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Singapore Billionaire Brothers Win Mixed-Use Site With $766 Million Bid As Housing Market Heats Up

Far East Organization and Sino Group—both controlled by billionaire brothers Robert and Philip Ng—won the auction for a hotly contested mixed-use commercial and residential site in western Singapore.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority said on Monday it had awarded the 99-year leasehold site at Jalan Anak Bukit in the prime upper Bukit Timah residential district to privately held Far East Organization and its Hong Kong-listed sister company Sino Group.

The partners submitted three different proposals and the highest bid of S$1.03 billion ($766 million) for the 3.22-hectare (32,200-square meter) land parcel, narrowly beating the second-highest bid of S$1.01 billion that was offered by tycoon Cheng Wai Keung’s Wing Tai Holdings and its partner Mercatus Commercial Trust. Allgreen Properties and Kerry Properties—both controlled by Malaysia’s richest man Robert Kuok—submitted a bid of S$808.99 million.

Developers have been aggressively bidding for residential sites across Singapore to replenish their land bank and address surging housing demand amid expectations the Singapore economy will gradually recover as the government eases pandemic-induced restrictions now that 80% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Total private home sales in the Lion City climbed 139% to 16,549 units in the first half compared to the previous year, government data showed.

Apart from the tender price, the URA said it evaluated the development concepts proposed by the bidders. The proposal made by Far East Organization and Sino Group “demonstrates a well-conceived design strategy in its generously spaced building blocks with a well-considered tropical design,” the URA said in a statement.

The site which sits right next to the Beauty World MRT station can be developed into a commercial and residential complex with a maximum gross floor area of 96,555 square meters and about 845 apartment units. It will have an integrated transport hub and bus interchange on level 2 with civic and commercial space occupying the first three floors of the mixed use development.

“A central atrium that is located in the heart of the development will be an attractive, naturally ventilated sheltered public space that can accommodate a variety of seasonal programming and community-based events,” URA said. “The ‘Forest Gardens’ on the third story consists of communal gardens that are publicly accessible and will contribute to the the strong presence of greenery visible from the street level.”

Brothers Robert and Philip Ng are the controlling shareholders of Far East Organization, Singapore’s largest privately held landlord and property developer. Older brother Robert oversees their Hong Kong interests held through Sino Group, while Philip looks after the Singapore business. With a net worth of $14.2 billion, the siblings were ranked No. 6 in the list of Singapores 50 Richest that was published earlier this month. The group was founded by their father Ng Teng Fong, who moved From China to Singapore in 1934 and came to be known as “The King of Orchard Road.”

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