[B][SIZE=5]No strata shops, offices for Holland Rd plot[/SIZE][/B]

[B]URA reveals detailed evaluation criteria as part of the dual-envelope tender for the site[/B]

By Kalpana Rashiwala

[email][email protected][/email]@KalpanaBT

6 Dec

INDIVIDUALLY strata-titled shop and office units will not be allowed in the landmark mixed-development project on the Holland Road site on the reserve list that has just been made available for application. This is to maintain the quality of the project and its public spaces.

The nearly 2.3-hectare site will have two zones. Zone 1 (for residential use) can be developed into a maximum 570 units based on an average unit size of 70 sq m (about 753 sq ft) as stipulated for sites outside the Central Area. The residential units are allowed to be individually strata titled for sale.

However, for Zone 2 (for commercial and serviced apartment use), all of the space is to be held under a single strata lot. This includes serviced apartments, retail and office space, car park and public space within the zone.

Zone 2 will have a minimum gross floor area (GFA) of 21,000 sq m (about 226,042 sq ft), of which up to 13,500 sq m (145,313 sq ft) can be retail. The balance can be serviced apartments and/or offices.

The cap on retail space, said a URA spokesperson, "is to ensure that the traffic volume generated from the future commercial development can be supported by the existing and future road capacity in the area".

She added: "Given the public-centric nature of the mixed-use development in Zone 2 and its prime location next to the existing Holland Village, the restriction on strata subdivision is to ensure that the quality of all the public spaces such as the pedestrian malls and landscaped open space will be well maintained and can be actively programmed by the single strata owner over time."

The project will have a total GFA of 642,766 sq ft.

URA said that the proposed mixed-use development will offer more retail and dining options to enhance the area's buzz and provide more residences for those wishing to live in the heart of Holland Village.

"A network of pedestrianised streets and public spaces will connect seamlessly with the surrounding lorongs (lanes) and the housing estate beyond. The new development will build on and reinforce the continued success of Holland Village while creating new community spaces for people to gather and interact," it added.

There will be various height zones in the project, ranging from three to 35 storeys.

DTZ SE Asia chief operating officer Ong Choon expects interest in the site to be "quite good given the rare opportunity to create a distinctive commercial/residential development in the Holland V area, which is somewhat Bohemian, juxtaposed with public housing as well as high-end landed including Good Class Bungalows".

"It is also near one-north and the educational cluster of INSEAD, Unilever's Four Acres campus, NUS, Singapore Polytechnic..."

Mrs Ong expects the site to be triggered for release from the reserve list in Q2 2015.

Chestertons managing director Donald Han predicts the 99-year leasehold site will be triggered "sooner rather than later, potentially by the first quarter, latest by the middle of next year". JLL's South-east Asia research head Chua Yang Liang, however, said developers' interest in the site could be aroused sometime in late 2015/2016, "presumably when the residential market is more stable".

Dr Chua estimates the site's land price at S$1,050-1,120 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr) amounting to S$675-720 million. The project's total development cost could be in the ballpark of S$1.1 billion, he added.

Desmond Sim, head of Singapore and South-east Asia research at CBRE, reckoned the site could receive eight to 12 bids, with the highest exceeding S$1,200 psf ppr.

Chestertons' Mr Han estimated the site's fair price at S$1,200-1,300 psf ppr (or about S$770-835 million). "Assuming the potential bidder goes for a 40:60 commercial and residential project, construction cost alone could be up to S$800 million. Inclusive of land, the total investment could be up to S$1.6 billion," Mr Han said.

URA on Friday revealed detailed evaluation criteria as part of the dual-envelope tender for the site.

First, tenderers' concept proposals will be evaluated against a set of criteria. Half the weightage will be given to the quality of design concept (covering overall development concept, layout of building form and massing, and quality of architecture and landscaping). A weightage of 30 per cent will be given for "quality of public realm" (including good connectivity through a pedestrian network to the surrounding developments including the Holland Village Circle Line MRT Station and Buona Vista Hill Park; and attractiveness of public spaces), and 20 per cent for track record.

Only tenderers that meet the criteria will be considered for award. At the second stage, the price envelopes of the tenderers with acceptable concepts will be opened and the plot awarded to the tenderer in this pool with the highest bid price.

DTZ's Mrs Ong said: "As competition is expected to be relatively keen, there is a need to be realistic when submitting a winning bid."

She also welcomed the two-envelope process for the site "so that the unique character and soul of Holland V that makes it what it is today (largely grown organically) will hopefully be preserved.

"We need more of these urban villages in Singapore, each with its own unique character with public and private spaces for residents. I am excited to see this happen, starting with Holland V.

URA on Friday also released a private residential site along Jurong West Street 41 (Parcel B) for sale, while HDB will launch an executive condominium (EC) site in Woodlands Avenue 12 for sale on Dec 16. Both sites are under the confirmed list.

The plot in Jurong West Street 41, which is expected to yield an estimated 575 homes, has unobstructed views of Jurong Lake, an area for which there are exciting plans such as the new Jurong Lake Gardens.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng predicts the site could garner seven bids with the highest likely to be S$600-640 psf ppr. This will be a weaker showing compared with the 12 bids received, the highest at S$651 psf ppr, for the next-door plot (now being developed into Lakeville condo) when the tender for it closed in January last year; the weaker projection is in line with more subdued market conditions today and an increase in housing units in the locality, said Mr Ong. "Lakeville has achieved a median price of about S$1,300 psf since its release in the first half of this year," said Mr Ong.

As for the Woodlands EC site, estimated to yield 390 units, Mr Ong expects it to fetch three to five bids, with the winning bid around S$320-350 psf ppr. The tender for the site will close on Feb 12 next year while that for the Jurong West land parcel will close on March 10.

All three 99-year leasehold sites are being offered under the second half 2014 Government Land Sales Programme.