URA launches tender for plum white site at Central Boulevard

SINGAPORE – The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) launched on Tuesday (Aug 30) the sale by tender of a prime mainly office site at Central Boulevard in Marina Bay.

The sale of the “white site” was triggered by an application earlier this month from a developer, believed to be from mainland China, according to an earlier Business Times report.

The developer has undertaken to bid at least S$1.536 billion for the 99-year leasehold parcel – which works out to S$1,010 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) for the 1.1 hectare parcel.

The tender is expected to draw much interest, both local and foreign, given its plum location and what analysts say is the potential tightening of prime office supply in the Central Business District by 2020. Next door to the site, Asia Square Tower 1 was sold in June for S$3.38 billion to a Qatar sovereign wealth fund – making it the largest-ever single-tower real estate deal in the Asia-Pacific.

The Central Boulevard site is also notable for being the first in which URA has imposed a new cap on the number of carpark spaces that can be built. URA cited the site’s good public transport links – it is near the Raffles Place, Downtown and upcoming Shenton Way MRT stations – as a reason for it needing fewer parking spaces.

Car parking provision for the site has been capped at 80 per cent of the minimum Car Parking Standards (CPS) set by the Land Transport Authority. Previous sites sold by the Government typically required a developer to comply with these minimum standards.

URA also said that a minimum of 100,000 sq m of the site’s gross floor area (GFA) of 141,294 sq m have to be set aside for office use and a maximum 5,000 sq m can be used for retail purposes such as shops and outdoor refreshment areas. The remaining GFA can be used for additional offices, commercial schools, hotel, serviced apartments or residences.

The white site was made available from the reserve list of the second-half of 2016 Government Land Sales programme. A reserve list parcel will only be launched for sale if there is sufficient interest, or when a developer places a bid that is acceptable to the Government.

Tender for the site will close at 12 noon on Nov 8.