Sim Lim Tower Embarks On 1st En Bloc Sale Attempt
SINGAPORE – After creating a collective sale committee (CSC) in June, the strata unit owners at Sim Lim Tower are now looking for a marketing consultant to assist them as they embark on their 1st collective sale attempt, reported The Edge on Wednesday evening (25 August, SGT).
Located along 10 Jalan Besar, the 17-storey mixed-use tower contains a total of 265 strata-titled units. Office space make up 92 units or 34.7 percent of the strata-titled units. The workspaces are located between level 7 and level 17, including the entire office floors on level 14 and 15.
While there are also some office units and parking spaces from the 4th floor to 6th floor, retail units account for 160 units or 60 percent of the commercial property’s strata-titled units. In particular, there are 4 levels of retail shops from the basement up to level 3.
Sim Lim Tower stands on a 40,698.35 sq ft freehold plot, and this is one of the project’s top selling points, said the CSC. It added that the last few en bloc sale attempts of commercial buildings in the vicinity were made mainly by leasehold developments like the Textile Centre, Shenton House, Sim Lim Square, and High Street Centre.
Cushman & Wakefield’s (C&W) Head of capital markets Shaun Poh concurs that prime, freehold commercial sites are in demand as they are rarely available. “They are sought-after by foreign developers looking at preserving the value of a property over the long term, hence the preference for freehold tenure.”
Moreover, the committee’s chairman Bafna Rajesh Jograj pointed out that due to the commercial property’s freehold site, the new buyer doesn’t need to pay a premium to refresh the lease to 99 years.
He also revealed that the occupancy rate of the office units in Sim Lim Tower have been generally “quite high”. At any one time, you will probably see just 1 or 2 units for lease on the notice board.”
On the other hand, some vacancies emerged among the retail units, particularly those situated in the building’s secondary corridors. “It’s not just due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, the popularity of on- line shopping and e-commerce has affected the retail sector,” he shared.
Apart from being exempted from the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), seller’s stamp duty (SSD), and qualifying certificate rules, another selling point is Sim Lim Tower’s vantage point.
There are no other high-rise buildings obstructing the view from the 17th floor penthouse level. “This presents an opportunity for the new developer to build a landmark project on the site,” noted Rajesh.
Adding to the development’s appeal is the fact that the nearby Rochor area is undergoing rejuvenation, with the former site of Sungei Road flea market site zoned for upcoming residential projects under the Government Land Sales (GLS) Programme.
“Including the former Sungei Road flea market site, there are four plots around this area that are zoned for residential or mixed-use development. As the area is being rejuvenated, it will present interesting opportunities for developers,” added Jac Teo, another member of the collective sale committee.