Telok Kurau site purchased for $40 mil to be operated as ‘premium student hostel’ by The Assembly Place

116 Lorong J Telok Kurau which is a land parcel of 104,469 sq ft and 103-year lease tenure  was sold for $40 million ($382.89 psf) in November 2K22, according to a SISV Realink caveat.

The Assembly Place, Co-living operator, is the appointed development manager and operator on a 5+5 year lease, says its founder and CEO Eugene Lim. the property purchaser prefers to remain anonymous and low profile.

The Assembly Place’s portfolio following the opening of its first co-living hostel, which is now fully-occupied, a 186-bed property on Perak Road, off Jalan Besar, in November 2K22.

The 430-bed student accommodation will be the second student housing hostel under portfolio of this co-living operator.

The Assembly Place’s portfolio of co-living and spaces  will ramp up to 2,000 with The addition of the new premium hostel.

The Trustees of the Presbyterian Church, is The seller of the property, which owns the underlying 999-year lease (from 1939) on the site. URA had permitted the use of the property as a student hostel, according to Knight Frank Singapore, the marketing agent for the site, despite the zoning for the site is for civic and community institution use.

Prior to this property transaction, the former site was operated as EastLodge, a 120-room student accommodation with two blocks of three- and four-storey buildings on the site.

the site at Telok Kurau was launched by Knight Frank for sale by tender in September 2K22. more than 15 bids were submitted When the tender closed a month later on Oct 20, 2K22. The purchase price $40 million was also thirty-three percent higher above the initial guide price of $30 million ($287 psf). “Interest was keen because of the unique use of the site,” says Chia Mien Mien, Knight Frank’s head of capital markets (land and collective sales).

A 430-bed “premium student hostel will be redeveloped and converted in The property which is under renovation”, says Lim of The Assembly Place. The “premium” comes from its modular design, with individual bed and study area for one student. Facilities within the hostel include but not limited to a lounge, dining, kitchen, laundry, basketball court and outdoor fitness area. The shared bathroom facilities will be “spacious and well equipped”.

most of the student accommodations In Singapore are relatively basic, with minimal facilities, if any provided, Lim observes. The Assembly Place intends to create a premium student hostel on a par with those provided in Europe like Germany, UK, the US and Australia. “we can put in a lot of communal facilities With more than 100,000 sq ft land area,” he adds.

The number of international students in Singapore up from 59,100 in April 2K21 to 65,400 in April 2K22, based on figures from the Ministry of Education and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority from a Business Times report. international students in Singapore mostly are from ASEAN countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India and South Korea, between the ages of 13 and 23, according to the International Trade Association.

The international student population in Singapore, especially since China lifted its travel restrictions in January, to be even higher this year. The Chinese government has also restricted private schools teaching foreign curricula and foreign investment in private education in China.

more Chinese parents are sending their children overseas for their education after china government clamp-down. Traditionally, Singapore been a popular destination for Chinese parents, he adds.

“These days, parents are also more mindful about the kind of accommodation their children will be housed in while studying overseas,” says Lim. “In addition to location, other key considerations are security, privacy, comfort and hygiene.”


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