Roxy-Pacific and Tong Eng to roll out two residential projects in July

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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The joint-venture partners will launch the 85-unit Wilshire Residences and preview the 186-unit View at Kismis, two projects developed on sites purchased en bloc early last year

The show suite of a two-bedroom-plus guest unit at Wilshire Residences (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
In January 2018, Teo Hong Lim, executive chairman and CEO of Singapore-listed Roxy-Pacific Holdings, and Terence Teo, director of family-controlled Tong Eng Group, decided to lock in several residential development sites before en bloc sales in Singapore reached fever pitch. As such, they found themselves spending a lot of time together, even an entire night once.
It was on the night of Jan 25, 2018, when the two Teos discussed legal terms while the collective sale committee of the 20-unit The Wilshire went through the final details and terms of the sale. It was only at 5am the next morning that the en bloc sale of The Wilshire was finalised at $98.8 million or $1,536 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr), with a deal announced later that day.
Eventually, The Wilshire was purchased by a joint venture made up of three parties: TE2, the private family office of Teo Tong Lim, group managing director of Tong Eng Group (and Terence’s father), with a 45% stake; Roxy-Pacific with 40%; and investment company Kim Seng Holdings, headed by Tan Kim Seng, holding the remaining 15%.
Teo Tong Lim (left) of Tong Eng Group and Teo Hong Lim of Roxy-Pacific Holdings are business partners but are not related despite sharing the same surname (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Common interests

Despite sharing the same surname (Teo) and very similar-sounding given names, Roxy-Pacific’s Hong Lim and Tong Eng’s Tong Lim are not related. Roxy-Pacific was established by Teo Hong Lim’s father in May 1967, and was listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2008. Projects launched by Roxy-Pacific early this year include the 140-unit RV Altitude on River Valley Road in prime District 9, and the 71-unit Fyve Derbyshire on Derbyshire Road in prime District 11.
Meanwhile, Tong Eng Group, which started in the 1940s as Tong Eng Brothers, is now in its third generation with Teo Tong Lim at the helm. Recent projects by Tong Eng include the 81-unit, strata-landed housing project, Belgravia Green on Belgravia Drive, off Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5.
Last year, Tong Eng completed the neighbouring Belgravia Villas, a development with 100 terraced houses and 18 semi-detached houses. In the prime Balmoral Road neighbourhood, Tong Eng has completed and fully sold the 40-unit condo, Three Balmoral, and the 73-unit Goodwood Grand.
The Wilshire marked the Teos’ second joint-venture project in Singapore. Just a week before that, they had purchased Kismis View, a 43-unit, 99-year leasehold project, in a collective sale. The purchase price was $102.75 million, and the joint venture was a 60:40 split between Roxy-Pacific and TE2.
In February 2018, they purchased the adjacent bungalow at 19 Lorong Kismis for $5.7 million, and amalgamated the 9,473 sq ft, 99-year leasehold site with that of Kismis View to create a larger site of 100,336 sq ft. Including the top-up premium for a fresh 99-year lease and development charge based on gross plot ratio of 1.4, the land rate worked out to about $930 psf ppr, estimates Roxy-Pacific’s Teo.
At the 85-unit Wilshire Residences, five units have already been sold in a VIP preview over one weekend in mid-April at an average price of $2,660 psf (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Catching the wave

Less than 18 months later, the joint-venture partners are now ready to officially launch the new projects on those sites. The 85-unit Wilshire Residences on Farrer Road (the redevelopment of The Wilshire) is scheduled for launch on July 6, while the 186-unit View at Kismis will preview sometime in late July.
Five units at Wilshire Residences had already been sold at a quiet VIP preview over a weekend in mid-April. It was open only to friends and business associates, says Tong Eng’s Teo. Average price of the units sold was $2,660 psf, according to caveats lodged with URA Realis.
Located in prime District 10, just off Farrer Road, Wilshire Residences has the added benefit of being within a 1km radius of a top school, Nanyang Primary. It is also just across the road from the Farrer Road MRT Station on the Circle Line.
Tong Eng’s Teo also likes the fact that the Wilshire Residences site is elevated 6m above road level. Hence, even though the project is low-rise at 12 storeys, the roof terrace offers residents uninterrupted views of the surrounding neighbourhood and Botanic Gardens.
The project is designed by JGP Architecture as two interlocking L-shaped 12-storey blocks. Each block contains four units per floor, and the units do not look into each other, he adds. Apartments range from one- to four-bedroom-plus-guest-room with sizes from 463 to 1,270 sq ft. There are also eight penthouses with double-volume ceiling height and floor areas ranging from 603 to 1,485 sq ft.
The master bedroom is big enough to comfortably fit a king-sized bed (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

