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Singapore Land Authority’s first preserved monument on tender gets five million touch-up

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 MAY 2007

Singapore Land Authority’s first preserved monument on tender gets five million touch-up

The first preserved monument tendered out by Singapore Land Authority in January, has found a successful owner, YESS Group Pte Ltd.  When the tender closed in February, the property attracted keen interest from clubhouse operators and recreational club owners, some in F&B, spa, and lifestyle sectors.  In the end, YESS Group Pte Ltd was selected for its creative proposal and highest bid at $40,000, more than $5,000 above the guide rent, beating one other bidder Sunshine Resort & Country Club Pte Ltd who bidded just $3,000 lower.   

2          YESS Group has plans to transform the preserved monument into a multi-purpose Club with sports, adventure, leisure and entertainment activities that are family-oriented.  It will have adventure camps and clubhouse facilities, golf driving range, and swimming pools and theme restaurants.  The Club will organize adventure activities and school-related CCAs like rock climbing, archery, tennis, rollerblade, golf, fencing lessons. The Club facilities and activities will also be opened to the surrounding schools nearby. 

3          One of the creative proposals by YESS Group to enhance the monument is to build a replica and model of the British warship set on top of a hill amid 15 hectares of lush tropical greenery, which will link the history of the site to the first Admiral of the fleet, David, Earl Beatty. YESS Group, which has done its research into the history of the site, said: "The ship will be the iconic feature of the heritage property.  In Malacca, there is a replica of a Portuguese ship, the 'Flo De Lar Mar' at its maritime museum.  We hope to provide the time trail here at this monumental site to share the rich history of the place with the younger visitors."

4          The cost of investment by YESS Group is estimated to be $5 million.  The tenure of the property comes with an initial three-year tenure and renewable on terms up to nine years.  It is almost 4,000 sqm in Gross Floor Area (GFA) and about 52,000 sqm in land area.  YESS Group intends to use the surrounding land on the hill slope to construct new footpaths and jogging tracks for public use as part of the park connector.  A new golf driving deck with refreshment facilities will be constructed using steel structure instead of using concrete.  This is in view of the shortage of sand and aggregate.  In this way, construction work will be sped up.  The Club is expected to be ready in October this year. 

5          The club facilities will be available to the public and members where the latter would have to pay non transferable term membership fee for varying period from 1 to 2 years to coincide with the tenure.  Carparking will be made free to all visitors, guests and members.  Besides being near scenic Sembawang Park and beach, it is also near to an existing MRT line. See attached proposal plan in colour.

6          The spokesman of YESS Group Pte Ltd, said: "The Admiralty House is under preservation and it will remain in its present form without changes to its residency status with all the rooms intact.  These rooms are meant for use by participants of Adventure camp.  The lush landscape surrounding the building and the building will be lit up to enhance the uniqueness of its architectural features."

7          The Preservation of Monuments Act (PMB) and guidelines are laid out for the tenant to restore, repair and retain the unique features of the blocks.  The tenant is required to retain certain features of the premises gazetted as a National Monument, such as its rough cast surface finishes (on walls and columns), cornices, skirting and architrave. In SLA's tenancy agreement, any proposed addition and alteration works and change of use to the said premises are to be submitted to the planning authorities for approval prior to the commencement of works.  The tenant's renovation plan will be subject to evaluation the Government planning authorities.  Site inspections will also be conducted regularly. 

8          SLA Director of Land Operations Division, Mr Simon Ong said: "SLA, as custodian of heritage State properties, is pleased to have successfully tenanted out this preserved monument built in 1939 of such wealth of rich history and prestige.  We are pleased to have found an enterprising and creative tenant who is not only interested in adaptive use and transformation, but also restoring it to its former glory, so that more Singaporeans can appreciate and enjoy the external splendour and internal architectural beauty of our preserved State buildings."  

9          Mr Christopher/Annie of YESS Group said: "We are confident in attracting Singaporeans and visitors to this scenic Northern part of Singapore, next to Sembawang Park and the beach.  Our plan is to transform this prestigious iconic property into one with integrated uses of adventure camps, clubhouse with recreational and F&B facilities, as well as a golf driving range.  We hope to draw families and friends here to gather and relax and learn about its history."

