Friday, April 23, 2010

Robertson Quay hotel site open for application

Plot, which can yield some 350 rooms, has access to S'pore River promenade

DEVELOPERS looking to grab a slice of the hospitality pie can now apply for a hotel site at Robertson Quay.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) released detailed sale conditions for the 99-year leasehold plot yesterday. The 0.45 hectare site can yield an estimated 350 hotel rooms.

It has direct access to the Singapore River promenade and is next to Rivergate. It is near several other hotels such as Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, River View Hotel, Gallery Hotel and Studio M Hotel.

It is also within walking distance of food and beverage and entertainment outlets at Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.

CBRE Hotels Asia-Pacific executive director Robert McIntosh expects to see demand for the site, which may house a four or five-star hotel. The location 'is pretty attractive,' he said.

It helps that the outlook for the hospitality sector has improved. 'There is much more positive sentiment than there was six to nine months ago,' Mr McIntosh said.

Singapore attracted 857,000 visitors in February - a 24.2 per cent increase from a year ago. This helped lift gazetted room revenue for hotels 5.8 per cent year on year to $133 million.

Transaction volume in the hotel investment market also surged in the first quarter. According to a Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels report last week, Asian investors have shown strong interest in the sector.

Cushman & Wakefield managing director Donald Han agrees there will be demand for the hotel plot. But he suggests the developer may set aside some space for residential units. 'The residential play will be interesting,' he said.

Under zoning guidelines, developers can use up to 40 per cent of a hotel site's total floor area for commercial or residential use, subject to official consideration. The Robertson Quay parcel has a maximum gross floor area of 136,013 sq ft.

Mr Han expects developers to offer around $450-$500 per sq ft per plot ratio for the site, and build a three-and-a-half or four-star hotel on it.

Source: Business Times, 23 Apr 2010

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