Robertson Quay revamp sparks investor interest

By Tan Chee Yuen / The Edge Property | May 1, 2017 8:30 AM SGT
Sales activity has picked up in the Robertson Quay neighbourhood — particularly in the vicinity of River Valley and Martin Road — in the lead-up to the preview of Martin Modern.
At RiverGate, for instance, a 1,507 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the 37th floor of one of the three 43-storey towers was recently sold for $3.05 million ($2,024 psf), according to a caveat lodged on April 12. Fronting the Singapore River, the 546-unit, freehold RiverGate was jointly developed by CapitaLand and Hwa Hong Corp, and completed in 2009.
As RiverGate is a landmark project, it is the only development fronting the Singapore River that stands at 43 storeys. All the other neighbouring developments on the riverside have a 10-storey height limit, including Robertson Blue, 8 Rodyk, Robertson 100, Watermark Robertson Quay and UP@Robertson Quay.
On Rodyk Road, Watermark Robertson Quay saw an 883 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the sixth floor sold for $1.58 million ($1,790 psf), according to a caveat lodged on April 12. The 206-unit, freehold project was developed by Hong Leong Holdings and completed in 2008. It comprises a mix of two-bedroom lofts, and three- and four-bedroom units.
At Watermark Robertson Quay (adjacent to the bridge), an 883 sq ft, two-bedroom unit on the sixth floor was recently sold for $1.58 million ($1,790 psf)
Adjacent to Watermark Robertson Quay is City Developments’ UP@ Robertson Quay and the adjoining designer hotel, the 293-room M Social, managed by CDL’s London-listed hotel arm, Millennium & Copthorne. The 70-unit UP@Robertson Quay was launched in mid-2012. The 99-year leasehold apartment project was completed in 2016, and contains a mix of one- and two-bedroom loft-style apartments.
The Robertson Quay neighbourhood is undergoing a major makeover, with three new hotels having opened last year. The most recent was the 37-room boutique hotel, The Warehouse Hotel, by the Lo & Behold Group. Last year saw the launch of the 476-room Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, which was a rebranding of the former Riverview Hotel after a $25 million makeover. Meanwhile, M Social opened in early 2016, followed by the 225-room InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, which has replaced the former Gallery Hotel.
RB Capital, the developer behind the repositioning of the former Gallery Hotel into the upscale InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, is also behind the makeover of The Quayside, a retail and F&B podium on the waterfront. Called Quayside, it will have a new F&B and lifestyle offering with 100,000 sq ft, slated to open in the middle of the year.
Meanwhile, there has been no new launch in the Martin Road-Martin Place area since Starlight Suites in 2010. The freehold, 105-unit, 35-storey tower was completed in 2014. The developer reportedly sold the remaining 23 units to Evia Capital last year for $48 million to avoid paying extension charges.
Adjacent to Starlight Suites is the upcoming Martin Modern, a 450-unit luxury project by GuocoLand. Martin Modern is expected to see healthy take-up when it is launched, says Benson Koh, managing partner of SRI.
While prices have yet to be released, PropNex Realty, a marketing agency for the project, is indicating an average price of $2,300 psf.
Last June, GuocoLand paid $595 million ($1,239 psf per plot ratio) for the 480,307 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site fronting Martin Place Residences in a government land tender. The site was hotly contested and drew 13 bids at the close of the tender.
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 777 (May 1, 2017) of The Edge Singapore.