Chinatown shophouses put on the market for $110m in potential biggest-ever sale

The Chinatown shophouses (left) are located along 20 Trengganu Street, while the freehold site (right) is located at 118 Killiney Road. PHOTO: EDMUND TIE, CBRE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – A block of seven adjoining three-storey conservation shophouses in Chinatown and a prime freehold site near Orchard Road have been put on the market for $110 million and $76 million respectively.

If sold at $110 million, the Chinatown asset will break the record for the largest shophouse transaction in Singapore – currently held by Porcelain Hotel at $90 million, said exclusive marketing agent CBRE on Monday (April 25).

Shophouse sales in Singapore hit an all-time high value of $1.9 billion in 2021, up by about $1 billion from the year before, on bullish investor sentiment as the economy rebounded.

Demand is expected to stay strong given the limited supply and the fact that commercially zoned shophouses are not affected by the Government’s latest property cooling measures.

The block of Chinatown shophouses for sale is located along 20 Trengganu Street and will be sold via expression of interest. The shophouses sit on an island plot spanning 10,444 sq ft and have a total floor area of about 31,364 sq ft.

There are also seven shopfront units spanning a total floor area of 1,300 sq ft located in front of the property that may be leased separately from the Chinatown Business Association, CBRE said.

The ground floor of the asset is currently tenanted to multiple retail outlets, including a supermarket, while a restaurant is located on the second floor. The third floor is occupied by a boutique hotel operator, understood to be Hotel 1888 Collection.

The pedestrian walkway along 20 Trengganu Street can be leased to third-party vendors, contributing to the total rental income collected from the property yearly, said CBRE.

Mr Clemence Lee, CBRE Singapore executive director of capital markets, said: “The incoming owner is well-positioned to capitalise on the rebound of the tourism industry and enjoy mid- to long-term positive rental reversion and capital appreciation.”

Meanwhile, the freehold site at 118 Killiney Road, which is for sale via tender, spans 7,688 sq ft. It is zoned for residential with commercial use on the first storey under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019.

There will be no development charge payable to convert the site into either hotel or serviced apartment use, sole marketing agent Edmund Tie said in a separate statement on Monday.

A six-storey building, completed in 2013, sits on the land plot. It has a total existing gross floor area of around 30,327 sq ft, reflecting a plot ratio of 3.94. The development has a restaurant on the first storey, 30 apartment units on upper floors, and a basement carpark.

The site is located near Orchard Road, with Somerset MRT station located about 500m away. Orchard, Dhobi Ghaut and Fort Canning MRT stations are within a 1km radius.

Ms Swee Shou Fern, head of investment advisory at Edmund Tie, said the site will make a good investment opportunity when acquired and transformed into a hospitality asset, given the easing of travel restrictions.

The tender exercise for 118 Killiney Road and the expression of interest exercise for 20 Trengganu Street will both close on June 1 at 3pm.

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