Published July 13, 2007

[SIZE="5"][B]Soilbuild buys Ruby Plaza for $69 million[/B][/SIZE]

[B]36-storey project can be built on Balestier Road site[/B]

By UMA SHANKARI


SOILBUILD Group Holdings has bought Ruby Plaza on Balestier Road for $69 million through a collective sale, the developer said yesterday.

The price for the 39,500 sq ft freehold plot of land works out to $582 per square foot (psf) per plot ratio. The site has a 3.0 plot ratio, giving it a maximum gross floor area (GFA) of 118,500 sq ft. There is no development charge payable.

The site can be developed into a 36-storey commercial and residential development, said Soilbuild. The maximum allowable space for commercial use is 40 per cent of the total GFA, which works out to 47,400 sq ft.

Soilbuild also said that it intends to apply for an adjoining plot of state land of around 1,600 sq ft, which would take the total land size to about 41,100 sq ft.

The site is along the main thoroughfare of Balestier Road, in an area that has been growing in popularity among overseas investors and home owners, said Soilbuild.

'The acquisition of the commercial and residential development site is in line with our strategy of developing land sites in prime, central locations close to amenities,' said Low Soon Sim, Soilbuild's executive director. The group recently launched Montebleu, also in the same area, which is now fully sold.

The acquisition will be funded by internal resources and bank borrowings, Soilbuild said. The purchase is not expected to have any material financial impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and consolidated earnings per share of the company for the current financial year ending December 31, 2007.

The deal was brokered by RealtorHub Real Estate. The property firm originally marketed the Ruby Plaza together with the adjoining Balestier Towers, but decided to go ahead with Ruby Plaza's sale after owners holding at least 80 per cent of share value in the property decided to sell - while the same consensus couldn't be reached for Balestier Towers. The latter will be sold separately later.

The price of $69 million is 11.7 per cent higher than the reserve price of $61.8 million. Owners of the 36 apartments walked away with between $1.0-$1.2 million a unit, while owners of the 89 shop units took home between $273,000-$654,000 each.

Soilbuild's shares closed one cent down at $1.80 yesterday.