Monday, May 31, 2010

A revamp for iconic Scotts Road bungalows

The iconic stretch of black-and-white bungalows from 29 to 35 Scotts Road will soon get a facelift, with more buzz expected as it has been earmarked by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) for redevelopment into a lifestyle belt.

Among the new tenants that can occupy the colonial-style bungalows following the redevelopment include those that operate beauty services, health and fitness stores, bridal and wedding outlets, as well as restaurants.

This means existing tenants that operate businesses that fit the criteria and concept of the new belt may opt to stay on at the premises while others, such as those that operate office units there, may have to move out soon.

About 15 tenants currently occupy the 16,500 square metre land area and each bungalow has a built-in area of about 300 to 550 square metres.

Among the tenants that are operating there now include The Song of India restaurant, which occupies 33 Scotts Road, and the SK-II Boutique Spa at No 35.

While these tenants fall within the approved list of tenants that can occupy the bungalows in future, they are still required to submit a fresh tender bid.

The lease of all units there expires in September and an SLA spokesperson told MediaCorp that “there are plans to launch them (the bungalows) for tender by end June”.

“Current tenants interested in such uses will be invited to participate in the tender as well,” the SLA spokesperson added.

The bungalows’ managing agent DTZ said most tenants are glad to participate in the tender, as they are operating beauty or food and beverage (F&B) businesses and so far, they had no major objection on the redevelopment.

Tenants whose businesses do not suit the new lifestyle concept can bid for the space if they adapt or change their businesses accordingly, said DTZ property manager Keh Peng Leong.

When asked about the likely rent these bungalows will fetch following the redevelopment, Mr Keh said that the current market value of the area and the redevelopment’s details are still being worked out.

Market experts said this move is timely as it will serve the nearby Cairnhill Road area, which is fast becoming a luxury condominium stretch.

Mr Colin Tan, head of research and consultancy at Chesterton Suntec International, said new apartments in the area are attracting many high-net-worth individuals.

For instance, The Urban Suites, located less than a kilometre away from Scotts Road, was sold for between $2,400 and $2,800 per square feet.

The redeveloped bungalows will draw very niche businesses as the entire land area is quite small. Clientele-wise, outlets there will draw sophisticated individuals who prefer the colonial vibe of the place, said Mr Tan.

“By itself, it has no critical mass of shops to be a hub destination by itself. The services there have to be very niche, unlike a big shopping centre,” he said, who estimates rentals for that area will be $25 per square feet for an F&B outlet.

Source: Today, 31 May 2010

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