Second stage of Melbourne Square to be launched next month

Yarra Park City’s RM9 billion ($2.6 billion) Melbourne Square has seen great success since its launch in 2017. The first stage has been completed and handed over in March 2021 and the developer plans to officially launch the second stage, a residential tower called Blvd, next month. With soft-launching in May, the tower has secured about 30% in bookings from the Australian market, as reported by the Yarra Park City CEO Woon Chong Boon in a virtual interview to City & Country.

Melbourne Square is a five-acre freehold development based in Southbank, Melbourne. Developing the site is the joint-venture of OSK Property and Employees Provident Fund (EPF), having a total gross development value (GDV) of A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion).

The 73-storey Blvd tower has 591 units with built-ups ranging from 50 sq m to 177 sq m, and selling prices of A$517,000 to A$3.2 million. Most floors have 11 units, with the exception of level 56 and above, which only have six premium units on each floor. Dedicated to facilities are two floors, providing an outdoor park, a 25m swimming pool, a spa and sauna, a gymnasium, a simulator room, a cinema and a karaoke room. Regular residents will have an access to the level 55 facilities offering a gymnasium, lounge and dining area, as well as a co-working space open to all occupants.

Realising the importance of health and wellness in today’s world, Yarra Park City has decided to enrol in the platinum rating of WELL certification for Melbourne Square. To achieve this, the developer has planned to construct improved insulation, electric vehicle charging, smart-home automation and other holistic sustainability solutions.

“We think it is very important as we have seen a trend in the post-Covid-19 world where people are leaning towards wellness. Wellness has moved from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ in people’s day-to-day lives,” states Woon.

Progressing well, the first stage of Melbourne Square consists of 1,054 apartments, a 6,100 sq m retail space and a one-acre park. The majority of the 1,054 apartments are taken up with between 10% and 12% of buyers mentioned to be Malaysians. Primewest, now known as Centuria, has taken over the retail component for A$70 million in December 2020, while the space is managed by Colliers, anchored by a 4,100 sq m Woolworths supermarket alongside six speciality stores and a childcare centre, Nido Early School.

The master plan of Melbourne Square has been divided into six towers offering residential, retail, office and hotels components. Considering the current market conditions, the developer is revisiting the plans, aiming to satisfy the demand for residential units.

“The market has changed. We are revisiting [the master plan] and seeing what is the best product to offer,” said Woon, adding that the build-to-rent concept is also an option.

With their main focus being Melbourne Square, Yarra Park City has acquired two adjoining sites for a total of A$97 million in Southbank, planning a residential project.

Woon is optimistic on the outlook of property in Melbourne and Australia due to the high population growth rate of 1.8% to 2% every year driven by overseas migrants, including skilled workers and students. He believes that an estimated 1.5 million net overseas migrants in the next five years will require additional dwellings.

Owning a Condo in Singapore can be seen as a status symbol, with its superior comfort levels, convenience and higher security than HDB flats. It’s no surprise why many Singaporeans are turning to Condo ownership for their next housing step, since it can appreciate faster and potentially generate greater incomes as investments. With the numerous Condo options available, Singaporeans looking to upgrade to the Condo lifestyle are spoilt for choice.

“The prospects for property are always there, especially in the next five years when an estimated 1.5 million net overseas migrants are coming into Australia. Out of which, some 400,000 to 500,000 will be coming to Melbourne. Therefore, we are very positive on residential development in Melbourne,” concludes Woon.

Shophouses on East Coast Road for sale at $20 mil

Investors looking to invest in Singapore Condo should seriously consider the potential benefits. With great rental yields, potential capital appreciation, low maintenance fees and taxes, investing in a luxury condominium in Singapore is a smart move. There is also an abundance of amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, onsite restaurants, and other recreational activities. Moreover, you can find a range of choices from designer homes to standard apartments to suit different needs.

