Borneo Motors' Pandan makeover
BORNEO Motors Singapore (BMS) will redevelop its Pandan Crescent property into an eight-storey complex to house its various motor-vehicle businesses.
BMS is the Singapore distributor of Toyota, Lexus, Suzuki and Hino vehicles.
It is part of the sprawling Inchcape Group of Britain and its flagship property here is located at 33 Leng Kee Road.
Last year, this building in the prime motor belt, with its Toyota and Lexus showrooms, underwent an extensive $25 million makeover.
As for the site at 2 Pandan Crescent, it houses the showroom which displays Suzuki cars, plus the company's bodywork and paintshop facilities.
BMS declined to comment, but it is understood that the redevelopment will start by mid-year, as soon as the necessary approvals from the authorities are secured.
The land belongs to JTC and is up for lease renewal. The property has a plot ratio of 2.5 and one of the conditions for renewal is said to be its redevelopment, with the maximisation of the gross floor area (GFA).
It is understood that, when completed in a couple of years, the new complex will house BMS' corporate headquarters, commercial-vehicle business and pre-delivery inspection activities.
BMS operates a pre-delivery inspection facility in West Coast Ferry Road.
Meanwhile, Suzuki will move its retail business to a ground-floor unit at Ubi Megamart in May.
This is also when two new models, the S-Cross crossover and Solio compact multi-purpose vehicle, will be introduced to the Singapore market to boost sales of the Japanese brand.
Last year, 85 units of Suzuki passenger cars were registered in Singapore, down from the peak of 4,158 units in 2007.
Like most Japanese makes other than Toyota, sales were affected by the contracting certificate of entitlement (COE) quotas and rising COE premiums.
A property analyst estimated that the bill for redevelopment could be as much as $40 million.
"The site is big, roughly 1ha," the analyst explained.
"With GFA maximised, rebuilding it won't be cheap."
One competitor said that, with the lease of the Pandan Crescent property up for renewal, BMS appears to be investing for the future.
"Right now, the company has businesses located all over the island, with premises that are either rented or with short-term leases," he added.
"So, it could be taking the opportunity to use the redevelopment to consolidate its operations and centralise its main activities in a new and modernised facility."