Bukit Batok West mixed-use site expected to draw interest

THE 99-year commercial and residential site at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 should receive some interest, say market watchers, despite its distance from the nearest MRT stations and cool property sentiment.

The fact that it is a mixed development and that the area is earmarked to be progressively developed will serve to draw in developers, market watchers. Upcoming new launch condo include Parc Botannia and Kandis Residence while existing ones include Kingsford Waterbay, Seaside Residences and Grandeur Park Residences. Parc Botannia prices and Parc Botannia showflat will be available shortly.

The rectangular site spans 14,696.7 square metres or about 158,194 square ft and has a maximum gross floor area of 44,091 sq m, equivalent to about 474,591.6 sq ft. Of this, a maximum gross floor area of 6,000 sq m (about 64,583.5 sq ft) will be stipulated for commercial use. Maximum building height is 70 metres above mean sea level (AMSL), and it can yield an estimated 425 units. The land parcel is zoned for commercial and residential purposes.

Christine Li, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, noted that Bukit Batok comprises a good mix of public and private housing and is earmarked to be progressively developed into an area which boasts its rich natural heritage near Xiao Guilin.

“With the upcoming development in Jurong Innovation District announced during Budget 2016, along with the transformation in the Jurong Lake District and improved accessibility through Jurong Regional Line and High-Speed Rail from KL to Singapore, there will be more interest from developers and investors/end-users in this part of the island,” said Ms Li.

Ong Kah Seng, director at R’ST Research, on the other hand expects the commercial component will be a key attraction for developers.

“There seems to be a lack of supporting retailing amenities for the residents in the Bukit Gombak locality (which is already well developed and built up in resident/critical mass), while at Bukit Batok town centre, West Mall is a simple, frills-free mall, unlike in Jurong East where there are bustling malls like JEM and Westgate,” he said.

He anticipates that the future project will likely have some niche, up-market retailing amenities to support the requirements of the residents, but not a mega mall which may disrupt the overall quiet living environment.

Ms Li expects a top bid of between S$570 to S$620 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). The developer could sell residential units from upwards of S$1,150-S$1,200 per square foot. Mr Ong had a more conservative expected top bid of S$520 to S$570 psf ppr. He expects between five and nine bids for the site.

Said Ms Li: “Though the site is not near any major MRT station, we are of the view that a mixed-use residential and commercial site like this will be quite appealing to investors/end-users,” she said, adding that the site could draw between six and 10 participants for the tender exercise.

The last mixed-use site comprising commercial and residential in the vicinity is Hillier/hillV2, which was sold in 2011 for $672 psf ppr. Skywood is the most recent project launch in the same planning area. The site was sold in 2012 for $616 psf ppr.

The site was launched for sale by public tender under the confirmed list of H1 2016 Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme. The tender for the land parcel will close at noon on May 24.