Crescendas’ Leow family buys Jalan Besar shophouses for S$38.5 million, Textile Centre car park for S$26 million

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

CRESCENDAS Group chairman Lawrence Leow and his family have picked up three freehold shophouses on a corner lot in Jalan Besar for S$38.5 million, as well as the multi-storey car park at Textile Centre in Jalan Sultan and an adjacent plot for about S$26 million.

Separately, word on the street is that Serene Centre in Bukit Timah is being sold for about S$105 million.

In Jalan Besar, the three-storey shophouses that the Leow family is buying are Nos 203, 205 and 207; the trio are on a single freehold land lot of about 6,378 square feet (sq ft) at the junction with Sam Leong Road.

The site is zoned commercial with a 3.0 plot ratio under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) latest Master Plan. The shophouses are in the Jalan Besar Secondary Settlement conservation area. The rear of the property can be extended up to six storeys. Tenants include Authentic Mun Chee Kee King of Pig’s Organ Soup.

Last year, a wholly owned unit of CREO Fund 1, which in turn is fully owned by variable capital company (VCC) Crescendas Real Estate Opportunities, picked up six adjoining freehold shophouses at Nos 311, 313, 315, 317, 319 and 321 Geylang Road for S$42.55 million. Crescendas Real Estate Opportunities is linked to Lawrence Leow.

The shophouses have a combined land area of 9,792 sq ft and floor area of 17,014 sq ft. Four of the shophouses have two storeys each; the remaining two each have two storeys and an attic. The shophouses are zoned for commercial use with a 3.0 gross plot ratio and five-storey rear extension permitted. This allows for value-add potential to tap the unutilised floor area of 12,362 sq ft.

The Leow family is also understood to be the party that has bagged the 685-space car park in Textile Centre, as well as a 4,838 sq ft adjacent plot of land that is used as the car park’s driveway and for the loading and unloading area in the development. The car park has a strata area of 200,456 sq ft, representing about 30 per cent of the total strata area of Textile Centre.

Completed in 1977, Textile Centre is a 25-storey property comprising a seven-storey retail podium block with the adjoining multi-storey car park, six levels of offices, and 12 floors of 132 apartments.

The site on which Textile Centre stands, as well as the adjacent plot, have 99-year leasehold tenures starting from June 1970, leaving a balance term of about 46 years. Both sites are zoned for commercial use under the URA’s latest Master Plan.

The Business Times (BT) previously reported that there is potential to convert some surplus car park spaces in Textile Centre to higher-value uses such as restaurants, self-storage facilities, e-commerce operations and charging stations, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.

JLL is understood to have brokered the deal; its senior director of capital markets Terry Wong declined to comment when contacted by BT.

The car park and adjacent plot are being sold by Plaza Development, the developer of Textile Centre. Plaza Development is wholly owned by Chee Tat Holdings, which in turn is controlled by the Ng family that also owns the freehold Serene Centre.

BT understands that the four-storey freehold building is being sold to an entity linked to Apricot Capital, the family office of the Teo family that founded the three-in-one coffee empire Super Group. The Teos exited Super in 2017 after it was sold to a Dutch tea and coffee group for S$1.45 billion.

Located at the corner between Bukit Timah Road and Farrer Road, Serene Centre has retail as well as food and beverage units on the first two storeys, and apartments on the third and fourth storeys. Serene Centre is on five land plots spanning 32,225 sq ft, with a gross floor area of 47,475 sq ft.

The property is zoned for commercial and residential use. It is a stone’s throw from Botanic Gardens MRT interchange station.

Bugis Point on the market

Separately, the six-storey Bugis Point has been put on the market, with JLL appointed as the exclusive agent. The indicative price is S$85 million; this reflects a sub-2 per cent net yield on the fully leased building.

The 999-year leasehold property, located opposite Bugis Junction and Bugis MRT station, has six storeys, in addition to a basement level and roof terrace. Its total gross floor area of 16,969 sq ft is 6.1 times the site area of 2,776 sq ft. Under URA’s Master Plan, the site is zoned commercial with a 4.2 plot ratio.

The basement and ground-floor levels are leased to Jin Jin Eating House, which offers Sichuan dishes. The upper levels are leased out to a single tenant operating various nightlife establishments.

Bugis Point, completed in 2004, has six strata commercial units. The building is owned by the Mohinani family’s Geetex Enterprises Singapore.

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