Mandarin Gardens’ big en bloc aspirations face even bigger hurdles

By EdgeProp Singapore / EdgeProp | March 28, 2018 4:25 PM SGT
If all goes according to plan, Mandarin Gardens – a 99-year condominium that sits on a one million sq ft plot off East Coast park – is set to become Singapore’s largest ever en bloc deal.
The 1,006-unit project, built in 1986, has set a jaw-dropping price tag of $2.48 billion in its fresh attempt at a collective sale.
Already, the wheels to en bloc ville have been set into motion for Mandarin Gardens. According to C&H, their appointed marketing agent, owners have already approved of the asking price as well as the method of apportionment. With that approval, the collective sales committee has begun the process of collecting signatures from owners to get the requisite 80% for a collective sale to be launched.
But will the deal follow through? In this article, we examine factors that could make or break Mandarin Garden’s en bloc aspirations.
1) Size matters
As far as Singapore land sites go, Mandarin Gardens is GARGANTUAN. At 1.07 million sq ft, it is about 1.3X larger than the largest existing en bloc deal in Singapore, held currently by the former Farrer Court. The 838,488 sq ft estate was sold to a consortium for $1.3388 billion in 2007 and has been redeveloped it into D'Leedon.
Meanwhile, the second-largest en bloc deal took place at Pacific Mansion when the 128,352 sq ft freehold site was acquired by Guocoland, along with Intrepid Investments and Hong Realty for $980 million in March 2018.
But as grand as these massive deals sound, bigger isn’t always better when you’re trying to go en bloc. In fact, size could get in the way of a successful collective sale attempt.
So while Mandarin Gardens sits on an attractive location near the East Coast Park and boasts sprawling sea views, its large quantum could be a hurdle for potential buyers. Developers who are keen to acquire the site may have to go in as a joint venture to share the risk (more on this in the next point).
Then there is the matter of getting the pre-application feasibility study (PAFS) approval...