Thursday, August 5, 2010

Global Orion makes first foray in residential market

Eyeing the mid-end segment, it will redevelop Balestier site for $80 million

(SINGAPORE) Industrial property developer Global Orion is making its first foray into the local private residential market with a freehold project at Balestier.

It is eyeing the mid-end segment, and hopes to establish itself by offering 'affordable luxury'.

Global Orion's director Satia Narjadin shared these plans with BT. The firm sealed the first collective sale of the year when it bought an industrial building at 6 Jalan Ampas in February, and it will be redeveloping the site into a new condominium.

The firm expects to invest a total of around $80 million in the yet unnamed project, which could have about 100 units. The launch is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year, and prices will be in line with those of new projects in the area.

According to caveats lodged with the authorities in June, units of upcoming developments nearby changed hands at $1,029-$1,506 psf.

Global Orion 'wants to be here for the long haul' and it is designing its first residential project in Singapore carefully, Mr Narjadin said. For starters, it is not keen to offer shoebox units - the smallest one at this development will measure at least 500 sq ft.

The firm also wants its projects to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. 'I don't want to have to shield my eyes when I go past some of my projects,' he quipped.

Global Orion was incorporated in 2006 and is a family business. Mr Narjadin's father started out in the building materials industry more than 40 years ago, and the family has been developing residential and commercial projects as and when opportunities arose, in a few markets such as Indonesia and Australia.

It was on entering the Singapore market that the family decided to set up a vehicle to focus on property development.

Global Orion chose to get its feet wet in the industrial property sector. Compared with residential projects, industrial ones tend to involve fewer regulatory issues, and there are fewer details to take care of, Mr Narjadin said.

Entering the industrial sector was a way to 'get to know how things work, before we can confidently say ok, we're ready to do a residential project the right way,' he explained.

Global Orion has four industrial developments under its belt - the latest being Meissa at Pasir Panjang. It will launch the freehold 58-unit project in the third quarter.

The seven-storey building will be suitable for light industrial firms, and units range from 969-3,595 sq ft in size. Prices are likely to be around $700 per sq ft.

While Global Orion is using the industrial sector as a stepping stone to the residential sector, it will not be neglecting the former. The firm aims to have a balanced portfolio of projects, Mr Narjadin said.

Source: Business Times, 5 Aug 2010

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