Real estate dealmaker Steven Ming gives up corporate world to be an entrepreneur

By Lin Zhiqin / EdgeProp | March 13, 2018 8:00 AM SGT
On March 2, Savills announced that Marcus Loo had been appointed the new managing director of Savills Singapore with immediate effect. Former managing director Steven Ming had relinquished his position in January, but is staying on over the next few months as consultant to Savills.
Ming had been with Savills Singapore for 14 years. His decision to leave the corporate world was two years in the making, he says. “I want to pursue other interests in the real estate industry, including real estate management and PropTech, with several business partners who are also experienced real estate practitioners.”
One of the projects Ming is still involved in at Savills is the recent launch of a residential development site for sale. Located at 27 Moulmein Rise, the 21,742 sq ft freehold site is on the market together with an adjacent small plot, which brings the total land area to 22,198 sq ft. The site at 27 Moulmein Rise was the former Grand Tower, a 28-unit development that was sold en bloc to 27MR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of boutique developer New Century Real Estate, in August 2011.
ADVERTISEMENT
Ming is marketing the site at 27 Moulmein Rise for a second time, after selling the former Grand Tower en bloc in 2011
(Image source: Steven Ming)
The purchase price for Grand Tower was $88.5 million ($1,376 psf per plot ratio) then. However, after demolishing the building, 27MR did not redevelop the site. Hence, it is once again on the market. Savills’ Ming, who brokered the deal seven years ago, is now marketing it a second time. Under the 2014 Master Plan, the site at 27 Moulmein Rise is zoned for residential use and has a plot ratio of 2.8. The site can therefore be developed into a new, 20-storey residential tower with 63 units and shared facilities.
One of the recent deals Ming brokered is the sale of portfolios of retail properties in late 2016. These were the sale of three floors at Heartland Mall in Kovan and two strata retail units in Havelock II to property and construction group Master Contract Services for $250 million.
Another was the sale of four HDB retail properties located in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah Central, Clementi and Toa Payoh for a total of $151 million to Singapore-listed construction and property firm Lian Beng Group in November 2016.
ADVERTISEMENT
Prior to that, Ming did a series of bulk sales worth $1.69 billion, including the sale of 53 units at the 68-unit Grange Infinite to ARA Asset Management’s Asia Dragon Fund for $388 million in early 2008.
Ming brokered the sale of 53 units at Grange Infinite to ARA Asset Management’s Asia Dragon Fund for $388 million in 2008 and the sale of 12 units to Indonesian tycoon Tahir for $70 million in 2014
Ming also brokered the bulk sale of 162 units at The Cascadia on Bukit Timah Road to Alpha Investment Partners for $247 million in 2010 on behalf of private equity real estate fund MGPA (now part of global investment firm BlackRock). AIP also scooped up 17 units at the 8 Napier luxury condominium for $94.5 million in early 2008 in a deal brokered by Ming as well. At the 102-unit freehold Paterson Suites, Ming brokered several bulk sales, including the sale of 20 units to Real Estate Capital Asia Partners for $118.61 million at end- 2010. In 2014, he brokered the sale of 18 units owned by RECAP to global investment and advisory firm Blackstone for $78 million.
ADVERTISEMENT
Ming brokered several bulk sales at the 102-unit Paterson Suites, including 20 units to RECAP, 18 units to Blackstone and 14 units to a group of private investors in a club deal
Among the key collective sale deals that Ming brokered during the last collective sale boom was Hillcourt Apartments on Cairnhill Road, which was sold to Sing Holdings for $361 million in March 2007. The site has since been redeveloped into the 229-unit The Laurels at Cairnhill and fully sold.
Ming also brokered the sale of Westwood Apartments to YTL Land in November 2007 for $435 million, or $2,525 psf ppr. It remains a record price in terms of psf ppr price today. The site has since been redeveloped into the ultra-luxury 77-unit 3 Orchard By-The-Park.
Ming: I want to pursue other interests in the real estate industry, including real estate management and PropTech
(Image source: Steven Ming)
In 2011, Ming brokered the sale of Newton View to Novelty Corp for $147.6 million. The freehold site has since been redeveloped into the 180- unit 26 Newton, which was completed in 2016.
Ming joined Savills in 2004, where he headed Prestige Homes, and specialised in the sale of Good Class Bungalows. He had started his career in 1998 with Knight Frank Singapore, where he was involved in corporate residential leasing.
With the property market evolving, Ming senses new opportunities ahead. That has prompted him to try his hand at running his own firm.