Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Dapenso Building, a nine-storey office block in Cecil Street, seems to have changed hands three times in the past year

The Dapenso Building, a nine-storey office block in Cecil Street, seems to have changed hands three times in the past year, with ownership recently passing to home- grown property outfit KOP Capital under a deal said to have valued the building at just below $120 million.

This is about double the $58 million the property was sold for in December last year, which itself was more than twice the sum it sold for previously.

KOP Capital declined to confirm the cost of its recent acquisition, which it said it effected by purchasing shares in East Coast (Cecil) Investment Pte Ltd, which took control of Dapenso Building in June this year.

KOP managing director Ong Chih Ching told BT her company plans to spend about $80 million on additions and alteration works at Dapenso Building, adding about four-and-a-half storeys that will result in a 14-storey building with a roof terrace, two basement carparks and a net lettable area of about 113,000 sq ft, which KOP will lease out.

‘This will be a stylish office development, inspired by the Louis Vuitton outlet in Omote-Sando in Tokyo,’ she said. The plot is zoned for commercial use with an 11.2 plot ratio.

KOP’s all-up investment of about $200 million works out to almost $1,770 psf based on the proposed net lettable area of 113,000 sq ft. Work will start in Q1 next year and is expected to take about 15 months.

Ms Ong, a lawyer by training, runs KOP with her fellow shareholder and executive director Leny Suparman. A third shareholder, another lawyer, is a silent partner.

In August, a KOP Capital-Hwa Hong joint-venture bagged URA’s maiden transitional office site next to Newton MRT Station. Since then, Dubai Investment Group has joined the consortium, taking a 45 per cent stake, leaving Hwa Hong and KOP with 50 and 5 per cent stakes respectively, according to an announcement by Hwa Hong last week.

The all-up investment in the project is expected to be about $90 million and the four-storey office development, with about 150,000 sq ft net lettable area, is expected to be ready in the second half of next year.

KOP also has an equal joint venture with Emirates Tarian Capital, a unit of Emirates Investment Group, which is developing two luxury residential projects in Singapore - the 58-unit Ritz Carlton Residences in Cairnhill on the former Horizon View site, and a 56-unit project on the former Hotel Asia site in Scotts Road. The latter project will feature two carpark lots housed within each apartment.

Ritz Carlton Residences is slated for launch next month while the Scotts Road project will come on the market early next year.

Ms Ong says KOP is keen on more projects in the residential and office sectors in Singapore. ‘We shall continue to look for more office blocks that we can upgrade to trendy, boutique offices, but we’re also interested in investing in bigger office towers in the CBD that may not require much sprucing up,’ she said.

Earlier this month, KOP bought East Coast (Cecil) Investment Pte Ltd, a company formed in June this year by Alvin Ng and Kim Seng Holdings to purchase Dapenso Building, for $96 million from Remarkable Investment. Remarkable, believed to be linked to Hong Kong investors, bought the building in December last year for $58.4 million from Hotel Royal, which bought it in 2004 for $27 million from Bank Negara Indonesia.

Source : Business Times - 11 Oct 2007

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