Balestier Point could be up for collective sale

The owners of Balestier Point, a mixed-use freehold development incorporating the former Ruby Theatre, are looking at putting it up for collective sale.

The reserve price for the property, comprising a two-storey retail podium with basement and an 18-storey residential block, could be around $250 million to $350 million. This works out to about $1,337 to $1,872 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf/pr).

The owners appointed an eight-member collective sale committee in October and ERA Realty as marketing agent last month. However, they have yet to set a date for an extraordinary general meeting to seek approval from unit owners.

The 62,315 sq ft site is zoned commercial and residential, with a plot ratio of 3.0 according to the 2014 Master Plan, and a building height limit of 30 to 36 storeys.

Balestier Point, which was completed in 1986, has 68 residential and 51 commercial units.

Owners could be motivated to sell, given the above-market premium for their property. A 1,119 sq ft apartment on the ninth floor went for about $1 million or $900 psf last month. They are banking on the fact that Balestier has been undergoing rejuvenation, with the completion in 2014 of the integrated hotel-park complex comprising Zhongshan Mall, Zhongshan Park, and the Days and Ramada hotels.

“It is within the Novena medical hub area and we are exploring the possibility of applying for change of use, subject to approval by the authorities,” said ERA Realty agent Stanley Koo.

The most recent collective sale in the area was of the former Diamond Tower – now Skysuites 17 – for about $49.6 million pr or $582 psf/pr in April 2010, according to CBRE. The former Ruby Plaza, a mixed development which is now The Mezzo, was transacted at about $69 million or $582 psf/pr in July 2007.

“Due to the cutback on residential land offered through the Government Land Sales programme, developers may want to look at collective sales as an alternative source of land. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to bridge sellers’ and buyers’ expectations,” said Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE research head for Singapore and South-east Asia.