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Published November 10, 2006

Napier Properties eyes high $2,000 psf for new condo
46-unit devt on Eng Lok Mansion site due to be launched next May


By KALPANA RASHIWALA

(SINGAPORE) Napier Properties, which bought Eng Lok Mansion earlier this year, is setting its sights on an average price in the 'high $2,000 psf range' for a 46-unit new plush freehold condo it plans to launch on the site next May.


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Aiming high: Mr Wee (above) says the pricing for the 8 Napier condo, at the site of Eng Lok Mansion (next), will be at the top end of the Singapore luxury residential market and may set a new benchmark
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'The pricing will be at the top end of the Singapore luxury residential market and possibly set a new benchmark,' Mark Wee, a substantial shareholder and director of Napier Properties, told BT.

'We'll introduce a product with a quality of finishes that surpasses anything currently in the Singapore residential market,' he added.

The 10-storey project, to be named 8 Napier, will be designed by the Singapore office of UK-based architectural firm Aedas.

Napier Properties - whose other substantial shareholder is former Parkway Holdings boss Tony Tan - had earlier planned to develop a medical centre on the Eng Lok site, to make the most of its location next to Parkway's Gleneagles Hospital.

However, the authorities turned down the proposal as it was not in line with their planning intention for the site.

'We took a view on luxury residential property prices and also figured it made more sense to pursue a high-end condo, as we could get more saleable area out of that compared with medical suites. And we can target a wider market - global property investors - for a condo, compared with the local doctor market for medical suites,' Mr Wee said.

He also reasoned that some of the priciest real estate in global cities like New York and London is around famous parks, and said that 8 Napier, which is just two minutes' walk to the Botanic Gardens, will be in that league.

'8 Napier is being designed to bring the Botanics theme into the project, with wide balconies and generous planter boxes. We'll even put the plants in and maintain them for the residents. The condo will also maximise green views of the Nassim and Dempsey areas,' added Mr Wee, who is managing director of Penang's Island Hospital group.

8 Napier will consist of three-bedroom units of about 2,200 sq ft, four-bedder apartments of about 2,900 sq ft, and six penthouses of up to 5,000 sq ft.

Mr Wee estimates 8 Napier's breakeven cost at nearly $2,000 psf.

Eng Lok Mansion was in the news recently because of an 80-year-old owner's objection to its en bloc sale. When the Strata Titles Board last month approved the collective sale, she said she would appeal against that decision in the High Court.

David de Souza, acting for Eng Lok Mansion's sellers, confirmed that as of yesterday, Mdm Chow Ai Hwa had not served a notice of appeal on him, although the deadline to do so expired on Wednesday.