Boutique developer TEE Land’s competitive advantage

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/ EdgeProp
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January 2, 2018 9:00 AM SGT
One month after acquiring the 3,528 sq m site at 35 Gilstead Road, Singapore-listed boutique developer TEE Land is busy reviewing architectural plans and preparing for the project’s launch, which will take place by 3Q2018, says Jonathan Phua, CEO and executive director at TEE Land. “We turn around projects fast and sell them fast,” he says. “That is our competitive advantage as a boutique developer.”
The freehold site, formerly occupied by the 11-unit Casa Contendere, was acquired by TEE Land in an en bloc sale in November for $72 million. The redevelopment project will have about 70 units in three five-storey blocks, says Phua.
Units at the Gilstead Road development will be north-south facing, says Fanny Cheng, assistant general manager at TEE Land. The site is at the highest point of Gilstead Road, which means residents will have unobstructed views, she adds. It is also near good schools such as Anglo-Chinese School (Primary).
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The project will be designed by Singapore-based architectural firm Metaphor Design + Architecture, says TEE Land. The practice designed Kismis Residences in Bukit Timah, as well as TEE Land’s 24 One Residences in Pasir Panjang, which was fully sold in just four months. According to URA data on developer sales, buyers snapped up 17 units at the 24-unit project at a median price of $1,761 psf when it was launched in August.
At Sembawang Hills Estate, TEE Land is redeveloping the site previously occupied by six terraced houses (1 to 1E Seraya Crescent) that it bought for $25.74 million in September. The project is also slated to be launched by 3Q2018. TEE Land is working with home-grown architectural practice AGA Architects, which also designed J Gateway and the 305-unit Sturdee Residences, on the redevelopment project, which will have about 50 units, says Phua. “My passion is in design — to make it as unique as possible,” he notes. “For Seraya Crescent, I am looking for something that blends in with nature yet stands out.”
The six terraced houses on Seraya Crescent will be torn down to make way for a new development with about 50 units (Credit: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
TEE Land is currently selling the 44-unit Rezi 35, the third project in Geylang in its portfolio. The developer and joint-venture (JV) partner KSH Holdings bought the site on Lorong 35 Geylang in July 2016 for $20 million. The development was more than 30% sold as at Dec 15, says Phua. According to developer sales data from URA, 12 units at Rezi 35 were sold in November at a median price of $1,595 psf. Sales are encouraging, considering the lack of publicity, says Phua. There was no official launch and the units were sold through word of mouth, he explains. “We don’t have a showflat, just a small rented shophouse on Lorong 32 Geylang, where we have the model and put up floor plans.”
Artist’s impression of the 44-unit Rezi 35, which was more than 30% sold as at Dec 15 (Credit: TEE Land)
TEE Land previously leased the shophouse to market the 65-unit Rezi 3Two, which is also located on Lorong 32 Geylang. The eight-storey residential project, which sits on a 13,282 sq ft site, was jointly developed with KSH Holdings and Heeton Holdings. The project was previewed in March 2014 and fully sold in June 2017, around the time it was completed, according to URA data.
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TEE Land, KSH Holdings and Heeton Holdings also jointly developed the 106-unit Rezi 26 on Lorong 26 Geylang, the first Geylang project in TEE Land’s portfolio. The JV partners purchased the 26,625 sq ft site in October 2010 for $28 million. Rezi 26 was launched in October 2011 and completed in 2015. According to URA data, the development was sold out less than a year after its launch in May 2012.
Phua: We turn around projects fast and sell them fast. That is our competitive advantage as a boutique developer. (Credit: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
TEE Land also has a mixed-use development on Upper Thomson Road called 183 Longhaus. According to Phua, the residential component of the project, which has 40 apartments and 10 strata commercial units, was sold out at a median price of $1,500 psf. The project was launched in 2016. “We’ve sold out nearly everything,” says Cheng. However, TEE Land will not be rushed into acquiring sites, she says. “Everyone is looking to replenish their landbank. Tender prices are high now.” She estimates that there are at least 60 developments attempting a collective sale, so “there will be opportunities”.
On Dec 20, TEE Land announced that the net proceeds of about THB318.03 million ($13.1 million) from the disposal of its entire 31.88% stake in Chewathai, a developer incorporated in Thailand, would be “reallocated and invested in property development in Singapore”.
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According to Phua, TEE Land will continue to look for sites with freehold tenure or a 999-year lease. “And we believe in the adage that location is key. We look for locations where we can add value [and] we have said to our shareholders that we will build projects in which TEE Land is the major stakeholder,” he says.
Cheng: We’ve sold out nearly everything, but TEE Land will not be rushed into acquiring sites (Credit: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
For the Gilstead Road redevelopment, TEE Land is partnering with privately held developer TG Development. The companies were JV partners for the 52-unit condominium The Peak @ Cairnhill I as well as the adjacent The Peak @ Cairnhill II, which has 60 units. Both projects are freehold and located in the prestigious Cairnhill enclave near the Orchard Road shopping belt.
While TG Development was the majority stakeholder in the two Cairnhill projects, this time around, TEE Land is taking the lead for the Gilstead Road project.
This article appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 811 (Dec 25, 2017).