With the current market trends in Singapore, it is only natural that investors will be drawn to buy Singapore Condos. The city-state offers a safe haven for investors and is an ideal place to live or offer rental services. As such, there has been a surge in the demand for quality condominiums in Singapore, which in turn drives the real estate market. Therefore, an investor who buys a luxury apartment in Singapore stands to gain a lot in the long run.

In conclusion, a luxury condominium in Singapore is a great investment opportunity. The city-state’s real estate market has seen immense growth in recent years, making it an ideal place to invest. With great rental yields, potential capital appreciation, and budget-friendly maintenance fees, Singapore Condos offer a secure and attractive investment avenue.

The two-storey shophouses on East Coast Road, which are conserved and zoned for commercial use, are up for sale with a guide price of $20 million. Evonne Seow, associate director at PropNex Realty who is marketing the shophouses, highlights that the properties sit along a bustling thoroughfare in a densely populated area, thus offering buyers the potential to turn the shophouses into a multi-concept restaurant.

The first shophouse, located across from i12 Katong, has a land area of 1,344 sq ft with approval for F&B use on both floors, including a seating area on the second level. The second shophouse, located across from Roxy Square, has a land area of approximately 951 sq ft and has permanent approval for F&B usage. It has an external staircase, providing the new owner with the option to lease the property to two separate tenants or to establish a private dining area on the second floor, subject to approval from authorities.

The shophouses have a collective built-up area of about 4,362 sq ft and can be bought together or separately, with an indicative price of $10.5 million for the first shophouse and $9.5 million for the second. Seow believes that it is an excellent opportunity for investors or owner-occupiers seeking a commercial property, given the reliable stream of rental income these shophouses can generate.

Data from EdgeProp Research shows that East Coast Road has seen recent sales transactions for commercial properties. A recent EOI exercise for the shophouses will be closing on Nov 16 at 5pm, which offers interested buyers a chance to snap up these coveted assets that are rarely available for sale.

Owner-occupiers and investors alike should take note of this rare opportunity to acquire this piece of Singapore history. Not only does the purchase offer a reliable stream of rental income, it is also a chance to potentially establish an iconic multi-concept restaurant in a densely populated and bustling area. Don’t miss your chance at the Expression of Interest exercise, and submit your bid before Nov 16 at 5pm.

Chinese tycoon Du Shuanghua’s Glory Property buys Far East Shopping Centre en bloc for about $908 mil

Du Shuanghua’s Singapore-registered mining and resources company, Bright Ruby Resources, has purchased Far East Shopping Centre en bloc via its investment vehicle Glory Property Development. In the deal, Bright Ruby acquired the 36,014 sq ft prime real estate asset in District 9 for around $908 million, which works out to about $3,350 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr).Michael Tay, head of Singapore capital markets at CBRE, the marketing agent for Far East Shopping Centre, brokered the sale and noted the investor’s tendency to focus on prime assets in major cities. The acquisition follows Bright Ruby’s purchase of the Marriot Champs-Elysees in Paris for US$464 million and the Hilton Hotel in Sydney for US$364 million, both in 2015. The company also paid $1.15 billion a decade ago for the former Grand Park Orchard and its retail podium, Knightsbridge, as well as US$870 million in 2019 for the Westin Hotel Tokyo.

Du Shuanghua’s purchase of Far East Shopping Centre at 545 Orchard Road is not the steel tycoon’s first prime real estate acquisition in Singapore. In June last year, Ever Glory, another Bright Ruby Resources investment vehicle, bought the 37-storey, 999-year, Grade-A office building Income@Raffles for more than $1 billion.

With its 75m frontage along Orchard Road and a 55m frontage in Angullia Park, the 999-year leasehold property obtained from 1871 occupies a land area of 36,014 sq ft and is zoned for commercial use. Prospective buyers, such as Bright Ruby and its Glory Property Development, have the potential to benefit from the redevelopment, with the Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) scheme offering a 20% bonus gross floor area.

