The Liang Court site will soon be redeveloped by real estate bigwigs City Developments Limited (CDL) along with Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) and CapitaLand Limited, a recent statement by them revealed.
Currently Liang Court comprises of serviced apartments Somerset Liang Court Singapore, Liang Court mall and Hotel Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay.
The redevelopment proposal came underway after CDL Hospitality Trusts reportedly showed interest in selling all its stake in the Novotel Singapore holding to a JV between City Developments Limited and CapitaLand with equal shareholding.
It also has been reported that Ascott Reit is willing to sell its stakes in Somerset Liang Court to City Developments Limited.
Ascott Reit has already agreed to sell 15,170 sq. m of the site’s GFA to CDL for S$163.3 million and will only retain 13,034 sq m of the gross floor area. They parties have signed a put and call option agreement in this regard.
Once all the sale agreements are cleared, Liang Court will be redeveloped on a gross floor area of 100, 263 square meters.
The current proposal for redevelopment comprises of 2 residential buildings with estimated 700 units along with a commercial zone comprising of an “upper-midscale” hotel consisting of around 475 rooms and 192 serviced apartments also holding hotel license.
CDL and CapitaLand JV entities shall be controlling the commercial and residential components while CapitaLand’s wholly-owned subsidiary Ascott Reit will continue to own the serviced residences.
CDL will be signing a forward purchase agreement with City Developments Limited Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) who will then own the hotels.
According to current plans CDLHT will be making a purchase forward either for S$475 m or 110% of the development, depending on which is lower at the time of completion of the hotel.
The project will open from 2024 in phases.
The serviced residents will continue to operate under the Somerset branding and is targeted to be operational by the latter half of 2024.
Meanwhile the hotel will be run and operated by Marriott International’s Moxy brand and is due to be completed by 2025.
Ascott Reit on the other hand said that from the 13,034 square meter gross floor area that it will be retaining will be redeveloped as serviced residences using the net proceeds it will acquire after selling its shares in Somerset Liang Court.
The lease tenure holding that is currently at 57 years will also be refreshed to 99 years after the new agreements are signed.
The projected expenditure for the serviced apartments is being estimated to be S$300 million. The current Somerset Liang Court has become old and is unable to compete with the upcoming hotels in the surroundings, Ascott Reit said.
The area’s vibrancy will further see an upliftment as the consortium is planning to revive the neighbouring river promenade, as per the guidelines laid out by the Draft Master Plan 2019 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Once the promenade gets a facelift, it is expected that the general footfall to the area will increase and there will be more social activities around the area. The pedestrian accessibility along the Singapore River is also expected to improve.
CDL currently owns the Central Mall which is a retail and office redevelopment project in the Singapore River area.
CapitaLand through its CapitaLand Mall Trust currently has shares in the Clarke Quay mall (which has 5 shop housing blocks) and also has shares through Ascott Reit in the Park Hotel Clarke Quay – all in the Singapore River precinct.
CapitaLand and CDL had previously successfully collaborated in bidding for a residential and commercial site at Sengkang Central which is on the Buangkok MRT station, making Liang Court its second joint venture.
CDL’s hotel arm City Developments Limited Hotel Trusts is managed by Millennium and Copthorne Hotels PLC’s subsidiary.