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Issued by:
The Singapore Land Authority
8 May 2007

For media information, please contact:

a) Ms Susan Koh
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, SLA
Email: Susan_Koh@sla.gov.sg
DID: 63238105
Mobile: 98291906

b) Spokesman of YESS Group Pte Ltd
Email: yess27@pacific.net.sg (Attention: Christopher and Annie)


About Old Admiralty House

            Old Admiralty House is one of the British military residential buildings under the Preservation Order.  It reflects the British roots of the social and cultural development of the country and its multi-faceted heritage according to the Preservation of Monuments Board. 

Historical timeline:

Old Admiralty House at 345 Old Nelson Road was built on 4 ha of land by His Majesty's Navy Works Department of the British Royal Navy, for the Commodore Superintendent of the Royal Navy Dockyard in Sembawang in 1939.It was designed by well-known British architect Edwin Lutyens. The Old Admiralty House was designed by the famous English architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869 - 1944).  It is a 2-storey house with an attached outhouse designed in the Arts and Crafts architectural style. 

The House was acquired by the colonial government when the Naval Base was planned. When work on the Naval Base commenced in 1923/24, it housed the senior engineers and surveyors. When the Naval Base was up and running, Beaulieu House was used as a residence for senior officers. In fact it was actually used from 1940 - 1942 as a residence by the most senior Naval Officer in Singapore and the Far East, Admiral Layton, Commander-in Chief, China Station.

This building served as the residence of two commanders-in-chief of the British Pacific Fleet from 1945 to 1946; six commanders-in-chief from 1949 to 1960; and five commanders of the Far East Fleet from 1962 to 1971.The main body of the building is two storeys and there is a one-storey wing on the north-west side. The roof is high-hipped and clad with terracotta tiles in a French pattern. The second storey is exposed fairface brickwork with white joints. The windows are casement, constructed of timber and painted blue.

1939 - constructed by the H.M. Navy Works Department of the British Royal Navy for the Commodore Superintendent of the Royal Navy Dockyard on a four hectare piece of land. Used by the British armed forces for strategic planning during WW2

Before the Japanese Occupation, it was named Canberra House and became the residence of the Flag Officer Malayan Area.

1940 - 1942  - Used as a residence by the most senior Naval Officer in Singapore and the Far East, Admiral Layton, Commander-in-Chief, China Station

After the Japanese surrendered on 14 August 1945, it was renamed Nelson House and became the residence of the Commodore Superintendent of the Dockyard. 

1948 - it became the residence of the Flag Officer Malaya Area until 1958
1958 - renamed Admiralty House
1960s - residence of a Senior Fleet Officer like Chief of Staff
1971 - Naval Base closed and it was used for various uses before it became a seafood restaurant in Sembawang Park.
1971 - 1974 - it was called Anzuk House and one of the two occupants was an Air Vice-Marshall.
1975 - After British military and Royal Navy left Singapore, Sembawang Shipyard inherited it and used it as a recreational club. 
1990s - clubhouse and recreational club operators and owners took tenancy of the premises
1991 - renovated to become the Yishun Country  Club.
2001 - Dec 2006 - former Karimun admiralty country club
2 Dec 2002 - gazetted as a national monument and preserved
19 Jan 2007 - SLA put it out for its first public tender as a preserved building.
The last tenant had it from 1 Feb 2000 and bowed out in Dec 2006 due to change in business directions.  In its initial years of operation, it enjoyed memberships, and its monumental status which gave it prestige, made it more popular. 

Additional anticipation information

Currently, SLA manages 12 of the 55 historical places gazetted by Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) under the Preservation of Monument Act.  Other examples of preserved buildings directly allocated to other Government agencies include Victoria Theatre which is allocated to NAC, and the National Museum, which is also a preserved building but which SLA has allocated to NHB. 

 

Please refer to our previous press releases for more information.


Additional Information


About SLA

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is a statutory board with the Ministry of Law. Its mission is to optimise land resources for the economic and social development of Singapore. SLA is responsible for the direct management of some 14,000 hectares of State land and about 5,000 buildings. It is also in charge of land sales, leases, acquisitions and allocation, developing and marketing land-related information, and maintaining the national land information database through digitised land information services. SLA is also the national land registration authority for property transactions, and the issuance and guarantee of land titles in Singapore. It also manages and maintains the national land survey system, including the defining of boundaries or legal limits of properties based on a coordinated cadastre survey system. Please visit www.sla.gov.sg for more information.

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