City Developments: ‘Well-attuned to market trends’

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
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October 30, 2020 6:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Singapore-listed property giant City Developments Ltd (CDL) has won the Top Developer Award for the fourth consecutive year at the EdgeProp Excellence Awards 2020. This year, CDL’s Amber Park picked up awards for Sustainability Excellence and Top Development, while executive condo (EC), Piermont Grand, earned the Sustainability Excellence Award. The Criterion, a completed EC, picked up the Top EC Development Award and CDL’s joint-venture project with CapitaLand, Sengkang Grand Residences, clinched the Innovation and Top Development Awards.
CHIA NGIANG HONG - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Chia: [These awards ] are an affirmation that we are moving in the right direction in delivering quality products that are well-received by the market (Photo: Samuel Issac Chua/EdgeProp SIngapore)
This clutch of awards are an “affirmation that we are moving in the right direction in delivering quality products that are well-received by the market”, says Chia Ngiang Hong, group general manager of CDL.
The developer will continue to “reimagine space design”, including innovative infrastructure and features, to be in keeping with home buyers’ needs. With greater emphasis on biophilic design, CDL’s future residences will have planters where possible, and balconies designed as “outdoor relaxation areas”, adds Chia.
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 716-unit Whistler Grand - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
At the 716-unit Whistler Grand, for example, 80% of the 210,883 sq ft site has been dedicated to landscaping and communal facilities (Photo: City Developments)

Design, location, timing

CDL’s new residential developments generally devote more than the minimum regulatory requirement (40% of site area) to landscaping and communal facilities. At the 716-unit Whistler Grand, for example, 80% of the 210,883 sq ft site has been dedicated to landscaping and communal facilities; and at the 592-unit Amber Park, it is 65% of the 213,676 sq ft site. “Urban greenery and landscaping are hallmarks of CDL’s developments,” says Chia.
Beyond landscape and architectural design, as well as location, Chia sees timing and experience being just as crucial to a project’s success. A case in point is the 156-unit, luxury freehold development Nouvel 18. In mid-July, CDL launched a “tactical, limited-time-only, special promotion” for 20 selected units at the condominium in prime District 10. All the units were sold at around $3,100 psf. “The robust take-up for the promotion reflects our experience in formulating pricing and sales strategies,” says Chia.
Another example is Penrose, a 566-unit condominium at Sims Drive, which CDL launched together with joint-venture partner, Hong Leong Holdings, at the end of September. The virtual launch saw 341 units (60.3%) sold on the first weekend.
Penrose - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Penrose, a 566-unit condominium at Sims Drive, which CDL launched together with joint-venture partner, Hong Leong Holdings, at the end of September. The virtual launch saw 341 units (60.3%) sold on the first weekend (Photo: Hong Leong Holdings)

New launches in 2021

CDL has two other residential projects slated for launch next year. The first is the upmarket 540-unit condominium on Irwell Bank Road in prime District 9. The prime project is located diagonally opposite Great World City shopping mall and within walking distance of the future Great World MRT Station. CDL purchased the 99-year leasehold site in a government land sales (GLS) tender for $583.9 million in January this year.
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The new development will feature twin 36-storey towers designed by world-renowned architecture and urban design practice MVRDV, headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The project is scheduled for launch sometime in 1H2021.
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The second project is the residential component of the Liang Court redevelopment project, a joint venture with CapitaLand. The site fronts the Singapore River and is located next to Clarke Quay, as well as commands views of Fort Canning Park. The former Liang Court will be developed into an integrated mixed-use development with about 700 apartments, a two-storey commercial podium of some 80,000 sq ft, a 475-room Moxy-brand hotel and a 192-unit Somerset Serviced Residence with a hotel licence.
 - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
CDL intends to redevelop Fuji Xerox Towers — a freehold office building along Anson Road — into a mixed-use integrated development with commercial, residential and serviced apartment components (Photo: City Developments)
In the CBD, while office tenants are mulling over their space requirements in the Covid era, CDL is capitalising on this window to rejuvenate some of its assets. It intends to redevelop Fuji Xerox Towers — a freehold office building along Anson Road — into a mixed-use integrated development with commercial, residential and serviced apartment components. Leveraging the URA CBD Incentive Scheme, the new mixed-use building will enjoy a potential uplift in gross floor area (GFA) of 25% to around 655,000 sq ft. It is expected to “inject life and vibrancy into the CBD”, notes CDL.
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Investing in private rented sector

Apart from its core property development focus, CDL is looking to enhance its recurring income stream through investments in growth sectors, such as the private rented sector (PRS). In keeping with this strategy, CDL completed the acquisition of two residential projects in Osaka in 1H2020, and now has four residential projects in the city with a total of 159 apartments and five shop units for lease. CDL recently acquired a freehold 78-unit residential development in Yokohama City.
“Despite the Covid-19 situation, demand for rental housing in Japan remains resilient with stable rent and occupancy levels,” says Chia. “We continue to expand our PRS footprint in Japan, and build expertise in this residential segment.”
When it comes to the group’s core property development business, Chia credits the firm’s success to its 55 years’ experience. “We are well-attuned to market trends and have been able to time our [project] launches strategically to capitalise on the uplift across the different market segments,” he says.
Check out the latest listings near: Sengkang Grand Residences, Sims Drive, Fuji Xerox Towers, Anson Road