Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Widjaja family member buys Cree Court for $53m

Price paid by Frankle for the freehold site on Dalvey Rd works out to $800 psf

THE Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market continues to buzz with activity.

Frankle Widjaja, a member of the family that controls the Sinar Mas group, is understood to have recently inked a deal to buy Cree Court along Dalvey Road.

Mr Widjaja, who sits on the boards of Asia Food & Properties and Golden Agri-Resources, is said to have signed a sale and purchase agreement to buy Cree Court for about $53 million, which works out to slightly over $800 per square foot based on the site's freehold land area of 65,416 sq ft.

Cree Court is a four-storey development comprising 12 apartments. The site is in a designated Good Class Bungalow Area, which means that it can be redeveloped only into GCBs.

Based on the minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres (about 15,069 sq ft) stipulated for a GCB, the Cree Court site can be redeveloped into a maximum of four GCBs. Of course, Mr Widjaja may also develop a single luxurious bungalow on sprawling grounds, a market watcher suggested.

The seller is The Asia Life Assurance Society, part of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co group. The sale is understood to have been brokered by Peter Ng of HRL Properties and Helen Li.

The $53 million fetched for Cree Court under the recent deal is lower than the $58 million that another party had agreed to pay last year for the property. However, that deal was aborted a few months later, with the buyer forfeiting a deposit of least 10 per cent of the purchase price, BT understands.

That unsuccessful buyer is understood to be an entity linked to Agus Anwar, a Singaporean businessman linked to Kapital Asia Pte Ltd, an investment holding company.

Asia Life Assurance Society bought Cree Court in 2000 from DBS Bank for $24.07 million or $368 psf.

The bank had sold the asset as part of its strategy of divesting non-core assets.

Cree Court's latest buyer, Mr Widjaja, runs his family's China property business and is credited with spearheading the development of the Sinar Mas group's Westin Bund Center in Shanghai.

Source: Business Times, 24 June 2009

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