Mixed-use newbuild on former Thong Sia Building site on the market for S$600m

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The Business Times – 

A NEWLY completed 18-storey freehold luxury mixed-use development, 30 Bideford Road, along the Orchard shopping belt, has been put on the market with an indicative price of S$600 million, said marketing agents Colliers and Knight Frank in a press statement on Thursday (Dec 23).

Formerly known as Thong Sia Building, 30 Bideford Road now comprises 168 serviced residences, as well as around 54,512 square feet (sq ft) of retail, office and medical space spanning 5 storeys. It occupies a site area of about 21,602 sq ft.

Located at 28 and 30 Bideford Road, it is zoned for commercial and residential use with a gross plot ratio of 4.9, under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019.

It received its temporary occupation permit in early 2020. Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei designed the building.

Colliers Singapore managing director Tang Wei Leng noted that 30 Bideford Road “is a newly completed and well-designed hospitality commercial development with high specifications”.

Subject to the termination of existing leases at the building, it will be sold with vacant possession on an “as is, where is” basis, offering investors different options to maximise its potential, she added.

While the Dec 23 press statement did not identify the owner of the property, Singapore-based private equity firm SIN Capital last bought Thong Sia Building for S$380 million in a collective sale in 2015, The Business Times (BT) reported then. At the time, the property comprised a 19-storey apartment tower and 7 storeys of commercial space.

Press statements released in October 2020 referred to the redeveloped property as Orchard Hills, with a US flexible workspace operator intended as the anchor tenant of the commercial component, while the serviced residences were named Orchard Hills Residences.

Back then, the flexible workspace had been scheduled to open in Q2 2021. Based on BT’s checks, the serviced residences, branded MGallery by hotel operator Accor, were meant to be operational starting in H1 2021, but the opening date was later postponed to H2 2022.

In April 2021, BT also reported that the Orchard Hills development, SIN Capital’s flagship project, was “mostly vacant”.

Knight Frank Singapore’s head of capital markets Daniel Ding said on Dec 23 that 30 Bideford Road would be a rare investment proposition for investors looking for a brand-new freehold trophy asset in prime District 9.

It may be suitable for hospitality operators seeking a flagship hospitality asset, or investors looking to acquire a generational asset, Ding said.

Colliers’ Tang is of the view that the launch of the tender is “perfectly timed” to ride on the recovery of the hospitality market, with international borders reopening amid rising vaccination rates globally. Singapore’s property market continues to attract international and domestic investors, she added.

Tang also noted: “We are very familiar with this opportunity, as we have been involved in negotiating with a few potential occupiers for the proposed space on plan.”

30 Bideford Road is located at the heart of Singapore’s shopping district, and high-end residential developments, hotels, offices and malls including The Paragon, Ngee Ann City and Mandarin Gallery are within its immediate vicinity. Somerset MRT station is a 10-minute walk away.

The joint tender for the sale of 30 Bideford Road will close on Feb 15, 2022 at 3 pm.

Before the collective sale of Thong Sia Building, the property’s entire 7-level commercial podium, comprising 8 retail and office units, was owned by a partnership between Singapore-based Buxani Group and a group of offshore investors advised by Seychelles-based Capital Management Group (CMG).

Buxani and CMG had acquired those units in 2013 for S$120 million from Raffles Medical Group, after the latter failed to secure the necessary government approvals to convert them into a specialist medical centre.

Raffles Medical Group had paid about S$92.1 million for the commercial podium in 2011.

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