Lee Rubber buys property at Martia Road from convent for $28 mil

/ EdgeProp Singapore
September 24, 2021 11:43 AM SGT
The property at Martia Road that was sold recently for $28 million (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - A three-storey detached house sitting on a sprawling 19,412 sq ft, freehold site at a cul-de-sac on Martia Road has just been sold for $28 million ($1,442 psf), according to a caveat lodged on Sept 9. The sale was brokered by exclusive marketing agent CBRE.
According to a property title search, the property was owned by The Lady Superior of the Convent of The Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) in Penang. The buyer, Cyberpoint Capital Pte Ltd, is one of the companies under Lee Rubber Co. Pte Ltd.
Why would Lee Rubber be interested in the property? It is a great addition to its landbank, for the house at 12 Martia Road is adjacent to a property that Lee Rubber already owns: a building that sits on a land area of 60,442 sq ft, according to EdgeProp Inspector. The building now houses the campus of Odyssey The Global Preschool.
25 still road south - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Source: EdgeProp Inspector
Exterior of the conservation building at 25 Still Road South where Odyssey The Global Preschool campus is located (Source: GoogleMaps)
Lee Rubber owns the property on the opposite side of the road too, namely 26 Still Road South, which is now Pat’s Schoolhouse Katong. The property has a land area of 46,738 sq ft, according to EdgeProp Inspector. Both Pat’s Schoolhouse and Odyssey The Global Preschool are part of UK childcare services provider Busy Bees, which leased both properties from Lee Rubber in 2016. Busy Bees spent $5 million renovating both buildings.
26 still road south - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Source: EdgeProp Inspector
Built in 1917, the two historic buildings at Still Road South were once part of a grand Victorian-style mansion of Indian cattle merchant, Moona Kadir Sultan. He had named it Karikal Mahal. However, when he went into debt and was made bankrupt in 1936, the property was seized and sold.
After the war, the property was refurbished and opened as the 20-room Grand Hotel, which at that time was within walking distance of the seaside. In 1947, the hotel was taken over by Lee Rubber.
The government had acquired part of the land to build a new extension for Still Road, namely Still Road South in 1973. That was when the property was cut into two. Land reclamation for the development of Marina Parade town meant that the Grand Hotel was no longer within walking distance of the seaside.
The conserved building at 26 Still Road South which now houses Pat Schoolhouse was part of the former Grand Hotel (Photo: GoogleMaps)
Still, the Grand Hotel remained in operation until 2000. The buildings were then left vacant, although part of the premises was used as a temporary storage space for unwanted furniture. The two buildings at Still Road South were given conservation status by URA in 2009.
Sitting behind Pat's Schoolhouse is a row of 40 single-storey, pre-war semi-detached houses at No. 1 to 40 Kuo Chuan Avenue. The houses were said to be built in the 1920s by businessman and philanthropist Lee Kong Chian and the founder of Lee Rubber. They reportedly use to house the employees of Lee Rubber.
In June this year, written permission was received for the demolition of the existing houses, according to EdgeProp Inspector. The houses occupy a land area of 74,467 sq ft.
Source: EdgeProp Inspector
The existing pre-war housea at Kuo Chuan Avenue (Source: GoogleMaps)
Meanwhile, the house at Martia Road does not have conservation status. The site is zoned for residential development of up to five storeys, and is located near top schools such as CHIJ Katong Primary School and Tao Nan School as well as amenities such as the Marine Terrace MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line and Parkway Parade shopping centre. The property will be sold with vacant possession, says Michael Tay, CBRE head of capital markets, the exclusive marketing agent who brokered the sale.
Source: EdgeProp Inspector
The transaction at 12 Martia Road has excited interest of its neighbours, particularly owners of the row of eight terraced houses at 10, 10A to 10G Martia Road next door. The intermediate terraced house at 10A which sits on a land area of 1,620 sq ft changed hands for $2.95 million ($1,821 psf) last December. Eight months later at the end of August, the intermediate terraced house at 10E sitting on a land area of 1,630 sq ft fetched $3.88 million ($2,381 psf) or 31.5% higher.
Source: EdgeProp Inspector

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