Published March 26, 2007

[SIZE="5"][B]GuocoLand acquires East Coast condo[/B][/SIZE]

By CHEN HUIFEN


MALAYSIAN tycoon Quek Leng Chan's GuocoLand has acquired Palm Beach Garden condominium, a freehold site in the East Coast area, for $75 million through a collective purchase.

The acquisition price works out to about $500 psf per plot ratio, after taking into account the development charge of $10 million and state land premium to be paid for two adjoining pieces of state land.

Palm Beach Garden is located along Elliot Road. The purchase - made through GuocoLand's wholly-owned subsidiary Hedover Holdings Pte Ltd - marks the group's first major land acquisition in the suburban area in recent months.

'Its location reflects our confidence that the property market's recovery, currently confined to the core downtown area, will spread to the suburban areas of Singapore,' said GuocoLand Singapore managing director Trina Loh. 'Our target buyers will be mainly owner-occupiers from existing East Coast residents and new entrants to this district.'

The 34-unit Palm Beach Garden is sitting on a site of 108,800 sq ft. It has a plot ratio of 1:4. Including the two adjacent pieces of state land, the total enlarged area will amount to 127,900 sq ft.

GuocoLand plans to develop a five-storey condominium with 118 units. 'The proposed architectural design will be modern, with a tropical resort setting that will blend in with the idyllic ambience of lifestyle living in the East Coast,' it said.

Palm Beach Garden is GuocoLand's third en bloc acquisition in the past 12 months. It bought the Casa Rosita site in the Orchard/Scotts area for $280 million in April last year, followed by the $230 million Sophia Court near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station in December.

The three sites will add one million sq ft in gross floor area to GuocoLand's landbank.