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  Business Times - 11 Sep 2007
Size of winning bid colours green project
CityDev consortium clinches deal while a bigger bid fails to make the cut
By Kalpana Rashiwala

Straits Times Sep 11, 2007
Eco-friendly project for iconic site in Beach Road

CDL-led consortium wins tender for hotly contested site with $1.68b bid
By Joyce Teo

Channel NewsAsia 10 Sep 07
Consortium, including CityDev, wins Beach Road site for S$1.69b: URA


Today Online 11 Sep 07
Going green on the Beach
Eco-features mark upcoming Beach Road development

Daphne Chuah

SKY gardens, sunken courtyards, slant-sided towers and a huge environmental canopy these will be the hallmarks of a whole new street block that will be springing up across from Raffles Hotel. Come 2012 or so, the South Beach development will boast premium office space, two luxury hotels, exclusive city residences and high-end retail space with a total gross floor area of 146,827 sq m.

This idea for a "revolutionary eco-quarter" plus a $1.69-billion bid helped the City Developments Limited-led consortium beat six rivals to the prized site tender awarded by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

At stake was a strategic 3.5-ha land parcel bounded by Beach Road, Bras Basah Road, Nicoll Highway and Middle Road. The site includes four conservation buildings the former NCO Club building and part of the former Beach Road Camp and is next to the upcoming Circle Line Esplanade MRT station.

The consortium's concept proposal impressed evaluators with its green approach. For instance, a pedestrian "green axis" sweeps upwards from the basement MRT station exit through multi-tiered gardens.

The block layout features alleyways reminiscent of the nearby Seah Street area, tiered gardens, cafes and shops.

Two towers, each more than 40 storeys high, will include louvres and slanting facades designed to direct air flow down to street levels.

A filter canopy will provide pedestrians shelter from the sun while inducing cooling air currents.

According to Mr Li Hiaw Ho, the executive director of CB Richard Ellis, "at least 500,000 sq ft of new office space" and "about 700 to 800 hotel rooms" can be expected.

"This significant addition of office space and hotel rooms will address the present tight availability situation in the office market and the accommodation shortage for Mice visitors as well as spectators to the future F1 races," he said.

The winning consortium comprises CDL subsidiary Scottsdale Properties, Istithmar Beach Road Fze owned by Dubai World, whose investments include the iconic Palm in Dubai and Elad Group Singapore.

The tender, launched in March, was awarded through a "two-envelope" system, where the bids were first evaluated based on their concept proposals before the bid prices were made known.

The URA said proposals were assessed on their contribution to the city's skyline profile, the provision of attractive public spaces and high-quality architecture. Stipulated conditions included the use of at least 40 per cent of the total gross floor area for office use and 30 per cent for hotel use.

The CDL consortium was one of two shortlisted concept proposals, and its winning bid was $300,000 higher than that of Ocean and Capital Properties Private Limited and Billion Rise Limited.

Said CDL's managing director Kwek Leng Joo: "Singapore has evolved into a true 'world' city that is able to attract international investors, exclusive hotel and retail brands. South Beach is designed with the clear intent of bringing economic benefits to complement the rapid growth of our city-state."

Business Times - 11 Sep 2007
Size of winning bid colours green project
CityDev consortium clinches deal while a bigger bid fails to make the cut
By Kalpana Rashiwala

(SINGAPORE) As a new symbol of environmentally-friendly architecture was unveiled yesterday, green became the topic of discussion in more ways than one.

The award of the former NCO Club/Beach Road camp grounds to a City Developments consortium was accompanied by a tinge of envy as observers pointed out that the winning land bid of nearly $1.69 billion is believed to be around $500 million lower than the top bid, which was not even short-listed under the two-envelope tender.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority chose to first evaluate the various concepts before looking at the money on the table.

CityDev and its partners Istithmar (part of the Dubai World Group) and El-Ad Group are expected by market watchers to invest a total sum of $2.5 billion or more in the project.

They plan to develop two towers (45- and 42-storeys high) - that are expected to house two luxury hotels, offices and apartments - and restore four conservation buildings (for retail and hotel-related uses like function rooms).

