Freehold landed site at District 9 may be launched for sale in few months

The 117,230 sq ft site is owned by the seven sons of the late Cheong Eak Chong – founder of Hong Fok Corporation and Tian Teck group. A two-storey bungalow sits on the site, whose last resident, matriarch Lim Ghee, died in February. Image: Google Maps

The owners of a freehold landed residential site at 5 Oxley Rise are expected to put up the plum site on sale in a few months, with industry watchers expecting the asking price to hover above $250 million, reported The Business Times (BT).

With an area of 117,230 sq ft, the District 9 site is owned by the seven sons of the late Cheong Eak Chong – the founder of Hong Fok Corporation and Tian Teck group.

Tian Teck group is one of the oldest developers in Singapore that counts International Plaza in Anson Road among the properties it developed.

A two-storey bungalow sits on the site, whose last resident, matriarch Lim Ghee, died in February.

BT noted that the site is zoned for residential use (two-storey mixed landed) under the 2019 Master Plan. 

“Using a back-of-the-envelope calculation, assuming that about 20% of the site area needs to be set aside for roads and an electrical substation, and based on minimum plot sizes stipulated by the planning authority for conventional landed homes, the plot could yield up to 21 bungalows,” said the BT report.

If terrace houses are to be built, the site could yield more than 50 units and around 42 units should semi-detached homes are built.

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Market watchers believe that no development charge is payable for the site.

Meanwhile, a strata landed development may also be allowed under the two-storey mixed landed use. This can take a single form, such as having all strata terrace homes, or a mix, such as a combination of semi-detached, terrace and bungalow units.

However, such scheme may not be feasible under the prevailing guidelines of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on strata landed development, said Lee Hon Kiun, Director of Landmark Property Advisers.

“This is because the guidelines limit the number of units that can be built by imposing that only 40% of the site area (applicable outside Good Class Bungalow Areas) can be used to determine the maximum number of units, using a footprint of 100 sq m for both terrace and semi-detached and 200 sq m for detached,” he explained as quoted by BT.

Lee said the maximum number of strata detached units that the site could yield is only 21 and 43 units in case a mix of strata terrace and semi-detached homes are built.

“So the maximum number of units you can build under a strata landed scheme is roughly the same as that for a conventional landed scheme. But conventional landed homes sell at a much higher price than strata landed homes,” he said.

A property investment group chief executive also suggested extracting higher intensity from the site, subject to the authority’s approval.

“Surrounding developments such as Oxley Garden, Belle Vue Residences, Orchard Court and Oxley Mansion all have residential zoning with 1.4 plot ratio. Of course, this would in all likelihood require payment of a development charge,” he said as quoted by BT.

The site’s owners are said to have engaged an architectural firm to look into the redevelopment potential of the property.

BT expects the site to be made available for sale either via expression of interest or tender exercise. CBRE is said to have been appointed as the exclusive marketing agent.

With the site being a rare, sizeable freehold residential land on elevated ground, observers expect 5 Oxley Rise to appeal not only to local and foreign residential developers but also to ultra-high-net-worth families looking to build a mansion or a few bungalows for multi-generational living.

The seven owners of the site – which is situated within a prime residential district near the Orchard Road shopping belt – are Cheong Hooi Hong, Cheong Kheng Lim, Cheong Keng Hooi, Cheong Pin Chuan, Cheong Sim Lam, Cheong Pin Seng and Cheong Kim Pong. Most of them are involved with Hong Kong-listed Tian Teck Land or Singapore-listed Hong Fok.

They also own the private road, measuring 33,975 sq ft, which provides access to 5 Oxley Rise as well as to the residents of Oxley Garden.

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