9 conservation shophouses and a commercial building near Singapore River have just been sold to 8M Real Estate. A massive investment for the local investment firm who bought the properties from Lee Brothers (Wee Kee).
The selling entity is held by the family of the late Lee Wee Nam, a famous Teochew businessman who set up Four Seas Bank which was later sold to OCBC Bank.
Massive sale of 2 property clusters in District 1
These 10 properties are grouped in 2 clusters. The first cluster consisting of 4 shophouses is at the corner of New Bridge Road and Carpenter Street. And the other at Boat Quay/Circular Road.
8M Real Estate’s portfolio already includes a cache of properties in District 1 and 2. With this most recent acquisition, their portfolio will now include 40 conservation shophouses worth around $500 million and soon, also a 5-storey freehold commercial building at 23 New Bridge road.
Conservation a big part to play in the rejuvenation of Singapore River precinct
Singapore River One, a partnership of property owners and business operators, runs the place management of the Singapore River precinct. Efforts to rejuvenate the Singapore River precinct are ongoing. And this has, in turn, boosted the leasing activity of shophouses in Boat Quay.
Careful conservation will, however, have to be done. Take for example the 4 shophouses at the corner of New Bridge Road and Carpenter Street. This site can potentially be redeveloped with a 6-storey extension at the back which increases the gross floor area from 11,500 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft. But the front facade will have to be retained.
8M Real Estate intends to refurbish all 10 properties when the tenants’ leases come up for renewal. The shophouses on New Bridge Road are currently all fully occupied but their leases will run out by the end of 2018.