View of Pearl Bank Apartments in Outram. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
The owners of Pearl Bank Apartments in Outram are once again trying their luck at a collective sale, appointing Colliers International and Lee and Lee as marketing agent and law firm for the en bloc process respectively, reported Channel NewsAsia.
With a site area of 82,376 sq ft and a plot ratio of 7.2, Pearl Bank Apartments comprises eight commercial units and 280 residential units. Although it was built in 1976, the 99-year leasehold property only has 52 years left on its lease since its tenure began in 1970.
The iconic horseshoe-shaped building was put up for collective sale three times – in 2007, 2008 and 2011 – but had no takers. Efforts to gazette it as a conserved building in 2015 also failed as the liaison committee did not secure 100 percent consent from the owners.
For its fourth attempt, the property reportedly carries a reserve price of $728 million. Each homeowner will stand to gain $2.6 million on average in the event the collective sale goes through.
The committee has one year to attain the 80 percent consent of homeowners to put the development up for sale. Committee chairman Alex Poh, however, hopes to gather the required signatures within the quarter so that they could launch the property for tender by Q4 2017.
“It’s all about timing,” said Poh. “The earlier the better, and it fits the market trend right now.”
Market analysts expect the residential collective sales market to pick up, on the back of strong demand for land by developers and the stabilisation of private home sales.
Former HUDC estate Rio Casa was sold en bloc for $575 million in May, while Serangoon Ville, also a former HUDC estate, was put up for collective sale last month.
Poh revealed that he initiated the collective sale process as the building is getting more expensive to maintain due to its old age.
“It is also the next-best option to getting Pearl Bank conserved, since the last time it required all residents to agree to conserve the building, and we weren’t able to do that,” he added.
“But in this case, the developer might choose to conserve it if the authorities approve.”