A look at Singapore and UK properties

Shaw Centre to be revamped

Shaw Centre will undergo a major revamp to reposition itself as a contemporary shopping mall with new brands, flagship stores and concept stores, and also feature a new double-storey glass façade. The ceiling heights and floor levels will be adjusted to match those of the adjoining Shaw House to integrate the two buildings. A new basement will be added to Shaw Centre, with a linkway to the Isetan supermarket in the basement of Shaw House next door. The new basement at Shaw Centre will house a food court. The former terraced public concourse in front of Shaw House will be turned into a 1,000 sq m urban plaza. There will also be a new covered walkway connecting Shaw Centre to the neighbouring Pacific Plaza across the road.

Built in 1972, the revamp is the largest in 30 years and will be completed in 1Q2014. The renovation of the new Shaw Centre retail mall and construction of the urban plaza will be managed by Shaw Brothers Ltd.

San Centre for sale at $115 million

San Centre, a 12-storey office building located in Chin Swee Road has been offered for collective sale by tender. The building sits on a land area of 28,700 sq ft, and comprises 107 strata-titled office units and 80 carpark lots spread over a gross floor area (GFA) of 131,900 sq ft, which translates into a plot ratio of 4.59. Zoned for commercial use, the site can be redeveloped into a 20-storey hotel development or a mixed residential and commercial development with at least 60% of GFA dedicated for commercial space.

The owners of San Centre are expecting offers in the region of $115 million to $125 million, or $872 to $948 psf based on the existing GFA. The 99-year leasehold site has a balance lease term of about 55 years. The site would be ideal for a redevelopment into a hotel that serves both business travellers and tourists, notes Karamjit Singh, head of investments & residential at Jones Lang LaSalle, the sole marketing agent for the building. There is also potential for a serviced apartment development catering to expatriates and medical tourists visiting the nearby Singapore General Hospital.

The site could also be retained as an office building, given its proximity to the Subordinate Courts. As such, it could appeal to small and medium-sized law firms as potential buyers or tenants looking for a corporate office in the fringe of the CBD. San Centre is close to the Chinatown MRT station and the Outram Park MRT station. The tender for San Centre closes on March 25.

Design of Marina One unveiled

Datuk Seri Mohammad Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, unveiled the design of Marina One (above), an integrated development by M+S Pte Ltd, on Feb 17. M+S Pte Ltd is a company jointly owned by Khazanah Holdings and Temasek with 60% and 40% stakes respectively.

The design of the landmark mixed-use development is by world renowned architect, Christoph Ingenhoven, who also designed the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California and 1 Bligh in Sydney, where he became the first German architect to win the international high rise award for 2012-13 last November.

Marina One in Singapore's Marina South will be a mixed-use project with a total GFA of 3.67 million sq ft. It will contain Marina One Residences, which is made up of two 34-storey towers containing 1,042 units of one- to four-bedroom apartments. The residential project is expected to be launched sometime in 2H2013. Marina One office towers will feature 1.88 million sq ft of Grade A office space, which will also contain two 100,000 sq ft floor plates. There's also a 140,000 sq ft retail podium called The Heart.

Marina One is expected to raise the bar for future integrated developments, and act as a catalyst to attract and grow new businesses with its integrated offering, according to a joint release on Feb 19.

17 London apartments launched for sale

Manor Apartments, a collection of 17 refurbished apartments in London, is being launched for sale in Singapore. Refurbished by UK developer Residential Land and designed by Argent Design, the apartments offer polished oak floors, bespoke kitchen units, crystal lighting, and integrated audio-visual and lighting systems. The apartment sizes range from a 721 sq ft two-bedroom to a 1,300 sq ft three-bedroom. Prices start from £999,950 ($1.89 million). Located at St John's Wood, the apartments are close to the Lord's Cricket Ground, London Business School, American School and a short walk to Primrose Hill and Belsize Park. It is five minutes on the London Underground to Bond Street and Mayfair. The apartment block is also just 500m from the famous zebra crossing pictured on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album. Manor Apartments will be launched in Singapore from Feb 22 to 24. The marketing agent for the project is Knight Frank.

Launch of UK student housing in Singapore

Vita Student, a property developer that specialises in providing high-end student accommodation in the UK, will be launching its 158-unit student accommodation block in Crosshall, Liverpool. The project is a redevelopment of a 19th century building into a student accommodation with predominantly studios with kitchenette and en suite bathroom. The redevelopment will be completed by July next year.

The project is marketed in Singapore by Savills International Residential Sales Asia Pacific. The units start from about 150 sq ft and are priced from £60,450. Investors can expect to rent out the units at £165 a week, which means rental yields of up to 9%, according to Julian Sedgwick, Savills' head of business development. The project is a £27 million redevelopment of three blocks in Crosshall. The first two blocks were launched for sale in the UK just before Christmas and were fully sold. "We expect to see an escalation in the number of international students opting to study in the UK," says Sedgwick. "This will lead to a surge in demand for high-quality, self-contained units in central locations." The developer is providing buyers with a six-year payment scheme. The project will be launched on Feb 23 and 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel, where an investment seminar will also be held.

This story first appeared in The Edge Singapore weekly edition of Feb 25-Mar03, 2013.

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