CDL top bidder for Handy Road, West Coast Vale sites

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Developer City Developments (CDL) was the top bidder for two of the three private housing sites at a state tender that closed yesterday.

It lodged the top bid of $212.2 million, or $1,722 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), for a plot in Handy Road near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

The firm also bid $472.4 million, or $800 psf ppr, for a land parcel in West Coast Vale.

The third site on offer, in Chong Kuo Road in the Sembawang/Mandai area, received a top offer of $43.95 million, or $681 psf ppr, from a partnership between Lian Soon Holdings and OKP Land.

CDL said it will explore developing three residential towers - eight to 10 storeys high - with about 200 apartments and a basement carpark for the Handy Road site. It will convert a conservation building on the site into a clubhouse.

The West Coast Vale site could house two 36-storey towers. The Urban Redevelopment Authority has stipulated a maximum of 730 residential units for this plot.

The tender for the Handy Road site drew 10 bids, while the Chong Kuo Road site received eight, and the West Coast Vale plot six.

CDL's bid for the Handy Road plotwas 12.3 per cent higher than the next offer, from Sing Essential, believed to be linked to Hong Kong parties.

The bid price was also just 0.6 per cent shy of the benchmark price of $1,733 psf ppr set for the Jiak Kim Road site awarded to Frasers Centrepoint last month, noted Colliers International's head of Singapore research, Ms Tricia Song.

Ms Song estimates CDL's breakeven cost for the Handy Road project at $2,300 psf and average selling price of $2,650 psf, adding: "Nearby, the 493-unit, 99-year leasehold Sophia Hills was 95 per cent sold as of (last month), and median prices have increased to $2,127 psf (last month) from an average of $1,900 to $2,000 psf earlier."

The simultaneous tender closings appeared to have had little impact in tempering bid prices, said property consultants.

JLL national director Ong Teck Hui said: "Bidding for all three sites was bullish with top bids exceeding or at the top end of expectations.