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Author: Ravi Philemon
Two adjoining Sophia Road developments, Fairhaven and Sophia Ville, have been launched for sale by tender by sole marketing agent, JLL
The majority owners of Fairhaven and Sophia Ville have agreed to band together so that it may be offered to one developer who could redevelop them into one larger residential project.
“At JLL, we constantly look at ways of enhancing value for our owner-clients that still serves our developer-customers well. We believe this collaboration is a win-win proposition for both the owners and prospective purchasers. For the owners, they would stand to achieve prices higher than if they were to sell on their own. For developers, this offering gives them more flexibility and scale for a premium project or it is ideal for family offices to develop a boutique project for long term rental income,” said Ms. Yong Choon Fah, Senior Director of Capital Markets at JLL, Singapore.
Fairhaven at 130 Sophia Road has a site area of 16,660 sqft, while Sophia Ville at 128 Sophia Ville has a site area of 7,168 sqft.
Under the 2019 Master Plan, the two adjoining Sophia Road developments are zoned ‘Residential’ with a gross plot ratio of 2.1.
Over 80 per cent of the owners for each development have consented to the sale. The combined site for the two adjoining Sophia Road developments has a potential Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 53,541 sqft (inclusive of a potential 7% bonus GFA for balconies).
With a prestigious District 9 address, the plot of the two adjoining Sophia Road developments has excellent accessibility with Dhoby Ghaut Interchange station a mere 400m away. It is within walking distance to the renowned Orchard Road shopping district – a vibrant 2.2km shopping belt with over 800,000 sqm of retail, entertainment and dining options as well as state of the art medical facilities. The locale is also infused with rich cultural heritage with the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum, Fort Canning Hill, the Peranakan Museum, all located close by.
Popular schools, such as St Margaret’s Primary and Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), are within one kilometre of the two adjoining Sophia Road developments, while reputable educational institutions, such as the Singapore Management University, Lasalle College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and School of the Arts (SOTA), are in the vicinity.
The indicative price for the two adjoining Sophia Road developments is in excess of $64 million, which reflects about $1,279 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr) or $1,195 psf ppr after factoring in the 7 per cent bonus balcony. There is no development charge payable due to a high development baseline.
The two adjoining Sophia Road developments is located within the Central Area (“CA”) giving potential investors increased flexibility in terms of unit sizes, subject to approval from the relevant authorities
The tender for the two adjoining Sophia Road developments closes on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, at 2.30 p.m.
Sophia Road is named after Sophia Blackmore, an Australian missionary to Singapore. She founded the Fairfield Methodist Schools, and also Methodist Girls’ School in Singapore. She was the first woman missionary sent by the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to Singapore. She also set up a boarding home for girls, supported the early Methodist Straits Chinese Christian work, published a Christian periodical in Baba Malay and is closely associated with the founding of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.
On her arrival in Singapore on 16 July 1887, Blackmore was encouraged by the Oldhams’ work which included the local Methodist Episcopal Church and the Anglo-Chinese School at Coleman Street. Within a month, Blackmore helped open a school for Tamil girls on 15 August 1887, with the support of the Reverend Oldham, several members of the Indian community and a teacher named Alexander Hagedorn (Mrs Alexander Fox).
Known originally as the Tamil Girls’ School, the school was later renamed the Methodist Girls’ School. The school started in a small shophouse on Short Street. By 1925 the school was overcrowded, which precipitated a move to Mount Sophia, where it remained there until 1992 before being moved to its current location.
Visiting homes by horse-carriage in the estates bounded by Telok Ayer and Neil Road, she was led to the establishment of a second school for girls. Tan Keong Saik, along with other influential Chinese families, had persuaded her to teach their daughters – an uncommon request as girls were not a priority for education amongst the Chinese then.
A widow, Nonya Boon, later offered Blackmore her home along Cross Street to start a school for girls. Beginning with just eight girls, the Anglo-Chinese Girls’ School began in August 1888. Under the leadership of Emma Ferris, who was principal from 1892–1894, the school grew and eventually became the Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School. In 1983, the school went co-educational and the school was renamed as the Fairfield Methodist Secondary School.
Entrusted with the care of a young girl when she first arrived in Singapore, Blackmore saw the need for a home for girls. Thus on 1 May 1890, a boarding home was set up for girls. First located at Sophia Road, the home moved several times along locations up the hill until its move to a bungalow at No. 4 Sophia Road. The house stood at the pinnacle of the hillock with a bird’s eye view of the city.
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said: “although the en bloc fever from 2018 and 2019 has largely died down, investors and developers may still be interested in properties like the two adjoining Sophia Road developments because of its location.”
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