Havelock Road site up for sale for boutique hotel

PHOTO: Havelock Road site up for sale for boutique hotel

DEVELOPERS have been invited to consider buying a plum site for a small boutique hotel fronting the Singapore River.

The 16,536 sq ft plot in Havelock Road has three conserved warehouses, to be restored for use as a hotel by the successful bidder for the site.

Details of sale conditions for the site, with a maximum gross floor area of 23,089 sq ft, were released yesterday under the first half-year Government Land Sales (GLS) programme.

The site is on the reserve list, which means a land parcel is put to tender only if a developer first commits to buy the plot for a sum acceptable to the Government.

"The land parcel at Havelock Road consists of three conserved warehouse buildings which shall be restored for hotel use. Together with its prominent location fronting the Singapore River, the conserved buildings are envisaged to be transformed into a distinctive boutique hotel," the Urban Redevelopment Authority said yesterday.

Experts said the plot is unique given its warehouse buildings and its 60-year tenure, compared to the usual 99 years.

The development will sit among a cluster of riverside hotels, such as the Riverview Hotel, The Gallery Hotel and the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng said that the site would attract investors interested in boutique hotel developments.

"If this site is launched for sale, the tender for this site will likely attract several small hotel developers and operators as the total investment amount is not excessive," added SLP International executive director of research and consultancy Nicholas Mak. He expects a tender, if triggered, to attract about seven to 14 bids.

However, experts pointed out that the conservation status of the warehouses also means that developers will be restricted by existing building specifications and reconditioning costs.

Bigger hotel developers are also unlikely to be interested in the site because of the small number of hotel rooms - only 35 - that can be built, noted Mr Mak.

On Tuesday, the authorities withdrew a plot on Victoria Street - made available last November - from the reserve list of hotel sites as part of the GLS programme for the second half of the year, saying that use of the land was under review.

Two other hotel sites that were also carried over from the first half of the year are on the reserve list. Together with the Havelock site, an estimated 955 hotel rooms can be built.

Mr Ong expects the site to be triggered for sale within a year, with a winning bid of $850 to $980 per sq ft per plot ratio - or $19.6 million to $22.6 million.


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