Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raffles Girls' School site in District 10 worth billions


THE huge prime site occupied by Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) could fetch billions of dollars if it is sold once the school moves to new premises in 2018.

The school announced the move to Braddell at its Speech Day last Saturday, sparking much speculation about one of the country's choicest pieces of turf.

The Ministry of Education owns the approximately 550,000 sq ft site - the size of about six soccer fields - in Anderson Road in District 10.

A ministry spokesman said yesterday: "The site would be returned to the Singapore Land Authority and put out for other use after (the school) moves to its new campus from 2018."

The site is zoned for education under the 2008 masterplan, but experts say that while it can be retained for this use, the likely option is that it will be converted to residential use.

That would also likely involve breaking up the site into bite-size chunks rather than selling the site wholesale due to the huge sums involved, they add.

Mr Png Poh Soon, head of research at Knight Frank Singapore, estimates a land cost of between $1,300 and $1,400 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr) if the site is converted to residential zoning.

Assuming a plot ratio of 2.8 - similar to that of surrounding plots - this works out to $2.15 billion.

"This is on the basis where the site is rezoned and subsequently placed out to the market for sale akin to a government land sale site," he says.

Balmoral Condominium in Balmoral Road, for instance, was sold in June last year for $141 million in a collective sale. That works out to $1,546 psf ppr.

If the land cost falls within his estimate, Mr Png expects selling prices for the end product to be in the range of $2,300 to $2,400 psf.

CBRE Research executive director Li Hiaw Ho estimates the land to be worth $1,600 to $1,800 psf ppr, or up to $2.77 billion, assuming a plot ratio of 2.8, the upper range of estates in the vicinity.

He notes that the school site is about 60 per cent bigger than Ardmore Park's 345,112 sq ft plot - one of the largest among luxury condo sites.

However, Knight Frank's Mr Png adds that while the school site is in a prime location, soft sales in the high-end residential segment remain a concern among developers.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority reported that 532 units of uncompleted private homes in the city centre were sold in the first six months of this year compared with 1,062 in the same period a year ago.

High-end condos in the area include Ardmore Park and upcoming projects such as Ardmore Residence, Nouvel 18 and Le Nouvel Ardmore.

Experts note that the views of these developments might be blocked should condominium projects get built on the school's site.

Mrs Nancy Chen, a retiree in her 60s who lives at Gardenville, says that while the traffic situation might improve when the school moves out, that is still six years away.

"Since the Government has not announced concrete plans for the area, it's hard to say whether the move will be better for us or not," she adds.

  

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Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
Email: marshe_inc@yahoo.com.sg
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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