Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goldhill Centre Up For Tender

Source : The Business Times, July 10, 2008

AFTER 13 years in the making, the collective sale of Goldhill Centre - a three- storey walk-up building of shop and office units next to Goldhill Plaza and United Square in the Novena area - has finally been put up for tender.

On the block: The site can be redeveloped into a new project with a maximum gross floor area of 210,531 sq ft

The asking price is $315 million, which works out to $1,496 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), which is marketing the collective sale, says no development charge is payable because of the high historical development baseline for the 70,177 sq ft freehold site.

The plot is zoned for commercial use with a 3.0 plot ratio (ratio of maximum gross floor area to land area) under both the 2003 and 2008 (Draft) Master Plans.

This means the site can be redeveloped into a new project with a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 210,531 sq ft, which would surpass the property's existing GFA, estimated at 112,283 sq ft.

'With provision for a basement connection to the Novena MRT station and nestled in an established residential estate, the site offers excellent opportunity for retail development,' JLL said. The tender for Goldhill Centre closes on Aug 19.

JLL's associate director (investments), David Batchelor, said some owners of strata units in Goldhill Centre have been trying to do a collective sale since 1995, but issues relating to titles of some of the units had held up the sale.

This was ironed out under an amendment to the Land Titles (Strata) Act passed last year.

Most of the units in Goldhill Centre have 999-year leases but the original developer (Goldhill Properties) retained the title certificates.

So, owners of such units could do an en bloc sale only with the unanimous consent and approval of the original developer, which owned the reversionary interest in the property, under the old rules.

But with the new amendment that took effect last year, such owners can now proceed with an en bloc sale by majority consent.

The original developer's consent will not be required, because if the Strata Titles Board approves an en bloc sale, it will lose all rights to the land.

Another factor that has held back Goldhill Centre's en bloc sale is that owners had been trying to seek a higher plot ratio for the site in line with those for surrounding commercial sites, Mr Batchelor explained. But these efforts were unsuccessful.

Owners controlling 80 per cent of share values as well as strata area in Goldhill Centre have consented to a collective sale, thus achieving the mandatory minimum consensus under the revised legislation.

Goldhill Centre comprises three blocks of walk-up buildings with a total of 87 units.

These comprise 29 shops ranging from 1,066 sq ft to 1,109 sq ft and 58 office units between 1,206 sq ft and 1,668 sq ft. Based on the $315 million asking price, owners will receive about $3.4 million to $3.9 million per unit.

Goldhill Centre is part of a bigger complex originally developed by companies in the Goldhill group.

Goldhill Centre was developed in 1969, Goldhill Plaza in 1973 and Goldhill Square (now known as United Square and owned by UOL Group), in 1982.

Seah Kim Bee, chairman of the sales committee of Goldhill Centre's en bloc sale, recounted: 'We were very close to getting the 80 per cent approval level under the old en bloc rules when the amended Act took effect on Oct 4 last year. So we had to start all over again. We held an extraordinary general meeting in November 2007 where the sales committee was set up and the members elected, as required under the new rules.'

The 79-year-old, a chartered town planner, has also been chairman of Goldhill Centre's management council for nearly 10 years.

No comments: