Wednesday, July 14, 2010

CDL sells stake in Chinatown Point for $250m

Buyer is consortium of investors that includes German fund manager SEB

CITY Developments Ltd (CDL) has sold the retail mall of Chinatown Point as well as four office units for $250 million to a consortium of investors, which includes German fund manager SEB.

The consortium was put together by Pua Seck Guan's Perennial Real Estate group.

The transaction price reflects $1,403 per square foot based on the total strata area of 178,187 sq ft. The asset comprises 283 strata-titled retail units and four office units.

Mr Pua, who is Perennial's CEO, said the new owner plans to reposition the mall and enhance its ambience. NTUC FairPrice is expected to be a supermarket anchor tenant at the revamped Chinatown Point mall. The envisaged trade mix of the repositioned mall would comprise a wide variety of offerings such as traditional Chinese specialty food and foodstuffs, jewellery, traditional and modern Chinese or Asian accessories stores and travel agencies.

The property is strategically located at the junction of New Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street and is very near the Chinatown MRT Station serving the North-East Line. Current tenants at the mall include Swensen's and McDonald's.

'In time, Chinatown Point mall is expected to benefit from the increased footfall to the area once the upcoming Downtown Line, which is expected to connect to the adjacent Chinatown MRT Station, is operational.

'We expect the revamped mall to appeal not only to the locals, but also tourists who would like to experience the charms and flavours of Chinatown in a contemporary setting,' Mr Pua said.

Seller CDL said in a statutory filing with Singapore Exchange that as it does not own all of the strata-titled units in Chinatown Point, it is of the view that it is an opportune time to unlock value from its holding in the sale units.

Chinatown Point's mall spans six levels - including part of Basement 1. It is part of a mixed development that also includes a 25-storey strata titled office block. The development is built on a site with a 99-year leasehold tenure starting November 1980.

Last year, a private trust set up by Perennial bought Katong Mall for $247.6 million and last week plans were announced for a $60 million redevelopment of the asset.

Source: Business Times, 14 Jul 2010

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