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Novena white site attracts top bid of $493m

Novena white site

A bullish top bid of almost $500million was lodged for a mixed-use site next to Novena MRT station in a 9-cornered contest yesterday. The Novena white site attracts top bid of $493 million.

The bid of $492.5million or $1632psf per plot ratio – is the highest ever submitted for a white site, which can accomodate a variety of uses. It easily beat the old record of $1409psf ppr lodged for a white site at Marina View by MGPA in September 2007.

Experts say the generally high bids could have been driven by the good sale prices for some strata-titled retail and office spaces and the buoyant tourism industry. The top offer came from a consortium comprising Hoi Hup RealtySunway Development and Hoi Hup JV Development, whose shareholders include Straits Construction and Hoi Hup Realty.

CapitaLand units Swift One, Swift Two and Taipan Trustee came in second with a $444.9 million bid. Other bidders included Far East Orchard, Sim Lian Group, Guthrie and UEM Land, which placed the lowest bid of $340.5million or $1128psf ppr. The 6677 sqm plot on the corner of Thomson road and Irrawaddy road has a maximum gross floor area of 28,043sqm, at least 30 per cent of which must be allocated for a hotel.

The rest can be for residential, office, or retail and complementary commercial uses, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said.

Hoi Hup added that apart from the mandated 30% hotel use, the remaining space will be for medical suites and shops, the latter to be in the basement and first storey.

Mr Lee Sze Teck, senior manager of training, research and consultancy at Dennis Wee Group, noted that the Novena area has not seen a new supply of office space for some time.

Demand for strata-titled office space in the fringe central business district area, like Novena, has typically been strong, which has likely attracted developers, he said.

Novena is a growing medical hub. Tan Tock Seng HospitalNovena Medical CentreNational Skin Centre, National Neuroscience Institute and Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital are all in the vicinity.

“As a hotel-cum residential site, a top bid of around $1300 to $1400 psf ppr would have been expected,” Mr Ong, Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate’s national director of research and consultancy said.

“The strong bidding also factors in the ultra-convenience with the Novena MRT station below and shopping and eating facilities at Novena Square and other amenities nearby.”

Conveniently situated next to Novena MRT Station, the site enjoys excellent connectivity. The white-site is also highly accessible to the Central Business District (CBD) and Orchard Road.

The reserve list site at Novena (at junction of Thomson Road and Irrawaddy Road) was put up for sale in October after a developer committed to bid not less than $211.3 million for the mixed-use land parcel.

Novena white site aerial view