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Little India heritage site valued at some S$70.6m goes up for tender

A CONSERVED two-storey bungalow, known as the former House of Tan Teng Niah, is up for tender, said its marketing agent JLL on Tuesday.

The 25,865 square foot (sq ft) plot at Little India MRT is mainly zoned for commercial use.

Built in 1900, the former House of Tan Teng Niah is believed to be the last remaining Chinese villa in Little India. The late Mr Tan was a Chinese businessman who owned several confectionery factories in Serangoon Road and a rubber smoke-house at Kerbau Road.

In a media statement, Karamjit Singh, senior consultant at JLL, said that as the shop lots and buildings are not strata-titled, the entire portfolio is to be sold in its entirety. "We understand that the asset was valued at S$70.6 million late last year," said Mr Singh.

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"To our knowledge, this could well be one of the largest plots of privately-held commercial land located in the vicinity of the Little India MRT station. An opportunity to acquire an asset of this unique nature is rare to come by."

The eight-room villa, which is said to have originally been built for Mr Tan's wife, is one of the landmarks listed in the National Heritage Board's Little India Heritage Trail. The building is described as a hybrid of Southern Chinese and European architectural influences, having been restored and conserved in the 1980s as "a reminder of an era when small Chinese businesses co-existed and flourished alongside the Indian-dominated cattle-trade industry for which the Little India area was once known for", said JLL.

Mr Singh said the "income-generating portfolio" may find appeal among investors, high net-worth individuals and family-offices for its intrinsic historical value.

Situated at the fringe of the Central Business District and directly across from Tekka Market, the subject property is part of the core Little India Conservation Area and is located near the Little India MRT station.

Aside from the House of Tan Teng Niah located at 37 Kerbau Road, there are three other buildings located within the subject site. They include a pair of adjoining two-storey heritage shophouses at 41/43 Kerbau Road, a single-storey shop fronting Buffalo Road, and a single-level retail building comprising 14 shops at 672 Chander Road with an open courtyard and two sheltered eating areas. The lettable space across all four buildings is almost fully leased.

The combined gross floor area of all the buildings is estimated to be about 16,800 sq ft.

As the land and buildings are non-residential, there is no Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty imposed on the purchase of the property. 

The tender closes at 2.30pm on April 2.