Business Times: Fri, Feb 24
(SINGAPORE) Motoring tycoon Peter Kwee is said to have sold a vacant plot along Nassim Road for about $47.8 million or $2,000 per square foot (psf) based on its freehold land area of about 23,920 sq ft.
While the psf land price for the transaction is slightly shy of the $2,081 psf islandwide record for a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area set last year, it is nonetheless said to be a fresh high for Nassim Road.
Newsman Realty confirmed it brokered the latest deal. The buyer is a Singaporean businessman, said the firm's managing director KH Tan.
The plot was originally part of a larger site of over 100,000 sq ft that Mr Kwee, boss of Group Exklusiv, teamed up with Tee Yih Jia executive chairman Sam Goi to purchase from the British High Commission back in 2001 for $50.4 million or $438 psf on a land area of 114,981 sq ft. However, on a net land area of 109,059 sq ft - after setting aside land for roads and drainage - the price paid then worked out to a higher figure of $462 psf.
The two men later split the parcel, with Mr Kwee taking the larger slice of about 63,300 sq ft. From this, he carved out two plots. One was a 39,383-sq-ft plot which he sold to Sukmawati Widjaja, also known as Oei Siu Hoa, for $25.5 million or $647 psf in 2003. Ms Widjaja now lives with her family in the bungalow on the site. The second plot is the one just transacted.
Mr Goi also built his own residence on the neighbouring plot.
Following the latest sale, the Kwee family is left with another plot on Nassim Road, next to the Russian Embassy.
The 45,006-sq-ft freehold site was formerly occupied by Nassim Gardens, a three-storey block of 10 apartments with a swimming pool. This has since been torn down. Agents say the plot, which has a long driveway, can be redeveloped into either two GCBs given the minimum land area of 1,400 sq metres or 15,069.5 sq ft stipulated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority for GCBs or into another low-rise apartment project not exceeding the gross floor area of the former Nassim Gardens.
Talk in the market is that Mr Kwee has received offers of about $100 million or $2,222 psf but is said to be seeking about $110 million or $2,444 psf - or even more.
The psf record price for a Good Class Bungalow Area is held by 6 Chatsworth Road, diagonally opposite the Indonesian Embassy, which transacted at $2,081 psf in July last year. This slightly surpassed the previous record of $2,038 psf for 16 Cluny Road set in February last year. That deal in turn broke the previous high of $1,899 psf for 32H Nassim Road in October 2007 set by Raffles Education founder and chairman Chew Hua Seng.
However, the Chatsworth bungalow as well as 32H Nassim Road have smaller land areas than the typical minimum GCB plot size of 15,069.46 sq ft.
When GCB Areas were gazetted in 1980, they included some smaller existing sites. These are still considered GCBs as they would be bound by the other GCB planning rules if they were to be redeveloped. For instance, such plots cannot be further sub-divided and they cannot be built more than two storeys high (plus an attic and a basement).