A land parcel comprising 104.469 sq feet and the option of a 103-year lease on 112 Lorong J Telok Kurau was auctioned off to a buyer for 40 million ($382.89 per sq ft) in November 2022 according to an SISV Caveat from Realink.
Operator of co-living The Assembly Place is the designated director of development and the operator on the lease of 5+5 years The company’s director and chief of staff Eugene Lim. The purchaser for the property prefers not to be identified.
The person who is selling the property is the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church which holds the lease of 999 years (from 1939) for the site. Although the zoning of the site is intended for institutions of the community and civic nature, URA had permitted the utilization for this property as a hostel for students in the words of Knight Frank Singapore, the marketing agent for the site.
Prior to the property was auctioned off it was operating as EastLodge as the 120-room student residence with 3 blocks in 2 buildings and four-storey structures on the site.
Knight Frank launched the site at Telok Kurau to be sold by tender in September 2022. The tender was closed the following month on the 20th of October 2022 more than 15 bids were made. The price of $40 million is also 10 millions (33%) above the initially suggested cost of $33 million ($287 per sq. ft.). “Interest was heightened due to the exclusive usage for this site,” says Chia Mein Mein, Knight Frank’s director of the capital market (land and sales collectively).
The property is being renovated at present and is being transformed into an 43-bed “premium students’ hostel” According to Lim the owner of The Assembly Place. The “premium” is due to the modular design that gives each student getting having their own bed and study space. The communal facilities include lounge, dining area, laundry, kitchen and basketball court as well as an outside fitness area. He also says that bathrooms are shared and “spacious and well-equipped”.
In Singapore there are a lot of accommodation for students is basic, with very few facilities, if any that are provided, Lim observes. In the Assembly Place, Assembly Place intends to create a top-quality student hostel comparable to those offered elsewhere, including in the UK as well as in the US as well as Australia. “With greater than 100,000 sq feet of space, we are able to build a large number of facilities for the community,” he adds.
Students from abroad studying in Singapore was estimated to be 65,400 in April 2022. This is increasing from 59,100 by April 2021 based on statistics taken from both the Ministry of Education and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority from an Business Times report. The majority of international students in Singapore originate of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India and South Korea, and most are between 13 and 23 as per the International Trade Association.
Lim believes that the student population of international students in Singapore will be higher this year, especially after China lifted traveling restrictions on January 1st. The Chinese government also has imposed restrictions on private schools that teach foreign curriculum and foreign investments on private educational institutions in China.
Lim states that the clamp-down has resulted in more Chinese parents sending their kids abroad for education. Additionally, Singapore has been historically the preferred location among Chinese parents. says.
“These times parents are becoming more aware of the type of home that their children will stay in when they study abroad,” says Lim. “In addition to the location the other major factors to consider are security, privacy as well as hygiene and comfort.”
The student accommodation with 430 beds is the 2nd student hostel in the portfolio of The Assembly Place following the launch of the first co-living hostel with 186 beds property located on Perak Road, off Jalan Besar in the month of November 2022. The property is completely filled to capacity.
The addition of a superior hostel will expand The Assembly Place’s portfolio of co-living and space to 2,000rooms, according Lim.