$160m-$170m price tag for Cuscaden site

A house near Orchard Road owned by the descendants of famous philanthropist Tan Tock Seng has been put up for sale with a price tag of $160 million to $170 million.

The detached house, which is now vacant, is one of the few undeveloped plots in Cuscaden Road and so has huge potential.

It was owned by the late businessman Tan Hoon Siang, who headed several rubber companies in Malaysia.

Mr Tan, a great-grandson of Mr Tan Tock Seng, was chairman and a director of Bukit Sembawang Estates until his death in May 1991. A misthouse at Singapore Botanic Gardens is named after the keen botanist.

Mr Tan Tock Seng was a renowned philanthropist who founded the hospital that bears his name.

The house, bought by the family in the 1950s, is named Villa Marie, presumably in tribute to Mr Tan Hoon Siang’s second wife Marie Windsor, who died in 2007.

The 25,741 sq ft freehold site has been put on sale by the trustees of the estate. His three sons and Madam Windsor were listed as joint tenants of the property after his death.

The site is zoned for hotel use although the Urban Redevelopment Authority said it would consider a proposal for a 20-storey residential project, according to marketing agent JLL. JLL international director Karamjit Singh said a purchaser could redevelop the site into a mid-scale to upscale hotel with about 300 rooms, or a building with up to 185 shoebox units at an average size of 540 sq ft or 50 apartments of 2,000 sq ft each. “There hasn’t been hotel land supply in and around Orchard Road for many years, especially freehold sites,” he said.

Mr Desmond Sim, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at CBRE, said: “I’m sure the big boys would be the ones that are looking at it. If not, there’ll be some joint ventures.”