Valuation suspense grips Pearls Centre

Valuation suspense grips Pearls Centre

Consultants peg the market value of the strata-titled Pearls Centre in Chinatown between $450 million and $600 million. One consultant suggested that the government compensation may fall within this range, or 5 to 10 per cent either side of the valuation.

According to Dennis Chiu, managing director of the Tang Group of Companies, talk of launching the property onto the collective sale market was floated about three months ago, and a sales committee was formed recently.

Discussions were at a preliminary stage, and the committee was supposed to select a valuer yesterday, said Mr Chiu, whose family controls the Far East Consortium International Limited group in Hong Kong.

Tang Group, which is developing Dorsett Regency Hotel and Dorsett Residence near Chinatown, owns about 47 per cent of Pearls Centre, which spans some 47,000 sqm (about 505,903.3 sq ft).

Of this, about 17 per cent is office space, 43 per cent is shopping space, and 10 per cent is residential. The remaining 30 per cent is carpark space, said Mr Chiu.

According to a Singapore Land Authority spokesperson, compensation will be pegged to the market value of the property, taking into account past transactions, the condition of the property, and other reasonable expenses including legal fees, relocation costs, and stamp duties.

Collective sales that do transpire tend to fetch a 20-30 per cent premium over current market value. That being said, this property has a leasehold tenure, so any premium depends on whether the government will allow the current stakeholders to refresh their lease.

Retail units at Pearls Centre are transacting in the range of $1,100-$2,500 psf depending on the size and floor on which the unit is located. Residential apartments range from about $850-$1,050 psf.

Residential units on higher floors may fetch between $950 psf and $1,050 psf while those on lower floors may fetch between $850 psf to $950 psf.

Following the acquisition of Pearls Centre, the site will be integrated with the adjoining state land for a high-density mixed-use development to optimise land use around the future Thomson Line station at Outram Park.
According to a spokesperson from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the gross plot ratio for both sites is 5.6. The total area after amalgamating the land is around 2.8 ha (0.53ha from Pearls Centre and 2.29ha from the vacant state land).

Source: Business Times – 31 August 2012