Modern Montessori owner to divest MMI buildings at South Bridge Road for $40 mil

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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October 1, 2021 8:00 AM SGT
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The exterior of the buildings at 72 and 70 South Bridge Road located at the corner of South Bridge Road and Hong Kong Street (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore).
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The corporate headquarters of early childhood education group Modern Montessori International (MMI) has been at 72 South Bridge Road for the past 15 years. The group had purchased the freehold shophouse from the previous owner in August 2006. It had already been redeveloped into a six-storey commercial building with a roof terrace by the previous owner.
“We liked that the building was at the fringe of the CBD,” says T Chandroo, chairman of MMI. “Shophouses are incredibly iconic in Singapore architecture and we were attracted to the history of the building.”
The adjacent shophouse at 70 South Bridge Road was purchased four years later in 2010. Chandroo tore down the former four-storey shophouse and redeveloped it into a new six-storey building with roof terrace to match the neighbouring block. He named the building MMI Building II.
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THIRUMALAI CHANDROO - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Chandroo: We liked that the building was at the fringe of the CBD; Shophouses are incredibly iconic in Singapore architecture and we were attracted to the history of the building (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The pair of commercial buildings have now been put on the market for sale at an asking price of $40 million. MMI Building at 72 South Bridge Road sits on a land area of 1,044 sq ft with an estimated gross floor area (GFA) of 6,222 sq ft, while MMI Building II at 70 South Bridge Road sits on a freehold site of 1,281 sq ft with an estimated GFA of 6,479 sq ft. The two buildings have a combined GFA of 12,701 sq ft. The asking price therefore translates to $3,149 psf based on GFA.
The two buildings are situated on a prominent corner of South Bridge Road and Hong Kong Street, just outside the CBD. However, it is considered to be in District 1, which is part of the Core Central Region. “Such prime, freehold commercial assets are attractive to family offices,” says Simon Monteiro, associate vice president of List Sotheby’s International Realty, exclusive marketing agent for the properties.
South Bridge Road is a major arterial road that runs from Elgin Bridge at the Singapore River to Chinatown and ends at the junction of Neil Road, Tanjong Pagar Road and Maxwell Road in the Tanjong Pagar district.
70 South Bridge Road - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
View of the surrounding shophouses, the Marina Bay and Raffles Place from the roof terrace (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Monteiro sees the pair of buildings at South Bridge Road attracting investors too. The spaces are suitable for co-working, co-living or even for use as a private members-only club like 1880 or Straits Clan, reckons Monteiro. “The main attraction is the rooftop with its amazing views of the city, the shophouses along the Singapore River and part of Marina Bay Sands,” he says.
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A new buyer could either do additions and alterations to the existing properties or amalgamate the two sites and redevelop them. Zoned for commercial use under URA Master Plan 2019, the site has a plot ratio of 4.2. The combined site will have a footprint of 3,629 sq ft and maximum GFA of 15,237 sq ft. Monteiro has engaged Tellus Architects + Design, specialists in shophouse design, to come up with different renderings of a new building with six storeys and an attic. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
For MMI’s Chandroo, the divestment of the buildings at South Bridge Road is part of the group’s intention to “recycle capital” and redeploy it for alternative investments.
reception area of the existing MMI Building - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The reception area of the existing MMI Building (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
MMI was formed in 1989 as the exclusive franchisor for early childhood education system Modern Montessori International, headquartered in London. MMI has close to 100 schools across 14 countries and four continents. In Singapore alone, MMI has more than 20 preschools.
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The two buildings at South Bridge Road will be sold with vacant possession as MMI does not intend to lease back the buildings. “We have found a new headquarters and are excited about the next chapter,” says Chandroo.
Check out the latest listings near South Bridge Road, MMI Building

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