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By Spirit
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UOL to redevelop 30-yr-old Somerset building

Units in new project to combine office facilities with service apartment

31 Mar 05

By KALPANA RASHIWALA

THE rejuvenation of ageing properties in the Orchard Road belt continues apace. This time, United Overseas Land is tearing down its 30-year-old UOL Building at Somerset Road and redeveloping it into a project offering units that combine an office and a service apartment.


Pioneer: The project will be the first to offer "live-and-work" concept in Orchard area

It will be like the small-office, home-office (SoHo) concept except that the units also come with services like housekeeping and laundry.

This will make it the first project offering the 'live-and-work' concept in the Orchard Road area.

UOL will hold the 128 units for lease when the 16-storey freehold project next to Somerset MRT Station is completed by October 2007.

This will be the group's flagship building for its executive suite/service apartment business.

Currently, the group has only one service apartment property, Plaza Pacific Serviced Apartments above Plaza Parkroyal Hotel in Beach Road.

It hopes to rebrand this business and is also looking to start a chain of SoHo-style service apartments in Singapore and the region.

BT understands that UOL may also include such units - a small number, though - for its project on the Kim Tian Plaza site in Tiong Bahru. However, they are likely to be for sale.

As for the UOL Building redevelopment, UOL will incur about $27 million in construction costs.

Kajima Overseas has been appointed the main contractor.

CPG Consultants is the architect and an Italian designer, Marco Corti of Colombo Associates, will do the interior.

UOL is expected to target expatriates who are here for consultancy work or to start up businesses and who want to live and work in the same place.

This way, they do not need to rent separate offices and apartments.

The new development will have the same plot ratio (ratio of potential gross floor area to land area) as the existing UOL Building, which comprises mainly offices.

However, it still makes sense for UOL to redevelop the project into SoHo-styled service apartments, say market watchers.

This is because the UOL Building is no longer competitive in the office market as it has small floor plates (making usage inefficient) and most of the units have low ceilings.

And redeveloping the property into a pure office project may not do the trick either, as the centre of gravity in the Singapore office market is shifting to the New Downtown area.

The project's 128 units will comprise a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units, ranging from 42 square metres to 120 sq m.

UOL Building's tenants, including Expressions International, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Checker's Cafe, are moving out by today, ahead of the building's demolition slated for next month.

Expressions is headed for MacDonald House. Checker's Cafe, located on the ground floor, is moving to Yess Leisure, opposite Temasek Tower in Shenton Way.

MDIS is relocating to its UniCampus at Stirling Road in Queenstown.

The existing building is also 16 storeys high, comprising a seven-storey podium and a nine-storey tower block.
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UOL building to be torn down

1 Apr 05

By Joyce Teo

UOL Building in Somerset Road will be demolished this month to make way for a project offering high-end serviced apartments that will come with office facilities.

The 16-storey building's remaining tenants moved out yesterday.

The Straits Times understands that the new 128-unit 16-storey luxury-end project is expected to be ready in 2007.

With this project, which is near Somerset MRT station, United Overseas Land is incorporating the increasingly popular small office, home office (SoHo) concept into serviced apartments.

Targeted at businessmen travelling to Singapore to start up a business or work on a project, the serviced apartments will be leased as a temporary home-cum-office.

UOL currently has one serviced apartment project - Plaza Pacific Serviced Apartments - which sits atop an office building, The Plaza, on Beach Road.

Said The Ascott Group's chief executive officer, Mr Cameron Ong: 'More variations of serviced apartments, at more price points, will help widen the overall serviced residence customer segment, and spur industry growth.'
 

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It dosent look too loudy leh. Btw, I am a tad dissapointed its replaced by a similarly short tower. :D
 

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loudy...:D I meant lousy. ;) There are far worse looking ones just across the road?
 

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huaiwei said:
loudy...:D I meant lousy. ;) There are far worse looking ones just across the road?
Buildings around there are rather old and not-so-nice. There's Phoenix hotel, of which the only good thing is, I guess, the logo. On the other side is I think a building of the Singapore Power company (can be seen on the left of my pic). It's brutalist style, I'm not too fond of it. On the Orchard Road side is the Specialist's shopping centre and some other old-looking ones.
 

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Yeah....think its near the OG building or something....or was it Tong building as well? They are like a bunch of out of place relics of yesteryears.
 
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