Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sentosa Cove on track to meet schedules

It will have some 2,100 condo units and landed homes by 2014
CONSTRUCTION at Sentosa Cove is largely on schedule, but Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) - which oversees the luxury residential enclave - has received a 'handful' of requests from developers to delay their upcoming projects, chief executive Mike Barclay told reporters yesterday.

SDC has granted an extension to one developer and it is reviewing requests from others. It will consider requests on a case-by-case basis, Mr Barclay said.

And in a few cases, land-owners have had to pay liquidated damages - which is essentially a penalty - for taking slightly longer than the maximum time allowed to develop the sites they bought. The penalty comes to 2 per cent of the land purchase price for each month's delay.

Buyers of land plots meant for landed homes are given four years to complete building on their sites, while buyers of condominium and commercial plots are given up to five years. So far, no major delays have been seen, SDC said. With most construction on track, Sentosa Cove should be home to some 2,100 condominium units and landed homes by 2014.

While some 2,500 homes could have been built on the Cove, some developers decided to combine land plots or build larger units, which means that the enclave will have fewer units than it could have.

To date, there are some 1,700 people living in Sentosa Cove in about 400 homes. More than 30 condominiums and landed properties have received their temporary occupation permits (TOPs).

This includes condominiums such as The Berth by the Cove and The Azure. Overall condo occupancy at projects that have achieved TOP now stands at about 70 per cent, according to data from SDC.

The number of people who have set up home in the Cove is expected to climb as another 60 projects are expected to get their TOPs over the next six months.

'With more TOPs on the way, our live-in population is set to swell to about 3,000 by the end of 2009,' said Mr Barclay.

About 840 homes - comprising 140 landed units and 700 condo apartments - will be ready by the end of this year, up from about 400 now.

Sentosa Cove comprises of North Cove and South Cove. Land parcels in the North Cove were launched first.

'By the end of the year, 85 per cent of the projects within North Cove will have obtained TOPs,' said Jason Yeo, general manager for Sentosa Cove Resort Management. 'As for South Cove, the land sale was completed in 2008 and it is envisaged to be fully developed by 2014.'

The masterplan for Sentosa Cove was finalised in 1996, and land sales kicked off in 2003. All land sites were sold by 2008, with the total investment from land sales for the Sentosa Cove project coming to some $5.1 billion in total. Some 60 per cent of all buyers were foreigners.

With all land plots on the island sold off, Sentosa's management has now turned its attention to building a cohesive residential community.

Right now, Sentosa Cove is home to people from 21 nationalities including Europe, the United States, China, India, Australia and neighbouring South-east Asian countries.

'We are actively building a community life now and are committed to fulfilling our vision of delivering the world's most desirable address,' said Mr Barclay.

'Are we on track with our vision? The answer is yes,' said Jennie Chua, chairman of the Sentosa Cove Council. In recent quarters, property prices across Singapore (including Sentosa Cove) have tumbled and reports of construction delays have emerged. But this is due to a global economic downturn, Ms Chua said. In the longer term, Sentosa Cove still offers an attractive residential enclave for locals and foreigners, she said.

Source: Business Times, 25 April 2009

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