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CBRE’s Tay believes the repositioning of Far East Shopping Centre into a commercial offering with a mix of uses such as retail, hospitality and residences has the potential to revitalise Orchard Road. This is in line with URA’s stipulation that six buildings between Cuscaden Road and Orchard Boulevard be redeveloped into “a new exciting destination.”

The new mixed-use developments, such as the one envisioned for Far East Shopping Centre, will include amenities such as a hotel, retail, office and residential components, a rooftop garden and a performance theatre, with a direct underground pedestrian link from Orchard MRT Station.

Highlighting Bright Ruby’s forward-thinking and its prior success in repositioning a prime Orchard Road asset into Pullman Singapore, Tay was delighted to find the right buyer.

Price-wise, Far East Shopping Centre’s acquisition of roughly $3,350 psf ppr has surpassed the previous record set by Ming Arcade, which was sold last December for $172 million ($3,125 psf ppr). It has also exceeded the $868 million ($2,769 psf ppr) paid by Pacific Eagle Real Estate for Tanglin Shopping Centre in February 2022.

The Royal Group of Companies, a family office controlled by Asok Kumar Hiranandani, is developing the Ming Arcade site into a luxury hotel. Pacific Eagle, the Singapore-based investment and development firm of Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanato, as well as HPL, who received the go-ahead from URA in August, are transforming their Orchard Road investments into new mixed-use commercial developments.

A Singapore Condo is without a doubt a huge investment. Besides being able to enjoy the amenities, condo owners can also benefit from investment opportunities that come with owning such a prestigious piece of property. From long-term rental income, to capital appreciation, Singapore Condo offer investors a steady stream of returns. Other benefits of owning a condo include tax breaks from rental income, increased liquidity from resale markets, and gaining access to reputable schools and access to transportation.

Through Glory Property, Du Shuanghua may now do the same with Far East Shopping Centre, bringing the investor’s expertise from Paris, Sydney and Tokyo to the rejuvenation of Singapore’s Orchard Road.

CDL invests in 25 freehold residential assets in Japan for $321.9 mil

CDL has recently taken a major step to expand its presence in Japan’s private rented sector with its largest ever transaction in the country. The group has acquired 25 high-quality freehold residential assets in Tokyo for JPY35 billion ($321.9 million). The acquisition was made from the affiliates of BGO, a global real estate investment manager.

The properties have an average age of two years old and include 836 units and four retail units. They are all located in Tokyo’s 23 wards, with three being located in ultra-prime residential areas within the city’s five main wards. Furthermore, all of the assets are situated within a 10-minute walk from a nearby train station.

The investment is said to be attractive due to Japan’s economic activity recovering and increased demand for rental accommodation in Tokyo. CDL’s CEO, Sherman Kwek, commented on the transaction “Japan presents a strategic opportunity for the group to expand our residential rental portfolio during a favourable interest rate environment.”

Kwek continued by noting the strength of their Japan portfolio “Despite volatility over the past few years, our Japan portfolio has exhibited strong occupancy at over 95% and rental growth. This investment marks the group’s entry into Tokyo’s rental housing market, allowing us to further increase our presence in this asset class.”

Condo living in Singapore is becoming increasingly popular due to the numerous advantages that they present. Not only are they spacious and luxurious but they also offer favourable taxation, attractive rental yields and potential capital appreciation. For investors, this makes them a great option for long-term wealth creation. Condos come with a range of amenities such as swimming pools, gym facilities, security and carpark. Aside from these, some also offer entertainment, dining, shopping and leisure activities, adding a personal touch that makes it a great living experience. Singapore condominiums also provide the perfect environment for young professionals, expats and families wishing to settle down in the Lion City. Their proximity to the city-center also provides excellent convenience and access to shops, restaurants, schools and other essential services.

With the completion of this transaction, CDL’s private rented sector portfolio in Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama now stands at 38 assets with a total of over 2,100 units and a value of more than JPY 70 billion. This move comes as part of CDL’s plans to expand in the global living sector and increase their recurring income.