SINGAPORE: Singapore's largest private residential estate, Braddell View, will be put up for collective sale for S$2.08 billion next week, marketing agent Colliers International announced on Tuesday (Mar 19).
This comes after more than 80 per cent of the owners in the development signed a collective sale agreement one year after the signing process began in February 2018.
A former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate, Braddell View was the last HUDC to be privatised in March 2017 - opening up the way for an en bloc sale. Six months later, the collective sale committee was formed.
The 1.14 million sq ft hilltop site - which is made up of two lots measuring about 618,000 sq ft and 525,000 sq ft - is the largest among the 18 former HUDC estates islandwide.
“Given that this is a sizable development, it is likely to see interest coming from a consortium of developers," said Colliers International managing director Tang Wei Leng.
"In the coming weeks, we will be engaging the authorities to seek more clarity on traffic impact study, the feasibility of a phased redevelopment of the site, and even explore the possibility of selling the site as two separate plots,” said Ms Tang.
The public tender will open on Mar 27 and close on May 28.
The estate is accessible from Braddell MRT station on the North-South Line, and Caldecott MRT station on the Circle Line and the future Thomson-East Coast Line expected to be completed next year.
Amenities around the site include Mount Alvernia Hospital, Marymount Convent School, Raffles Institution and Raffles Girls' School (expected to be completed end-2019), as well as MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
"These excellent attributes make the Braddell View site stand out from the rest and will present developers with an opportunity to create a signature project that will elevate their profile throughout the region."
OWNERS HAVE BEEN "OPEN-MINDED" AND "ENGAGED"
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), under its Master Plan 2014, has earmarked the site as residential with a gross plot ratio of 2.1. This translates to a proposed total gross floor area of about 2.4 million sq ft.
Colliers estimates that up to 2,620 new units with an average size of about 915 sq ft could be built on the site, subject to approval by the authorities.
Braddell View currently comprises 918 units of apartments, maisonettes and penthouses, as well as two shops.
"We will do our best to gather as much information as we can to help prospective tenderers assess the merits of the plot, as well as minimise potential risks and lower the level of uncertainty," said Ms Tang.
In 2017, then chairman of Braddell View management committee Mr Alex Teo said that the estate hoped to increase the plot ratio to either 2.8 or 3.2 before it launched an en bloc sale.
Mr Teo also said that if the plot ratio was raised to at least 2.8, the estate could pocket nearly S$3 billion.
"I am heartened that owners have been open-minded, engaged and committed throughout the entire signing process, cognisant of the fact that the estate is ageing and in need of rejuvenation," Mr Teo said.
With the reserve price tagged at S$2.08 billion, homeowners can expect to receive between S$2.04 million and S$4.03 million per property, according to Colliers' estimation. The units range between 1,453 sq ft and 3,369 sq ft.
Owners of commercial units, which span 194 sq ft and 517 sq ft, could receive about S$529,500 and S$1.2 million, respectively.
The reserve price translates to about S$1,200 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), and includes an estimated differential premium of about S$795 million to increase land use and top up the lease to a fresh 99 years. The initial 102-year lease term, which started in 1978, had a balance lease term of about 61 years.
In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, Ms Tang said that as in every collective sale, Braddell View owners had "understandably" hoped for higher plot ratio.
"However, land use in Singapore is guided by the government’s Master Plan and Concept Plan," she said.
SIGNING PROCESS NOT 'AN EASY TASK'
Mr Teo, now chairman of the collective sale committee, said that the en bloc bid was not going to be easy from the onset.
"We started the signing process a year ago and we knew then that it would not be an easy task given the large number of owners in the estate," he said.
Some residents had reportedly voiced unhappiness over the fine print of the deal, such as the method that would be used to divide the earnings should the en bloc sale proceed.
In spite of the reported resistance, the owners of 741 units signed the deal before the February deadline, according to a notice put up by lawyers in charge of the en bloc sale.
Their combined ownership - 80.2 per cent of the total share value and 80.1 per cent of the total area of all lots - was enough to trigger a collective sale.
To reach the 80 per cent consensus, Ms Tang told Channel NewsAsia, Colliers had "worked tirelessly" with the collective sale committee by "maintaining open communication, being transparent about the process, listening to the views of the stakeholders involved, keeping all owners engaged in the discussion, and providing timely and relevant market insights and assessment".
She also noted the influence market conditions might have had on the owners' decision.
"Based on our observation, the market conditions have created a sense of urgency among the owners, providing impetus for them - particularly those who are sitting on the fence - to agree to put the development up for collective sale," she said.
However, they also considered other more personal matters such as replacement home options as well as their housing needs, she added.
When asked about owners who were against the en bloc, Ms Tang highlighted the avenue minority owners have to voice their concern.
"Under collective sale laws (they can) raise their objection to the Strata Titles Boards after the majority owners file an application, when they manage to secure a buyer for the site."