Monday, December 1, 2008

Hotel Site At Bukit Chermin Up For Grabs

Source : The Straits Times, Nov 28, 2008

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is offering a hotel site, Bukit Chermin, to developers, despite the weak property market.

The 3ha site, on URA's reserve list - meaning it will go to tender if enough interest is shown - has a maximum permissible gross floor area of 10,000sq m.

URA says it should be developed into a 'distinctive lifestyle hotel' to enhance the appeal of areas known as the Southern Waterfront and Southern Ridges.

The Southern Waterfront is the Harbourfront precinct, including Sentosa, while the Southern Ridges is a 9km stretch of greenery and open space spanning the hills of Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill, Kent Ridge and West Coast Park.

URA had earlier completed two pedestrian bridges, namely the Henderson Waves and Alexandra Arch, to link three popular hill parks on the ridges.

Although the Bukit Chermin site is tucked away amid a hilly setting within an exclusive corner of the Southern Waterfront, it is also just minutes from entertainment and recreational amenities such as VivoCity, Sentosa and Mount Faber.

However, industry experts and analysts say that while the site offers niche developers a unique proposition, the current economic downturn is a key stumbling block.

'The Bukit Chermin site is a very interesting and unique site, with possibilities for a boutique hotel development,' said DTZ Research senior director Chua Chor Hoon. 'But in today's climate, in which credit conditions are tight and there remains a lot of uncertainty going forward, I don't think the site will receive any interest from developers.'

'Given current market conditions, I think it is very unlikely to attract any interest at all from the targeted players,' said another property consultant who did not want to be named.

'I think it is safe to say, the URA really is just going through a formality, but nothing is wrong with the URA testing the waters because at the end of the day, who knows? A private developer might just surprise everyone,' he mused.

No comments: