Far East Shopping Centre up for en bloc sale at S$928 million

SINGAPORE: Far East Shopping Centre in Orchard Road has been put up for collective sale, with a guide price of S$928 million (US$697 million), real estate services and investment firm CBRE said on Monday (Jul 24).

The 36,014 sq ft corner site, located at the junction of Orchard Road and Angullia Park, has a land tenure of 999 years with effect from 1871. It is currently zoned for commercial use and has a dual road frontage of about 130m. 

According to Far East Organization’s website, the existing building consists of a 2-storey basement, mainly used for car parks, a 5-storey podium for retail outlets and a 10-storey block for offices.

Under the 2019 Master Plan, the site, which is about 200m from Orchard Road MRT station, has an allowable gross plot ratio of 4.9, with a verified existing gross floor area (GFA) is about 242,145 sq ft, equivalent to a plot of 6.72.

The site is eligible to participate in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) scheme, which aims to encourage redevelopment of older buildings in the area to “create a new, exciting destination in this part of Orchard Road”, CBRE said.

“Should the respective owners meet URA’s redevelopment conditions, the owner(s) may be able to enjoy a maximum increase of 20 per cent in gross floor area,” it added.

“If awarded the SDI, the maximum buildable GFA of 545 Orchard Road can potentially go up to approximately 290,574 sq ft, which is equivalent to a plot ratio of 8.06.”

According to CBRE’s head of Singapore capital markets Michael Tay, Far East Shopping Centre is the only commercial site currently available for sale along Orchard Road. 

He added that the site is “strategically positioned” to be part of the government’s plan, with the SDI scheme meant to “expedite the rejuvenation of Orchard Road”.

“We believe this opportunity will appeal to both local and foreign developers as the incoming buyer has the flexibility to create an iconic mixed-use development in the most prominent street in Singapore.” 

Mr Tay added the SDI scheme “proposes implementation of direct underground pedestrian links from the existing Orchard MRT Station and Thomson-East Coast Line Orchard MRT Station to the new integrated development”.

“This will greatly enhance foot traffic to this part of Orchard Road. Developer(s) of the integrated development can also explore a combination of different land uses such as retail, hotel, office, MICE facilities and lifestyle uses under the said scheme.”

The S$928 million guide price is based on a maximum buildable GFA of 290,574 sq ft under the SDI scheme. Assuming full commercial usage, this works out to be S$3,421 sq ft per plot ratio, inclusive of Land Betterment Charge.

As the site is currently zoned for commercial use, the successful bidder will not have to pay any additional buyers’ stamp duty (ABSD).

Under the SDI scheme, the incoming buyer is also required to engage in a joint integrated redevelopment with its adjacent sites. 

Far East Shopping Centre sits adjacent to a hotel, Voco Orchard, and another shopping mall, Wheelock Place, and is known for Shashlik Restaurant, which serves Russian cuisine with a Hainanese spin.

The public tender for the site will close on Sep 20 at 3pm.

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