Portfolio of nine conservation shophouses on Desker Road-Rowell Road for sale at $66 mil

The condo offers a wide variety of units, with three different bedroom configurations to choose from. Each unit features stylish and modern furnishings, kitchen appliances, air-conditioning, and quality fixtures and fittings. Furthermore, Woodlands Champions Way Condo has a number of recreational amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, and retail outlets located at its doorstep. Residents will certainly enjoy the convenience and comfort that this complex offers.

Located at the corner of Desker Road and Serangoon Road, Usman’s eatery has been a fixture in the area for over 20 years. It serves a variety of Indian and Pakistani dishes such as garlic and butter naan, chicken masala, and tandoori chicken to a mix of both tourists and locals, the latter of whom have just come from the nearby Mustafa Centre.

As one travels down Desker and Rowell Road, it’s easy to see why the area, which straddles the Little India and Jalan Besar areas, is so bustling. Shophouses in the vicinity offer a wide range of services from eateries, wholesale food and grocery to handphone gadget stores, and even newly established Japanese restaurant Ikigai Yakitori, French bistro Allo, and sourdough pizza shop Goldenroy. Upstairs, some shophouses have been renovated in order to fit various professional services, like advertising agency Zoo Group, and marketing consultancy That Marketing Guy.

Sammi Lim, executive director and founder of Brilliance Capital, explains that this city-fringe area is attractive to businesses due to its lower rental costs when compared to CBD shophouses. This trend is echoed in investors seeking attractive and profitable properties.

Currently, a portfolio of nine freehold conservation shophouses located along Desker Road and Rowell Road is up for sale through a tender closing on Aug 15. It has a guide price of $66 million and a built-up area of 22,898 sq ft., with a total land area of 10,557 sq ft. The shophouses are zoned for commercial use as per the URA 2019 Master Plan, and are located within the Little India Conservation Area.

The shophouses had previously been bought by a real estate investment firm in 2021. During that year, extensive renovations were done before renting out the properties, with some tenants already in place before the refurbishment. These included construction contractors, cat hotels, vegetarian restaurants, art galleries, ceramic art studios, and boutique cafes.

Lim believes that this portfolio allows for long-term capital growth and a stable rental yield, while also having the option to be sold individually or collectively. Furthermore, the first-mover advantage allows the future buyer to take full advantage of the area’s development into a ‘thriving cultural, culinary, and commercial destination’.

Attracting various investor groups seeking profitable opportunities, the portfolio’s guide price of $2,882 psf is seen as a great price-point for such a prime city-fringe location. And although Desker and Rowell Road had a previous history of being a red-light district, their transformation over the last decade have seen 27 shophouse transactions since January 2021, with a recent sale of 21 Rowell Road at $5.2 million in June. As the government continues to clean up the area, Lim believes that Desker and Rowell Road could be the next Chinatown’s Amoy Street or Tanjong Pagar’s Tras Street.

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