Monday, May 24, 2010

Current KTMB station site provides opportunities for devt: property watchers

Property watchers said the current Malayan Railway station site at Tanjong Pagar offers tremendous opportunities for residential and commercial development. But these will likely take shape only in 2015 or 2016.

Singapore and Malaysia announced on Monday that the Tanjong Pagar railway station will be relocated to Woodlands by July next year.

Property observers say the Tanjong Pagar site, located in the Southern part of Singapore, is located on prime land. It’s near the city centre and a big shopping mall Vivocity.

The attraction is the size of the land spanning about five football fields.

A high-rise commercial development with a gross floor area of over a million square feet could be built there.

Though the size is zone for commercial use now, market watchers said residential units may be allowed too.

Donald Han, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Currently it’s zoned under commercial, that means potentially you might be allowed some retail component, you’d be allowed commercial office as well.

“I think a developer, whoever comes in, to take over the land potentially can build a combination of retail as well as office. But that being said, a lot of the commercial prime properties of the outskirts of the main financial district may be allowed potential conversion of use to residential.

“So in some cases, you may get a combination of commercial and potentially residential, on top of this site. The site is huge so it can have a multitude variety of different uses in that sense, subject to of course, getting the necessary planning approval.

“If it’s going to be pure commercial, based on the land area, over the plot ratio, we estimate price per square foot, per plot ratio about S$600-650 per square foot, plot ratio. That translates to a price, total quantum of about S$650-700 million in that sense.

“If you get conversion of residential use, the value for residential, which is currently highest and best used in the financial district can potentially be about 25 to 30 per cent higher than the figures I quoted you just now.”

Analysts said relocating the railway station is also timely as Singapore plans to re-develop the Tanjong Pagar area into a new waterfront city.

And when the station moves to Woodlands in the north, that area is set to become more vibrant.

Mr Han said: “Right now, if you go into Woodlands, there is only the Causeway Bay shopping mall, that’s currently located. There are not many activities that are coming up.

“If you look at the potential relocation of the KTM, if it allows an integrated development to be located there, I think it will certainly help to increase land values and existing property values in the area.”

But all this will not be immediate and will take between three and six years.

Source: Channel News Asia, 24 May 2010

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