[B][SIZE=5]GuocoLand ramps up marketing for new condo in Sims Drive[/SIZE][/B] (Amended)

[B]The 2.4 ha Sims Urban Oasis features a sky park and a 300 sqm childcare centre[/B]

By Lynette Khoo

[email][email protected][/email]@LynetteKhooBT

3 Dec

GUOCOLAND is slated to launch its 1,024-unit condo project in a quiet enclave off Aljunied Road only early next year, but has started drumming up interest in the project and its location.

A Facebook page for the Sims Drive project and an interactive map showing the nearby amenities, schools and well-known eating places have been launched.

Sims Urban Oasis, as the 99-year leasehold project has been named, will be among the very few Singapore condo projects to house a childcare centre.

GuocoLand said it is getting the necessary approvals to begin sales, so it has not firmed up the details on pricing and the initial number of units to be released.

GuocoLand (Singapore) managing director Cheng Hsing Yao told TheBusiness Times: "We will price it appropriately, which means we will look at the market, the interest, our products and take all factors into consideration."

The childcare centre, at 300 sqm in size, will most likely be able to take in 30 to 50 children. Though it is open to outsiders, the landscaping will be such that non-residents will not be able to wander into the project.

Mr Cheng said that, besides pricing, product positioning would be crucial in the current market conditions. Sims Urban Oasis will target diverse groups of owner-occupiers - from young couples, small families and singles to multi-generation families.

There are compact suites, Soho (small office, home office) units, "lifestyle" apartments overlooking landscaped gardens and pools and larger units, which will have the option of dual keys, for multi-generational families.

Analysts are expecting GuocoLand to price Sims Urban Oasis competitively relative to TRE Residences, a 250-unit project next to Aljunied MRT station recently launched by an MCC Land-led consortium. About 20 per cent of units there went at an average of S$1,416 per square foot (psf).

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said he expects GuocoLand's project to debut at about S$1,350 to $1,400 psf, based on its land price.

While deeming it a strategic move to target owner-occupiers given the size of the project, he noted that rental prospects are still quite positive in the locality, where rents averaged S$3.40 per sq ft per month in the third quarter.

Mr Cheng said the large size works to the project's advantage; the 2.4-ha development will house a wide range of facilities that include a sky park, from which residents can watch fireworks, given the project's proximity to Marina Bay and the Singapore Sports Hub. Sims Urban Oasis is a few minutes' walk from Aljunied MRT station, and just one MRT station away from the up-and-coming Paya Lebar Commercial Hub, where numerous jobs are being created.

Elsewhere, GuocoLand sold 15 units at Clermont Residence, the residential component of its first mixed-use project in Singapore, at prices above S$3,000 psf. This 181-unit luxury project in Tanjong Pagar was launched in late 2013, a few months after the lending curb known as TDSR (total debt servicing ratio) was implemented.

Mr Cheng said: "Certainly, the cooling measures had an impact, that's for sure. We're reviewing our plans for Clermont and we'll be responding to the market as we go along."

The project, expected to be completed in 2016, also comprises a 38-storey Grade-A office building named Guoco Tower, 100,000 sq ft of retail space and a 202-room luxury business hotel to be managed by glh.

Mr Cheng said the group has already approached potential tenants for the office and retail space.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the size of the childcare centre. The article above has been revised to reflect this.