The property buying bug in Singapore has clearly not spared religious institutions. This week, The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd. has sealed a deal to buy the 2-decade old Elite Building for a handsome S$52 million.
In fact, according to Edmund Tie & Company, the firm that brokered the deal, the building is almost totally vacated. They also reckon the deal, which was accepted last month, will have all transactions completed within November.
Elite Building is freehold property with 16 strata units, 13 of which were previously owned by The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants or ISCA. The Evangel Baptist Church was also part owner with 2 units, and the last unit was owned by an individual.
Elite Building, a 6-storey building along Aljunied Road, is freehold property with a 60 meters long frontage.
It is not only strategically located, considering its nearness to the Aljunied MRT Station, but it is also well suited for a proprietor like a church, considering it has 19 car park areas within its basement.
The building also has a vast gross floor area (GFA), totaling 41,866 square feet.
Edmund Tie & Co. confirmed in February this year that the building has already been approved to hold a commercial school and have shops at the ground floor, which means the church may not have to do much in terms of seeking authorization for its activities.
Previously, there was a school running on the premises under the Singapore Accountancy Academy (SAA), which is the branch of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants dealing with education.
Going by the collective selling price of the building, the unit price works at S$1,242 per square foot (psf) on that GFA. This property is made even more prime by its location, which is very near the Aljunied MRT Station.
Elite Building’s property site covers an area of 14,274 square feet, and it is specifically zoned for residential establishment or for establishment of institutions.
Its GFA to land area ratio, otherwise termed the plot ratio, is 2.8. That is according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014.
Dr. David Jeremiah Seah, who is the founding president of the Asian Pastoral Institute Ltd, which is under the The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd, expressed the church’s joy in acquiring the Elite building, saying for the last 10yrs, they have been looking for spacious premises to host their institute.
As at now, the institute operates from different premises in Pasir Panjang and Tanjong Katong.
He also says the building will be host the church library and provide space for more classrooms for people undergoing training for pastoral work, counseling, as well as community outreach services.
It is also the church’s intention, according to Dr. Seah, to relocate its corporate office into the building after giving it a fresh touch. Dr. Seah, who has a PhD in Business Management, is also the church’s founding pastor.
Although the owners of Elite Building are happy with their sales deal with the church, the price is a little less than their initial asking price, which was S$55 million.
In fact, the very first tender remained open from February to March, but did not receive an offer matching the asking price.
The same fate befell the second tender that closed in June. Only when the property owners reduced their asking price did The Tabernacle Church and Missions Ltd. make their offer.
This could be a sign that many developers are eager to buy property sold en bloc only when there is clear room for expansion.