SPH To Press Mall Business Advantage (BT)

BackJan 22, 2012

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) is hoping to cement its track record of owning Paragon and The Clementi Mall and establish a foothold in the retail mall sector in the long term.

'We aim to build on the track record of our property portfolio and establish our presence in the retail mall sector,' said SPH CEO Alan Chan. 'This complements our wide spectrum of media and other businesses, and helps to boost the group's total returns.'

The media group, which won a bid for a commercial site in Sengkang yesterday, said that it would continue to explore ways to enhance its property portfolio when opportunities arose. Apart from owning Paragon and a 60 per cent stake in The Clementi Mall, SPH is also the developer of luxury condominium Sky@eleven at Thomson Road.

For the newly won site that sits at the junction of Sengkang West Avenue and Fernvale Road, the group intends to create a commercial development catering to the lifestyles and needs of residents living in Sengkang and the north-eastern regions of Hougang, Punggol and Serangoon.

'The immediate catchment area, which comprises Sengkang and parts of Hougang, Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio and Punggol, has a good demographic profile,' a spokesman for the group said. 'The majority of the residents are in the economically active age groups and the majority of households are within the middle-income level of $5,000 and above.

'Moreover, there is potential to increase the catchment size as Sengkang is fast being built-up and increasingly being populated.'

The tender for the site was won by Earth Holdings Pte Ltd with a bid of $328 million, or $1,155.52 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr). It has a lease of 99 years and can be developed to a maximum gross floor area of 283,856 sq ft.

Earth Holdings is a 70-30 joint venture between wholly owned units of SPH and United Engineers.

The site acquisition will be funded through a combination of internal resources and external borrowings.