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Iconic Far East Shopping Centre in Orchard Road listed for S$928m collective sale



SINGAPORE: The Far East Shopping Centre, strategically located on Orchard Road, has been placed on the collective sale market with a guide price of S$928 million, announced CBRE, a leading real estate services and investment firm, on Monday (24 July).

The 36,014 square feet site is situated at the bustling junction of Orchard Road and Angullia Park and enjoys a dual road frontage of approximately 130m.

The site, on a 999-year lease since 1871, is zoned for commercial use and currently accommodates parking spaces, retail outlets, and office spaces.

According to Far East Organization’s website, the existing building comprises a two-storey basement for car parks, a five-storey podium for retail outlets, and a 10-storey block for offices. It is in proximity to the Orchard Road MRT station, making it an easily accessible commercial hub.

The site’s unique characteristics, coupled with an allowable gross plot ratio of 4.9 under the 2019 Master Plan and a verified existing gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 242,145 square feet, make it an attractive investment. The current GFA corresponds to a plot ratio of 6.72, with potential for increased development.

The Far East Shopping Centre site has been identified as a potential candidate for the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Strategic Development Incentive (SDI) scheme, which encourages redevelopment of older structures to invigorate the Orchard Road area. If approved under the SDI scheme, the owner(s) could enjoy a gross floor area increase of up to 20%.

If awarded the SDI, the maximum buildable GFA for the Far East Shopping Centre can potentially increase to approximately 290,574 square feet, equivalent to a plot ratio of 8.06. This factor significantly adds to the site’s redevelopment appeal.

Michael Tay, head of Singapore capital markets at CBRE, highlighted the strategic position of the Far East Shopping Centre. “This site is the only commercial location currently available for sale along Orchard Road,” he said. Mr. Tay expressed confidence in the appeal to both local and foreign developers, with the possibility to create an iconic mixed-use development at Singapore’s most prominent street.

The incoming buyer also has the opportunity to implement direct underground pedestrian links from existing MRT stations, enhancing the site’s accessibility and foot traffic. Additionally, the SDI scheme offers the possibility to explore different land use combinations, such as retail, hotel, office, and lifestyle uses.

The guide price of S$928 million is based on the potential maximum buildable GFA under the SDI scheme, calculated at S$3,421 per square foot per plot ratio, inclusive of the Land Betterment Charge. As the site is zoned for commercial use, the successful bidder is exempted from paying any additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD).

The SDI scheme also requires the incoming buyer to collaborate on a joint integrated redevelopment with adjacent sites. Far East Shopping Centre is strategically situated next to Voco Orchard Hotel, Liat Towers, and the famed Shashlik Restaurant, known for its unique Russian cuisine with a Hainanese twist.

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