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SPH Eyes More Projects After Sky@eleven (ST)

BackJun 08, 2010

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) yesterday underscored its capability as a developer with the unveiling of its completed maiden residential project, Sky@eleven, in prime district 11 off Thomson Road, and said it was looking for more development sites.

The newly completed freehold project, developed by SPH's wholly owned subsidiary Times Development, obtained its temporary occupation permit last month.

Launched amid a hot property market in January 2007, it achieved an average price of $975 per sq ft (psf). All 273 units were snapped up within 30 hours of the launch.

The duplex penthouses went for an absolute price of up to $5.8 million each. And the highest recorded price of $1,200 psf was a benchmark level for the Thomson area then.

Prices have since risen considerably. In April, units at Sky@eleven were being transacted at between $1,250 psf and $1,400 psf.

Sky@eleven features large units, built from the fifth storey upwards, with the lowest four storeys left empty, shielding residents from street-level activity.

The units range in size from 1,851 sq ft to 2,820 sq ft, while the duplex penthouses go up to 5,597 sq ft.

The principal designer and architect for the project was Mr Ti Lian Seng, who led award-winning DP Architects in designing the apartments. He also designed Marina Square and was part of a team behind the iconic Esplanade arts centre.

At yesterday's completion ceremony, SPH chairman Tony Tan said that while SPH was known for delivering quality media products, the completion of Sky@eleven has proved that the group was able to deliver more than media products.

"It is a testament to SPH's growing versatility, dynamism and willingness to seek out opportunities to create shareholder value. Sky@eleven also reflects the type of high-quality product that SPH is well known for," he said.

Besides Sky@eleven, SPH's other property ventures include Paragon in Orchard Road. The prime shopping mall and office complex now has a new facade, after a recent makeover costing $82 million.

SPH also acquired the Clementi Mall project late last year. Together with NTUC Income and NTUC FairPrice, it tendered a bid of $541.9 million for the mall at Clementi Town Centre, which has direct links to Clementi MRT station. The mall is scheduled to begin operations in the first half of next year, said Dr Tan.

And SPH is on the lookout for more opportunities to expand its property business.

"We are still looking for sites for residential development," Times Development's executive director, Mr Seow Choke Meng, told reporters yesterday.

Property development is one growth engine for SPH, he said. The firm has a team looking at potential sites and there may be good opportunities to pick up sites if there is a market slowdown, he added.