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Friday, December 2, 2011

YTL may sell Orchard Boulevard project

YTL Corp may begin selling its luxury home project in downtown Singapore in the first half of 2012, more than four years after buying the site, as the Malaysian developer expands its holdings in Asia.

The project, converted from an old apartment building on Orchard Boulevard that the company purchased in 2007, will have 78 units targeting wealthy Asian buyers from countries including China, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to Kemmy Tan, the head of YTL’s real estate unit in the city-state.

YTL Managing Director Francis Yeoh has been expanding outside of Malaysia into the real estate markets in countries including Japan, China and neighboring Singapore to take advantage of Asia’s growing affluent property investors. The group also has businesses in utilities and cement. “Wealthy Asian property buyers have now gained more exposure to more sophisticated life-style and design,” said Tan, adding that she estimates buyers will probably be willing to pay a 20 per cent premium compared to regular prices for the design by a renowned architect. The project will be designed by Antonio Citterio, an Italian architect whose work includes the Bulgari Hotel in Milan and Bali and the Ermenegildo Zegna Group’s new Milan headquarters, marking his first residential project in Asia.

Record Purchase

YTL bought the original Westwood Apartments building for S$435 million (US$339 million) in 2007, a record at the time for the purchase of an existing apartment through a so-called en- bloc sale. It had since leased out the units. Tan declined to say how much YTL will sell the units for, which will have areas of between 1,000 and 3,500 square feet, adding that the average prices of luxury apartments in the area range between S$3,800 and S$5,000 a square foot. St. Regis Residences, a five-minute walk away, was last purchased at S$2,776 a square foot in September, while the Marq on Paterson Hill and Orchard Residences, about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) away, sold homes at more than S$4,000, government data showed.

The Kuala Lumpur-based company is the biggest shareholder of Starhill Global REIT, a Singapore-based property trust that owns stakes in the city’s retail malls such as Ngee Ann City and properties in Tokyo’s Roppongi and Daikanyama shopping districts.

By Bloomberg