Friday, May 28, 2010

RGS site could be worth billions if sold: Analysts

ITS students may be sad to see it go, but property developers will be eagerly eyeing the plum plot of land that Raffles Girls' School (RGS) will leave behind if it relocates.

The school now sits on a prized centrally located site that is likely to be worth billions if it is converted into a residential plot, property consultants said yesterday.

'This is a very, very prime site,' said Mr Ho Eng Joo, executive director of investment sales at real estate firm Colliers International.

'It's been quite a long time since this kind of prime site has been released in the market, and at this size. There are no comparables, it's priceless,' he added.

RGS occupies one of the most coveted plots of land in Singapore, bounded on all four sides by some of the country's priciest residential areas: Ardmore Park, Draycott Park, Stevens Road and Anderson Road.

Given the location, the size of the plot is massive: 4.5ha, or 10 times the size of nearby The Ardmore and almost five times that of Anderson 18. It is about the size of the sprawling Ardmore Park.

Mr Ho believes the site could go for $1.6 billion to $2 billion, based on a plot ratio of 2.8, which is similar to that of nearby developments. This would work out to about $1,400 per sq ft (psf) of the total floor area, which could amount to 1.35 million sq ft.

Ms Chua Chor Hoon, head of South-east Asia research at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, has an even higher estimate at well over $2 billion. This is based on a possible selling price of $2,800 to $3,200 psf of the final units in the development.

If the Government decides to sell the land as 99-year leasehold residential plots, it will probably parcel it out into more easily digestible pieces, consultants said.

Nearby land plots have sold for record prices. In 2007, SC Global bought The Ardmore, with a freehold land area of about 0.4ha, for $262 million, or a record $2,337 psf of gross floor area.

Back in 1999, Wing Tai paid $1,100 psf for its Draycott 8 site, at the time a record price for 99-year leasehold land.

Source: Straits Times, 28 May 2010

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