Singapore is undergoing a trend in the property buying business and religious institutions are joining the bandwagon.
The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd. most recently finalized an acquisition deal in purchasing a 20-year-old Elite Building amounting to S$52 million.
Edmund Tie & Co brokered the transaction, stating that the building is almost completely empty and vacant. Moreover, they expect that the deal with be fully in completion in November, following its acceptance the previous month.
The freehold commercial property has 16 strata units wherein The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) recently owned 13 units.
Another part owner of the property with two units in their lot is the Evangel Baptist Church. An individual proprietor owns the remaining last unit.
Elite Building is a freehold 6-storey property building located along Aljunied Road with 60 meters frontage length.
The strategic location of the site is due to its close proximity to structures and transportation points such as the Aljunied MRT Station.
However, it is an ideal site for a church since it contains 19 car park areas just within the basement. The immense gross floor area (GFA) of 41,866 square feet overall is another feature.
According to Edmund Tie & Co, the approval for the building to be a commercial school is already final in February of this year.
There will also be shops located at the ground floor, which would also mean the church would not need much authorization in terms of performing its activities.
A school was operating within the Singapore Accountancy Academy (SAA) premises in the past, which is also an Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants branch, mainly offering education.
The unit price is at S$1,242 per square foot covering the gross floor area, based on the building’s collective selling price. It is a prime property due to its location, specifically at the rear part of the Aljunied MRT Station.
The overall site area of the Elite Building property is 14,274 square feet, wherein the zoning specification is for residential or institutional establishments.
The plot ratio or GFA to land area ratio is 2.8, in accordance to the 2014 Master Plan of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd., through the Asian Pastoral Institute Ltd. founding president, Dr. David Jeremiah Seah, expressed its joy in the Elite Building acquisition.
He further stated that the church has been in search for spacious premises in the past 10 years, particularly in hosting the institute.
The institute currently operates from various locations in Tanjong Katong and Pasir Panjang.
Dr. Seah also added that the building is hosting the church library as well as provide more classroom spaces for those who are undergoing counseling and pastoral work training. The premises will also be for community outreach services.
The church intends for the relocation of the corporate office into the Elite Building after the location undergoes renovation and redesign, according to Dr. Seah. The founding president of the church has a PhD in Business Management and also serves as its founding pastor.
The asking price of the Elite Building was S$55 million. Despite the good sales deal, the owners of the building still recognized it as a lesser value compared to its initial market price.
Moreover, the first tender continued to be open between February and March yet there are no offers matching the asking value.
It is the same fate during the second tender, which closed in June.
However, when the owners lessened the asking price of the property, they received an offer from The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd.
It showed that developers are aiming for en bloc sale of property as long as there are chances of expansion.
Single buildings have lesser expansion potentials than properties with multiple housing units.