offered $35 million.

The 99-year leasehold site flanking Ah Hood Road, covers 190,106 square feet and has a maximum permissible gross floor area of about 426,000 square feet.

“This can potentially yield some 675 hotel rooms,” said Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of property consultancy CBRE Research. “A hotel built on the location can capitalise on the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall that is located nearby.”

Another unique selling point, he said, would be the upcoming 0.46 hectare Zhongshan Park, which will be integrated with the hotel. Part of the space in the public park can be for commercial uses, like outdoor refreshment areas and tea pavilions.

Whichever firm wins the tender will have its proposal reviewed by a design advisory panel to ensure “appropriate quality and standard”, as “the site will be a key development along Balestier Road”, URA had said in March when the tender was launched.

Mr Li said even HH Properties’ top bid was “relatively low” compared to those received recently for other hotel sites.

“However, it is heartening to see several bids submitted for the site in the view that no bids were received for a hotel site at Race Course Road/Bukit Timah Road that closed in May,” he added.

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