SINGAPORE: A shophouse along Orchard Road has been put up for tender for commercial use by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) in what is the authority's first price and quality tender.
The shophouse, a conserved state property, is located at 26, 28, 30, 32 and 36 Orchard Road, near the iconic MacDonald House.
The SLA will adopt an evaluation format where 50 per cent of the overall score will be the bid price, and the other 50 per cent will be based on the quality of the concept. This means that the site may not be awarded to the operator with the highest bid price, SLA said in a press release on Tuesday (May 2).
The property has a gross floor area of around 25,000 sqft and an initial three-year tenancy, renewable up to a maximum of nine years.
It was gazetted for conservation in November 2000 due to its “rich and diverse architectural style from ornate and decorative classical features to simple art deco style”, SLA said.
According to tender documents, the space can be turned into an office, a medical centre, a commercial school, an indoor sports hub, or for wellness and spa needs. However, it cannot be used as a retail or food and beverage outlet.
Mr Ku Swee Yong, the key executive officer of International Property Advisor, said that this was because there is already ample culinary and retail offerings in the surrounding area.
The lack of parking spaces, loading bays and frequent traffic congestion will also make it hard to house any medical facilities, said Mr Ku.
Instead, the property could be used to house an association’s headquarters or an educational hub.
“In a way, this can (also) be an extension of the school cluster, with the likes of the School of the Arts, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, the Singapore Management University in the area,” Mr Ku added.
Another analyst said the concept could help to encourage entrepreneurship as companies that have unique ideas may have a better chance of getting the tender.
“Entrepreneurs will be able to bring their experiments or test their ideas without having to pay a very huge price for the rent, so this can actually encourage a lot more entrepreneurship,” said Dr Sing Tien Foo, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s School of Design and Environment.
Dr Sing added that if the space is used well, the authorities could look into extending a similar tender concept for other conserved buildings, such as the colonial bungalows around Singapore.
The tender opened on May 2 and closes on Jun 13.