Monday, April 4, 2011

Fortredale said to have been sold for $65 million

A COLLECTIVE sale is said to have been inked for the freehold Fortredale at Tanjong Rhu. The price is believed to be about $65 million, which works out to about $1,342 per square foot per plot ratio.

The buyer is a low-profile Chinese developer which is developing a project in the Balestier area.

The en bloc sale of Fortredale - which has a freehold land area of 23,020 sq ft - was brokered by CB Richard Ellis through a tender which closed on March 29.

Market watchers expect the transaction to provide a price benchmark and pave the way for the en bloc sale of Austral View next door, which is on a site of 30,540 sq ft and also being marketed by CBRE.

Analysts say they would not be too surprised if the same party that is buying Fortredale also emerges as the buyer of Austral View, as it would then be able to amalgamate the two sites into a combined freehold land area of about 53,560 sq ft.

The combined plot could then be potentially redeveloped into a new condominium project with a total gross floor area of about 112,476 sq ft. This would be sufficient for a project with about 108 units averaging 1,000 sq ft, say analysts.

Both the Fortredale and Austral View sites are zoned for residential use with a 2.1 plot ratio (ratio of maximum potential gross floor area to land area) and 24-storey maximum height under Master Plan 2008.

Fortredale's en bloc sale would mark the second time the site is being sold through a collective sale. It was previously sold through an en bloc sale in 1996 to T3 Investments Ltd, which redeveloped the site to the existing 18-storey, 32-unit project and sold it upon completion to a unit of Poh Lian Holdings in August 1999 for $38.5 million or $825 psf on the project's net saleable area of 46,673 sq ft.

Poh Lian subsequently marketed the units individually. And the current majority owners of the project decided to put the development up for another collective sale.

When Fortredale was completed in the late 1990s, it became a landmark for the location, at the corner of Tanjong Rhu and Fort roads, with its interesting use of green and blue glass. It bagged a bronze award in the Singapore Institute of Architects-ICI's Colour Awards in 1999 for best use of colour in architecture.

Collective sales shined in the Singapore property investment sales market in the first quarter of this year. There were at least four such transactions in Q1 of over $100 million each - compared with only three such deals between 2008 and 2010.

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