The cutting-edge green features in the Foster & Partners-designed scheme include slanting facades for the towers to catch winds and direct air flow to ground-level spaces, a canopy covering open areas, linking conservation buildings with two high-rise towers and providing shelter from the elements and drawing air currents to cool the area beneath it. And water will be collected off the towers and the canopy to flow into a holding tank underground, instead of being wasted.

The development, to be called South Beach, is set to become a 'revolutionary New Eco-Quarter in Singapore' when it is completed by 2012, CityDev said.

Still, the price of the winning bid came under some scrutiny. Of the seven bids on the table, only two - that of the CityDev consortium and a joint venture between Keppel Land and Cheung Kong Holdings - made it past the concept evaluation stage.

That is when URA moved onto the second stage of the two-envelope process to award the tender to the higher bidder. The Keppel Land-Cheung Kong bid was worth $1.39 billion while the CityDev consortium's bid of $1.69 billion was comfortably higher and clinched the deal for it.

The winning bid for the 3.5 hectare plot with a 99-year leasehold tenure worked out to $1,069 per square foot of potential gross floor area.

The top bid, believed to be more than $2 billion, had come from one of the other five who tendered but did not make it past the concept stage.

They included: a JV between Pontiac Land Group and Morgan Stanley; CapitaLand; another JV between Keppel Land and Cheung Kong; and two bids by Overseas Union Enterprise.

URA said that overall, the CityDev consortium's concept proposal offers a 'compelling and attractive scheme' that would create a 'truly distinctive development and an exemplary showcase of 'green' architecture in Singapore'.

CityDev executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: 'We are confident that South Beach will elevate Singapore's unique branding as a global city and help attract more prominent investors from all over the world.'

CityDev, Istithmar and El-Ad will each hold a one-third stake in the project. CityDev is no stranger to its partners. El-Ad is a US property investment group controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, to whom CityDev's hotel arm Millennium & Copthorne Hotels sold its stake in The Plaza hotel in New York in August 2004.

City e-Solutions, a hospitality business unit of CityDev's parent Hong Leong Group, and Istithmar are partners in a venture that plans to open no-frills hotels in Southeast Asia under Tony Fernandes's Tune Hotels.Com brand.

The development on the 3.5 hectare Beach Road site will be directly next to the Circle Line Esplanade MRT Station and will also be linked by an underground pedestrian network to the existing City Hall MRT Interchange Station.

The site can be developed into a maximum gross floor area of 1.58 million sq ft. CB Richard Ellis executive director Li Hiaw Ho reckoned that the developers will sell the apartments to help part-finance the project.

URA said the attractive first-storey layout in the winning scheme includes a series of internal streets, sunken courtyards and tiered gardens lined with shops, and food and beverage outlets.

It said the development will be potentially able to achieve a Green Mark Platinum rating, the highest here for buildings that feature energy-efficient, water-efficient and environmentally-friendly design.

'The undulating geometry of the environmental filter canopy is designed to help induce cooling air currents through the spaces below' and the canopy as well as building facades will incorporate photovoltaic cells (solar cells), it added.

Channel NewsAsia 10 Sep 07
Consortium, including CityDev, wins Beach Road site for S$1.69b: URA

SINGAPORE : The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said on Monday that a group including City Developments (CityDev) has clinched a 3.5-hectare downtown commercial land site for S$1.69 billion (US$1.11 billion).

The consortium comprises Scottsdale Properties Pte Ltd (a subsidiary company of CityDev), Istithmar Beach Road Fze and Elad Group Singapore Pte Ltd. The land was placed for tender under the Confirmed List of the Government Land Sales Programme.

Analysts say the price was in line with expectations. The land parcel is bounded by Beach Road, Bras Basah Road, Nicoll Highway and Middle Road and occupies a prime and highly strategic nodal location within Singapore's Downtown. Located directly adjacent to the Circle Line Esplanade MRT station, the future development will also enjoy convenient access to the rail network.

The consortium edged out six other bids for the mixed development with its winning design. Donald Han, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield, said: "What's interesting is that besides City Developments, which is well known, we've got Istithmar - they are well-known developers of the Dubai World. They also own the Barneys of New York, so we might potentially see Barneys in Singapore, and you've got Elad who are experienced New York developers who are also owners of New York Hotel Plaza. They are also contemplating to bring the Plaza Hotel into other parts of the world, so Singapore could be the first stop."

