SINGAPORE – The 110 Robinson Road may soon fell to the possession of Indonesian tycoon and philanthropist Tahir. He turned out to be the highest bidder of the 12-storey freehold office block which was put up for sale through tendering which finalized late last month. The offer for the property amounted to around S$45 million. This translates to $3,162 per square foot according to the building’s Net Lettable Arera (NLA) of 14,233 square feet.
OCBC discarded and sold the building as it is no longer used for their operations and due to some unsolicited offers. Finnexes building at 108 Robinson Road and Robinson 112 surrounded the said property built by its developers in 1980s.
The bank has not yet awarded the tender to Mr Tahir but many market watchers expect it happen soon. Mr Tahir’s offer appeared bullish to some office market watchers. According to them, most investors usually require three percent yield for an investment in the Singaporean market.
Looking into the numbers, the price of S$45 million for 110 Robinson Road results to a yield of just 1.38 percent as per its income in late June. In those days, the occupancy rate sat at 76 percent while the average cost for leasing played around $4.80 per square foot per month. With this being said, this provides potential income for leasing out a vacant space and gaining a positive rent reversion on that particular property.
The Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 110 Robinson Road during the bid exercise has an estimate of 22,123 square feet translating a flat ratio of 11.94. This exceeds the designated 11.2 flat ratio for commercialized-zone site under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014. Although it has untapped GFA, the property can still be used for business and achieve high rentals with major refurbishments.
Assuming Mr Tahir clinches 110 Robinson Road, experts think that it is highly unlikely for the top bidder to use it on any major works in the near future. His strategy for bidding the highest for the block maybe adding it to his collection of Singapore income-generating real estate.
Earlier in 2016, Mr Tahir surprised everyone when he purchased the 999-year leasehold Straits Trading Building located at Battery Road for S$560 million. The acquisition happened through MYP Ltd, a Singapore-listed business controlled by his family. He also owns a dozen units at the Grange Infinite condo.
Born to working-class parents in Indonesia, Mr Tahir came to Singapore for his education. He earned a business degree from the then—Nanyang University. He soon founded the Mayapada Group, an Indonesia-based conglomerate operating on banking, realty, property and healthcare businesses.