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Kwek Leng Beng and Gordon Tang, two of Singapore’s richest individuals, have purchased S$965 million ($704 million) worth of premium buildings in the city’s financial center, doubling on their investments in redevelopment sites in and around the area.
S$315 million has been agreed to acquire Central Square from the Far East Hospitality Trust, which is owned by Robert and Philip Ng and is managed by the Kwek family. The Singapore-listed developer wants to merge Central Square and its neighboring Central Mall into a mixed-use office, hotel, serviced apartments, and maybe a residential component, with a total size of around 21,400 square meters.
As demand for housing soars in one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets, developers are redeveloping older houses in land-constrained Singapore. The number of new homes sold in the third quarter jumped 23% over the previous quarter, according to official figures.
CDL Set to purchase Central Square by First Quarter 2022
A deal to buy Central Square is likely to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022. If the project’s residential component is approved, City Developments says it would pay Far East Hospitality an extra S$18 million.
Central Square purchase “solidifies our master plan to shape the precinct’s development into a new and dynamic lifestyle centre,” Sherman Kwek, City Developments and the oldest son of Kwek Leng Beng, said in a statement. As part of our efforts to revitalize the Singapore River district, we’re taking use of this uncommon chance to create a unique placemaking experience.”
The reconstruction of Central Mall and Central Square is City Developments’ latest effort to revitalize the city’s core. Developers City Development and CapitaLand are teaming together to transform former Liang Court commercial complex in Central business district into a residential and commercial development. After unveiling the project last month, the developers sold 83 percent of the 696-unit Canninghill Piers, which will be the highest residential skyscraper along the Singapore River when finished.
More Collective Sales in CBD as Demand Rises for Luxury Homes
As one of Singapore’s first residential skyscrapers, The Sail @ Marina Bay, was finished in 2008, City Developments is one of the most active developers of luxury houses in the CBD. As part of this project, Fuji Xerox Towers in Tanjong Pagar will be converted into a mixed-use development comprising office, retail space, apartments, and hotel rooms.
One group headed by Chip Eng Seng and SingHaiyi—both owned by billionaire Gordon and Celine Tang—agreed on Friday to purchase Peace Centre / Peace Mansion near Orchard Road for S$650 million in response to the high demand for luxury houses in the CBD. Plans for a 7,118 square meter mixed-use commercial and residential construction are in the works by the partnership, which is awaiting regulatory permits.
The purchase of Maxwell House by SingHaiYi, Chip Eng Seng, and Chuan Investments for S$276.8 million in May follows this deal. Following regulatory permissions, the Tanjong Pagar land will also be converted into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex.
The increased demand for homes, cheap financing rates, and a limited supply of land in Singapore have all contributed to an increase in the sale of older houses for renovation. The Watten Estate Condominium in the Bukit Timah region of western Singapore was sold in October to a joint venture between Singapore Land and UOL, both owned by billionaire Wee Cho Yaw, for S$550.80 million.