House of Tan Yeok Nee back on market


The House of Tan Yeok Nee, a gazetted national monument at the Penang Road/Clemenceau Avenue junction, is up for sale again.

Joint marketing agents Cushman & Wakefield and PropNex Realty said in a statement yesterday that an indicative minimum price of $93 million is expected for the two-storey freehold property, the last remaining traditional Chinese courtyard house in Singapore.

This translates to about $1,590 per square foot (psf) on strata area and $3,109 psf on current lettable area. The property has a land area of 26,321 sq ft and a strata area of 58,480 sq ft. Its net lettable area is 29,912 sq ft.

The seller, an equal-stake joint venture between Perennial Real Estate Holdings and a Chinese party, is said to have paid about $73 million for the property back in 2013.

The joint venture had partnered Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to set up Ming Yi Guan, which opened last year on the property as Beijing Hospital of TCM's first treatment facility outside China.

In 2000, the restoration of the Teochew courtyard house saw 100 skilled Chinese craftsmen reconstructing the house at a cost of $12 million. The result was a masterpiece of traditional Chinese architecture retrofitted with modern facilities. The restored house won special commendation from the Paris-based FIABCI at the Prix d'Excellence in 2002.

Gazetted as a national monument in 1974, the House of Tan Yeok Nee was named after a wealthy Teochew businessman who built it in the 1880s.

The Salvation Army bought the property before World War II, during which it was occupied by the invading Japanese army.

When the war ended in 1945, the Salvation Army moved back into the property, which remained as its headquarters until the place was sold in 1991 to hotelier and property developer Teo Lay Swee.

In 1996, Mr Teo divested the property, along with the adjacent Cockpit Hotel and open-air carpark, to a Wing Tai-led consortium for $380 million.

The consortium developed the Cockpit Hotel and carpark site into Vision Crest Commercial, an 11-storey office block, and Vision Crest Residential, which comprises apartments. It also restored the House of Tan Yeok Nee.

In 2007, the Wing Tai-led consortium sold the property to German fund manager Union Investment Real Estate. Five years later, Union sold it to a special-purpose vehicle of ERC Holdings, which subsequently sold it to the Perennial joint venture in 2013.

Market watchers expect Ming Yi Guan to move to TripleOne Somerset, which is owned by Perennial and Shun Tak Holdings.

The sale tender closes on July 12.

Adapted from The StraitsTime, 25th May 2018.


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