Scotts Square mall put up for sale with $450 million guide price

SINGAPORE – Wharf Estates Singapore has put the freehold retail podium at Scotts Square on the market with a $450 million guide price.

The guide price for the mall, on a prime spot off Orchard Road, translates to a rate of $3,438 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), based on a gross floor area (GFA) of 130,875 square feet (sq ft).

Located at 6 Scotts Road, Scotts Square sits on a 5,215.5 sq m plot of land between the Grand Hyatt Singapore hotel and Tangs. The mixed development is owned by Wharf Estates Singapore, formerly known as Wheelock Properties.

In June 2004, Wheelock bought what was Scotts Shopping Centre and the 23-storey The Ascott Singapore Serviced Residences above it for $345 million. It tore down the building, which housed Singapore’s first food court, Picnic, to redevelop it into Scotts Square.

Wharf Estates also owns Wheelock Place, a 99-year leasehold mixed retail-office building at the corner of Scotts Road and Orchard Road.

Scotts Square comprises two luxury residential towers and a retail mall which spans four storeys.

According to EdgeProp, the total net lettable area (NLA) of Scotts Square’s mall is 76,657 sq ft, which is now 98.8 per cent occupied with existing rents averaging less than $10 psf.

Current tenants include popular brunch spots Wild Honey and Eggslut, while golf retailers have moved into the third floor.

Hong Kong luxury shoe retailer On Pedder moved out in 2021, closing its largest free-standing store in Asia. Lifestyle retailer Planet Plus has taken up Pedder’s second-floor space, moving into the mall in 2023.

A recent report on the Singapore retail sector from consultancy CBRE said retail rents are steadily recovering, “following the more than 10 per cent fall to its trough in 2021”.

“While prime rents have yet to return to the pre-pandemic levels of almost $28.00 psf per month, recovery is expected to continue beyond 2023,” CBRE said in its November 2023 report.

According to Cushman & Wakefield, Orchard Road rents for prime retail mall units with good frontage and accessibility are around $34.80 psf per month.

“The prime Orchard Road precinct includes a small number of properties where ownerships are tightly held by Reits, large developers, and a few private owners. The opportunity to buy a freehold flagship retail property is very rare, and we expect strong interest from buyers,” said Mr Jeremy Lake, managing director of investment sales and capital markets at Savills Singapore, which is the exclusive marketing agent for Scotts Square.

He added: “Scotts Square enjoys an approximately 50 metre frontage along Scotts Road and is highly visible. The buyer can reposition Scotts Square and curate a boutique flagship property attracting luxury designer, watch and jewellery brands with a Michelin starred restaurant occupying the 3rd floor.

“There is significant potential to increase the net lettable area and the rents in Scotts Square and thereby increase the net operating income.”

The expression of interest exercise for Scotts Square will close on Feb 6.

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