A flurry of land sales

In the months subsequent to the sale of The Wilshire, there was a flurry of other en bloc sales in the Holland Road-Farrer Road area. Hollandia was sold for $183.4 million ($1,703 psf ppr) in March 2018, followed by the neighbouring The Estoril for $223.9 million ($1,654 psf ppr) in April. The buyers of both sites were Far East Consortium International and Koh Brothers Group in an 80:20 joint venture respectively.
Meanwhile, Koh Brothers purchased the former Toho Mansion on Holland Road for $120.43 million ($1,805 psf ppr) in March last year.
Tulip Garden on Farrer Road was sold en bloc for $906.9 million ($1,790 psf ppr) in April last year, with the sale to a joint venture between MCL Land and Yanlord Land Group completed only in January 2019.
However, the biggest land sale in the Holland Road area was the government land sale (GLS) of the residential and commercial site at Holland Village. It was a hotly contested site with 15 bids, and was sold for $1.213 billion or a prosperous-sounding $1,888 psf ppr, to a consortium made up of Far East Organization, Japanese developer Sekisui House and Hong Kong-based property company, Sino Group, in May last year.
The new development, called One Holland Village, will be a mixed-use development with over 400 residential apartments, a 10-storey serviced apartment tower, retail and F&B spaces as well as five levels of office space. The project is located within a short walk of the Holland Village MRT Station and is expected to revitalise the Holland Village neighbourhood.
Like Wilshire Residences, the 186-unit View at Kismis (pictured) is also located on elevated ground (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘First to launch’

Roxy-Pacific’s Teo feels that Wilshire Residences will be the first new launch to reap the benefits of proximity to the upcoming massive development at One Holland Village. “Our land cost [for The Wilshire] is also one of the lowest [in psf ppr terms] in the area,” he points out.
Like Wilshire Residences, View at Kismis is also situated on elevated ground. “In fact, the site is located on the highest point in the Kismis area,” says Roxy-Pacific’s Teo. “Even from the fifth floor, you have good, unblocked views.”
Roxy-Pacific’s Teo is familiar with the Kismis and Toh Tuck Road neighbourhood in District 21 as he had developed the 124-unit freehold Nottinghill Suites nearby. Nottinghill Suites was a joint venture between Roxy-Pacific and Macly Group. Launched in 2011, it was fully sold and completed in 2014.
Both Teos subscribe to the same view. “The most important thing is to buy sites with the right attributes and at the right price,” says Tong Eng’s Teo. Roxy-Pacific’s Teo agrees, adding that this will allow them to launch projects that are reasonably priced.
Show suite of a two-bedroom-plus-guest unit at View at Kismis (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Competitively priced’

The land rate for View at Kismis worked out to about $930 psf ppr, which is almost on a par with S P Setia’s site next door, which was purchased for $939 psf ppr in a GLS in April 2017. SP Setia’s site has been launched as the 327-unit Daintree Residence last July. Prices of units sold at Daintree Residence ranged from $1,532 psf to $1,877 psf in the three months from April to late June.
Last September, China Overseas Holding and CSC Land Group, the property development arm of China Construction (South Pacific) Development Co, paid $215 million for a GLS site at Jalan Jurong Kechil. That worked out to a land rate of $1,002 psf ppr, which was 6.7% higher than what SP Setia had paid for its site in 2017. Property consultants estimated the breakeven price for the new project on the Jalan Jurong Kechil site to be in the range of $1,640 to $1,700 psf.
Meanwhile, Goodluck Garden was sold en bloc to Qingjian Realty for $610 million ($1,210 psf ppr) in May last year. However, the sale of the 210-unit, freehold development hit a stumbling block when minority owners objected to it. Even though the High Court gave the green light for the sale to proceed last November, the dissenting owners took it to the Court of Appeal. Their appeal was dismissed in March this year, and the sale has gone ahead.
View at Kismis has a mix of two- to five-bedroom apartments with sizes from 517 to 1,291 sq ft. Pictured above is the show suite of a five-bedroom unit (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Roxy-Pacific’s Teo believes that View at Kismis “offers good value”. The project will have a mix of two- to five-bedroom apartments with sizes from 517 to 1,291 sq ft. Selling prices have yet to be finalised, although Roxy-Pacific’s Teo says the entry point for a two-bedroom unit will be “below $1 million”.
He adds: “We will be pricing our project very competitively.” Given the location and unit mix of Wilshire Residences and View at Kismis, he sees the projects as appealing to a mix of owner-occupiers and investors.
New home sales in the residential property market have slowed as a result of the property cooling measures that came into effect last July. However, Tong Eng’s Teo remains optimistic. “Singapore is a safe haven in this region, and foreigners still see Singapore as a desirable place to set up their business, and have a home, and for their children’s education. After all, Singapore is not the only country that has introduced a higher stamp duty for foreign buyers.”
In Australia, Tong Eng and Roxy-Pacific havae jointly purchased office buildings in Sydney and Melbourne. For more, check out "Teo encounters in Australia".

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