Flanked by Suntec City and the renowned Raffles Hotel, the new development will be a prominent feature of the Marina Centre. It will not only alter the skyline but will also change the way traffic flows in the area, with alfresco dining and a pedestrian underground network to City Hall MRT station.

The URA adopted a two envelope bid process, which meant they chose the best designs first before prices of the bids were revealed.

Only two concepts satisfied the criteria and the City Developments consortium beat Ocean & Capital Properties and Billion Rise with a higher bid. Ocean's bid was S$1.39 billion. While analysts say the bid price was within expectations, they see total project amounting to more than S$2.5 billion.

Donald Han said: "We were expecting between S$1,000 to S$1,100 per square foot, per plot ratio. The price came to about S$1,062 psf. I think that's within reasonable range.

"All in all, if you look into the total quantum that the developer is going to put into the project, we're looking at S$1.6 billion in terms of land cost. And if you include another billion in terms of your interest cost, construction, the total consideration, project cost will come to about S$2.6 billion."

Central to the winning design is the adoption of environmentally friendly features such as the use of solar power. - CNA/ch

Straits Times Sep 11, 2007
Eco-friendly project for iconic site in Beach Road

CDL-led consortium wins tender for hotly contested site with $1.68b bid
By Joyce Teo

SINGAPORE'S fast changing city skyline is set for an eye-catching addition after a consortium was awarded a large, hotly contested Beach Road site, with a winning bid of $1.689 billion.

The new development, called South Beach, features two striking towers, 45 storeys and 42 storeys tall, plus the original conserved military buildings of the old Beach Road Camp which will be restored. The project will boast premium office space, two hotels, shops and city residences.

Competition to develop the 3.5ha site - seen by some as the last major iconic site in town - was fierce but was won by a consortium led by City Developments (CDL). The futuristic design, with environmentally friendly features, is by renowned British architects Foster & Partners.

The winning bid works out to $1,068.6 per square foot of potential gross floor area and was the higher of two tender submissions earlier shortlisted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for their acceptable concept proposals. Keppel Land and partner Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Holdings lost out with their bid of $1.386 billion.

CDL, which tendered via Scottsdale Properties, tied up with Dubai World's Istithmar Beach Road FZE and Elad Group Singapore, with equal stakes. US-based El-Ad Group, which bought New York's landmark Plaza Hotel from CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng and his partner in 2004, is owned by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva.

Said Mr Kwek: 'We are confident that South Beach will elevate Singapore's branding as a global city and help attract more prominent investors all over the world.' CDL said the 99-year leasehold development, which has a gross floor area of 146,827 sq m, will be built by 2012.

The office space will be substantial as URA requires the developers to set aside at least 40 per cent of the space for office use. At least 30 per cent of the space must be for hotel rooms.

'Given its strategic location, South Beach is designed with a clear intent to bring economic benefits to complement the rapid growth of our city-state,' said CDL's managing director Kwek Leng Joo.

The consortium's proposal adopted environmental design and green technology to create a distinctive, high-quality development that fits in well with the tropical climate and the urban context.

A key feature of the winning design is a large 'environmental filter' canopy that covers the open spaces and ties together the new and conservation buildings within the site. The first storey is laid out with a series of internal streets, which will enhance street level vibrancy and allow pedestrians to move about easily.

'The concept is a big step forward in strengthening Singapore's stand as an environmentally friendly city,' said Singapore Institute of Architects' president Tai Lee Siang.

When the Beach Road tender closed in July, the URA received seven submissions from major developers and firms. Five were rejected even though some of them came with higher bids.

For instance, the Lippo Group, which had tendered through Overseas Union Enterprise, submitted two bids above the winner's price.

'It's a good price for the CDL consortium because this is the last iconic site in Singapore,' said Mr Ku Swee Yong of property consultancy Savills Singapore. 'And hotel room rates and office leasing rates have been showing strong growth.'

Mr Li Hiaw Ho, executive director of CBRE research, said the site will add at least 500,000 sq ft of new office space and about 700 to 800 hotel rooms. It would relieve an office space shortage and offer rooms for visistors to the Formula One race, he said.

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