$22m price tag for 5 shophouses
FIVE adjoining shophouse properties in Club Street have been put on the market with an asking price of $22 million.
They comprise Nos. 1, 3 and 5 Club Street, which are three storeys high and have an attic, and Nos. 7 and 9, which are two storeys high. All five have a remaining land tenure of about 80 years.
The properties are being marketed jointly by JLL and Historical Land. The latter is a boutique property agency specialising in shophouses.
The shophouses are being offered as a package. Nos. 1, 3 and 5 are owned by Citystate Properties while Nos. 7 and 9 are owned by Dr Ling Ai Ee, who is also one of the shareholders of Citystate Properties.
The $22 million asking price translates to $3,230 per sq ft of floor area of about 6,800 sq ft. The shophouses are currently leased, with insurance company EQ occupying the ground level. The upper levels are leased out as residences.
A strong attraction of the properties is that they are part of a stretch of Club Street and Gemmill Lane that was recently re-zoned for commercial use under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA's) Master Plan 2014. The stretch was previously zoned as "residential with first-storey commercial".
In a circular issued on June 10, URA said the zoning change is consistent with the commercial zoning for the rest of the shophouses in Club Street.
Historical Land director Simon Monteiro said: "With full commercial zoning, this means foreigners are now eligible to buy these shophouses."
Foreigners require the approval of the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit of the Singapore Land Authority to purchase an entire shophouse on a site zoned for residential use, although they may buy a unit within a strata-subdivided shophouse building on residential-zoned land.
"In addition to offering prime frontage at the Club Street/Cross Street corner, a stone's throw from the Telok Ayer MRT station on the Downtown Line, these five shophouses make up a rare island-site in the popular Club Street locale which is steeped in history," added Mr Monteiro.
Club Street was the last part of Chinatown to be developed, beginning in the early 1890s, according to architecture historian Julian Davison, who traced the provenance of the five properties for Historical Land.
The shophouses on offer comprise two separate developments: Nos. 7 and 9, which were most likely built in the late 19th century, and Nos. 1, 3 and 5, which were built by business magnate Ezekiel Saleh Manasseh in 1924-1925.
A leading businessman and property developer, Mr Manasseh commissioned the architectural firm of Westerhout & Oman to build the three shophouses.
The principal feature of the front facade is the central airwell. There is also a cantilevered balcony halfway up, as well as a star-shaped pediment on top, intended to recall the Jewish Star of David, wrote Dr Davison.
THE BUSINESS TIMES