Sim Lim Square set to enter collective sale market at $1.3b, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Sim Lim Square set to enter collective sale market at $1.3b

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More than 80% of its owners have agreed to en bloc move

Sim Lim Square, Singapore's gadget hub in Rochor Canal Road, is set to enter the collective sale market after more than 80 per cent of its owners consented to the move.

The figures, 80.82 per cent by share value and 81.43 per cent by strata area, were confirmed on Tuesday. This comes after the initial asking price of $1.1 billion was raised to $1.3 billion on Feb 1.

The aim is to put the site for tender by the end of next month, said marketing agent SLP Scotia, which declined to reveal the reserve price.

The move comes on the back of the transaction of freehold Golden Wall Centre, also located in Rochor. It was sold at $276.2 million ($2,331 per sq ft per plot ratio) last November.

The chairman of Sim Lim Square's collective sale committee, Mr Vikas Gupta, explained the higher asking price.

"The consensus was that the market was doing better than when we first decided on the asking price of $1.1 billion early last year," he said.

"We saw transactions like Golden Wall and we believe we are a better site with MRT connection as well as a square plot with two main roads. So our price is quite a competitive one," added Mr Gupta, 31, who is manager of Sim City Specialty Group, which owns 40 units at the six-storey mall.

Mr Gupta was relieved that the 80 per cent had been achieved. He said: "It's been almost two years since the (collective sale) committee was set up, and there were a lot of owners who were doubting if we could do it at first. But even the initial doubters supported us in the end. Some were surprised how we got the 80 per cent."

He said SLP Scotia is in discussions with the Urban Redevelopment Authority about issues such as the development baseline and more details on the plot ratio will be made known in about six weeks.

Property expert Chris Koh, director at real estate consultancy Chris International, said the question is whether developers will be interested.

"There are a lot of en-bloc projects raising prices to get the owners to sign. But it's not so much the asking prices but rather whether developers will bite," he said.

"Developers are getting picky and have a fixed budget."

However, Mr Koh added: "Despite this, I'm optimistic (for Sim Lim Square) because of the location, as sites in this area are rarely available."

The 99-year leasehold building with 492 units was completed in 1987. It has a land area of 7,260 sq m.