Income Insurance sells 30 Prinsep Street for S$147 million

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

INCOME Insurance is said to have sold its 11-storey, 999-year leasehold commercial building at 30 Prinsep Street for about S$147 million.

The price reflects about S$3,000 per square foot on the 48,974 sq ft net lettable of the property, which is a stone’s throw from Bencoolen MRT station on the Downtown Line. A short distance away are Bras Basah station and Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange station.

The buyer is understood to be an entity linked to the Lim family of Midview group, which has developed commercial and industrial properties including Midview City in Sin Ming Lane.

At 30 Prinsep Street, flexible workspace operator WeWork is the biggest tenant, occupying levels 7 to 11 and parts of level 6. Pre-school operator Busy Bees is on two levels.

The property was sold via an expression of interest exercise conducted by CBRE.

Refurbished in 2013, the building comes with an outdoor roof terrace on the sixth floor and retail spaces approved for food and beverage (F&B) use on the first floor. There is also parking space for 52 cars.

The building’s existing gross floor area (GFA) of 67,335 sq ft exceeds the nearly 63,000 sq ft maximum allowable based on the 4.2 plot ratio for the 15,000 sq ft site under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019. The site is zoned for commercial use.

There is potential to add value to the property, subject to approval. These include using the roof terrace on the sixth floor for an F&B outlet and converting surplus car parking space into leasable areas that can generate additional rental income. There is also scope to retrofit the building into a hotel, serviced apartments or medical suites, CBRE said in January, when the property was put on the market.

Buzz in the area

Observers noted that 30 Prinsep Street is in a location poised for rejuvenation.

These include the redevelopment, by a SingHaiyi-led consortium, of the Peace Centre and Peace Mansion site in Sophia Road into a strata office, retail and residential project.

In January this year, Keppel announced the S$348 million acquisition of the office and retail components of Wilkie Edge by a fund that it manages – a separate account mandate secured from PGGM. Keppel said it plans to undertake asset enhancement initiatives to convert, reconfigure and redeploy the property’s existing space to achieve higher rental income.

In the Bencoolen Street/Middle Road area, Hotel G is being upgraded and rebranded as lyf Bugis Singapore, under the co-living brand lyf of The Ascott, the lodging business unit of CapitaLand Investment. The Ascott and the CapitaLand Wellness Fund bought Hotel G for S$238 million a few months ago.

Income Insurance, formerly known as NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative, acquired 30 Prinsep Street in 2001 for S$42.4 million from Lim Kah Ngam. The construction and property group developed the building, which was completed in 1992.

Income Insurance’s sale of 30 Prinsep Street follows its S$1 billion divestment of 16 Collyer Quay, then known as Income At Raffles, to Bright Ruby Resources in late June 2022.

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