CDL wants to achieve master-developer status

Victor Kang26 Mar 2021

City Developments Limited (CDL) eyes to become a master developer in Singapore, building an entire precinct or district instead of smaller, individual parcels. Photo: CanningHill Piers on the former Liang Court site, which is set for launch in Q2 2021.

City Developments Limited (CDL) eyes to become a master developer in Singapore, building an entire precinct or district instead of smaller, individual parcels, reported The Business Times (BT).

CDL Group General Manager Chia Ngiang Hong shared that the one opportunity the company hopes to earn its “master developer” status is Kampong Bugis, which is located next to Kallang Basin.

Released under the reserve list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in December 2019, the 8.3hectare Kampong Bugis site was earmarked for future residential use, with the potential to yield up to 4,000 new houses.

Chia, who also serves as President of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS), noted that this would provide the company “a good land bank over the longer term” should CDL be selected as the master developer of the waterfront precinct.

Separately, he called on the government to review the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) policy for developers, to encourage prudent land bids as well as ease some pressure off developers.

Developers in Singapore have to complete their residential projects and sell all units within five years for them to qualify for upfront remission of the 25% ABSD on land purchases.

Chia explained that the five-year deadline has “created a very tight cycle” which saw developers bidding for land, and then rushing to develop and sell the units before running out of inventory at about the same time as their peers; hence, the need to quickly replenish their land bank, said BT.

He added that this also makes it hard for developers to schedule their projects “especially now that we try to improve our projects … incorporate green (elements) and nice architecture, which need a bit more time”.

“We certainly hope” the ABSD rules will be tweaked, said Chia.

On the present en-bloc market, Chia expects smaller sites that are priced around $100 million to attract more interest among developers.

BT revealed that CDL’s residential launch pipeline for this year involves over 1,200 units, which include the former Liang Court site, a joint venture project with CapitaLand.

The 696-unit residential component at the Liang Court redevelopment, known as CanningHill Piers, is set for launch in Q2 2021.

But before that, CDL is slated to launch Irwell Hill Residences in District 9 on 10 April. The 540-unit project off Irwell Bank Road will be the company’s first launch for 2021.

Smaller units – comprising studio apartments, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units – account for the bulk of the 99-year leasehold project, at 81% (438 units) of the project.

Unit sizes range between 398 sq ft for a studio and 1,582 sq ft for a four-bedroom premium unit. Sizes of the three penthouses, on the other hand, range from 2,200 sq ft to 2,600 sq ft.

Studio units are priced from $998,000, about $1.1 million for a one-bedder plus study, and $1.4 million for a two-bedder. Indicative prices for a three-bedder start from $2.1 million and more than $4 million for a four-bedder premium unit with a private lift.

Lee Mei Ling, Executive Vice-President and Head of Property Development at CDL, expects the “sweet spot” pricing of around $1 million to $2 million to be “very attractive” among owner-occupiers and investors.

“These are very palatable prices”, considering the prestigious location,” she said as quoted by BT.

Featuring two 36-storey towers, the luxury project comes with a champagne gold pixel-patterned façade and four existing heritage raintrees. Its function rooms are equipped to host conferences and meetings in a bid to support residents who are working from home.

Irwell Vista, at level 24 of the two towers, also offers workstations that are fitted with charging points and WiFi. BT reported that the design features were conceptualised in 2020, when the remote-work trend gained traction.

Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email:


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