CDL to explore master developer initiatives, including Kampong Bugis site

By Valerie Kor / EdgeProp Singapore | March 26, 2021 5:00 PM SGT
Scale model of Irwell Hill residences - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Irwell Hill Residences was a product that was conceptualised during the pandemic and incorporates "new-norm" features, according to head of sales and marketing at CDL, Lee Mei Ling (Photo: CDL)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Listed real estate developer City Developments (CDL) will replenish its land bank through an active land banking strategy, says Chia Ngiang Hong, group general manager at CDL, at a media briefing on Wednesday (March 26).
“Our projects have sold well over the last few years, so we need to maintain an optimum level of land supply,” he adds.
CDL will focus on land tenders, in particular government land sites (GLS) and collective sale sites. Chia also says the developer is keen to explore URA’s Master Developer initiatives, like the Kampong Bugis parcel.
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The 8.2ha White Site at Kampong Bugis was put up for sale under the Reserve List of the 2H2019 GLS Programme, and can yield a total of 4,000 dwelling units and 50,000 sq m of gross floor area (GFA) for retail, serviced apartment, hotel and office use.
This year, CDL has lined up 1,200 units so far, at 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences and Canninghill Piers, a redevelopment of Liang Court in 2H2021. Irwell Hill Residences, which comprises one- to four-bedroom units and three penthouses, will be launching on April 10. Canninghill Piers is a joint venture project with CapitaLand.
Given that developers sold slightly more units in 2020 than 2019, Chia also comments that the inventory has declined from over 30,000 units to about 24,000 units as of the end of 4Q2020. “With the government’s action to moderate the land supply, the demand and supply situation is getting more stable now,” says Chia.
Singapore maintains an attractive place for investments as the government has handled the pandemic well, Chia notes. Physical assets have also become more attractive as investment assets as it meets the primary need of households, especially given the norm of work from home (WFH) arrangements, he adds.
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“In fact, buyers are looking for bigger spaces to upgrade to. Upgraders form the core of buyer demand,” says Chia.

Sustainability and smart-home features

While “live, work, play” was previously associated with mixed developments, Lee Mei Ling, head of sales and marketing at CDL, says that it is now the norm.
“Covid-19 has brought about many changes with a new focus on wellness, nature and WFH. Related thoughtful provisions are no longer luxuries, but must-haves for our 'new-norm' homes,” she adds.
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Noting that Irwell Hill Residences was conceptualised during the pandemic, she highlighted the fact that the project’s site coverage stands at 26%, and the rest of the 138,000 sq ft land plot is dedicated to greenery and facilities. The design also integrates four 35- to 45-year old raintrees.
Chia says, “In terms of sustainability, we ensure BCA Green Mark Gold Plus certification for all our developments. We have taken about 2% to 5% construction costs to secure innovation and green features for all our new projects.”
Additionally, she says that newly launched projects by CDL will be equipped with digital locksets, smart lighting, air conditioning and home fire alarm devices. Common areas will also be equipped with contactless entry systems, including infra-red lift buttons, licence plate readers and the facilitation of contactless delivery.
“Aside from the hardware, we also focus on the software, which is the concierge service our residents enjoy,” says Lee. The concierge service at CDL developments can offer assistance with facility booking, deliver acceptance, as well as service requests like restaurant bookings and housekeeping services.

Asset enhancement

CDL will also be rejuvenating assets to unlock value, says Chia. For instance, Fuji Xerox, currently a 38-storey office building, will be redeveloped into a 47-storey freehold mixed-use integrated development comprising office, retail, residential and serviced apartments. The potential uplift in GFA is 25%, under the CBD Incentive Scheme.
Another redevelopment in the works is seven-storey Central Mall, which will be redeveloped to a mixed-use development comprising office, retail and serviced apartments and hotel rooms. “We will get a substantial uplift in GFA and we are thinking of doing commercial-use and hotel and serviced apartments,” says Chia.
This strategy is not new, but one that CDL has been implementing, Chia says. For instance, the developer redeveloped the former Boulevard Hotel into Boulevard 88, a freehold 154-unit luxury condominium; and former Robina House, a commercial property, into One Shenton, a 352-unit mixed development.
CDL contributes 8%–12% of new home sales sold each year, or 1,000 units, according to Chia. In 2020, CDL sold 1,318 units across executive condominiums to high-end luxury projects.
Check out the latest listings near Irwell Hill Residences, Kampong Bugis, Boulevard 88, One Shenton