[url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/suite/story/0,4574,414793,00.html?[/url]

Published November 25, 2010

[B][SIZE="5"]Kovan Centre to become Space @ Kovan[/SIZE][/B]

[B]Developer Roxy-Pacific may launch the residential and commercial project in Dec[/B]

By EMILYN YAP


ROXY-PACIFIC Holdings will redevelop Kovan Centre in Yio Chu Kang into a residential-commercial building called Space @ Kovan.

There are also plans to develop the former Singapura Theatre site - in which the property group has a stake - into a retail mall. Roxy-Pacific executive chairman and CEO Teo Hong Lim shared these updates with BT.

The company had bought the first and second levels of commercial space, together with the basement carpark, at the freehold Kovan Centre in September last year for $22.2 million.

Later in December, it paid around $18.3 million to buy all 14 residential units on the third and fourth levels en bloc. This meant that it became the owner of the entire building for some $40.5 million.

Roxy-Pacific will be redeveloping Kovan Centre into Space @ Kovan, which will have 140 residential apartments and 56 commercial units. It will be paying a development charge of slightly over $10 million, Mr Teo said.

Roxy-Pacific has not decided on the selling price of the homes, but may take its cue from what units at Residences Botanique nearby are fetching, Mr Teo said. Based on caveats lodged in August, selling prices at that project ranged from $970 per square foot to $1,152 psf.

The developer is waiting for regulatory approval on building plans and other matters, and it may launch Space @ Kovan in December after the showflat is completed.

Redevelopment of Kovan Centre is not likely to start before the third quarter of next year. In the meantime, Roxy-Pacific continues to collect rents from tenants in the building.

Roxy-Pacific's associated company Mequity Assets Pte Ltd also bought the former Singapura Theatre site at 55 Changi Road for $44.9 million recently. Roxy-Pacific has a 48 per cent interest in Mequity, and other stakeholders include Macly Capital.

There are plans to build a mall on the freehold site to capitalise on its proximity to Geylang Serai market and Eunos MRT station, Mr Teo said. The site is also near Paya Lebar, which the government is developing into a major regional centre, he added.

A three-storey commercial building now stands on the site. Talks will be held with tenants on when they should move, and construction may take place more than a year later.

As at Nov 3, Roxy-Pacific had three other sites in its landbank - the former Dragon Mansion at 18 Spottiswoode Park Road, a 20 per cent stake in Marina House at 70 Shenton Way, and 45 per cent of 29A Toh Tuck Road.