Raffles Town Club to be redeveloped as housing in 2026
In a joint announcement on Monday, Nov. 20, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), and Urban Redevelopment Authority, said that the move to redevelop RTC was in line with Singapore’s focus to redevelop brownfield sites to meet future demands for land, housing included.
Redevelopment is expected to support future housing demands and “enhance residential character” in the precinct. They added that future residents would also benefit from the transportation infrastructure and connectivity around the island and to the city.
Raffles Town Club, in a statement sent to The Business Times said that the management will continue providing services to its members until the expiration of their lease, which is October 2026.
RTC is able to continue operations until the expiration of its lease, at which point it must return the land to state. SLA stated that they will work closely to ensure the club returns the land.
Raffles Town Club will sell the prime plot of Bukit Timah land it occupies after its lease expires in October 2026.
Although the site will be sought out by developers, it could cause the membership fee to drop further.
If the site were put on the market today, the winning bid would be greater than S$1,500 for each plot ratio. The project will likely have a 99-year term lease. This means that the finished units sold at completion are expected to exceed S$3,000 per sqft.
The freehold Watten House, a nearby new launch, sold condo units at an average S$3,230/sqft at a preview event on Nov 18, 2018. Developers UOL Group & Singapore Land Group have sold 57%, or 102 of 180 units of the District 10, condominium near Tan Kah Kee MRT.
RTC memberships cost S$28,000. They were first sold in 2000. The secondary market is now offering them for S$7,000 to S$8,000.
The lease on the RTC property, located at Plymouth Avenue, will expire on October 17, 2026. The parcel will be one of the few 99-year residential leasehold sites on Bukit Timah Road. Due to its close proximity to an MRT, popular schools, and the Botanic Gardens it is expected to be highly sought after.
Singapore Chinese Girls’, Anglo-Chinese and Nanyang Primary Schools, as well as St Joseph’s Institution, are all nearby.
Europa Holdings bid S$100 million for the site zoned for sport and recreation in 1996.
In November 2012, billionaire Peter Lim along with three other RTC founders won an appeal and the claim has been dismissed.
SLA, URA and SLA said that government agencies would engage RTC to determine the availability of state properties if they wish to continue their operations after the expiration of the lease.
The club has stopped selling memberships at some point, but there are still some available on secondary markets.
Carousell has shown that RTC memberships are being sold for S$7,000 to S$8,000.
In 2008, Chinese businesswoman Margaret Tung and Singaporean investor Lin Jian Wei who had taken control of RTC back in July 2001 filed a S$130m claim against the founders.
The club and Lin and Tung both argued that these four men had taken money from the club by paying director’s fees, management fees, or other fees to an outside firm in which they were either shareholders or beneficial owners.
In the last 20 years, there have been several legal actions against the club’s founding shareholders.
In 2000, about 5,000 members filed a lawsuit against the club’s owners for breach of contract. They claimed that the owners of RTC had stated it would be a prestigious private club, but in reality there were only 19,000 members. The suit was won in 2005.
One of the main issues raised during the litigation was the declining membership prices.
BT has seen court documents that show the membership price fell from S$28,000.00 in May 2000 down to S$16,000.00 in the month following. In December 2000, the membership price fell to S$13,000 and then continued to drop to S$7.300 in October of 2003.