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News Release


Rare opportunity to acquire freehold hotel in CBD

JLL calls for expressions of interest in the sale of BIG Hotel at 200 Middle Road

SINGAPORE, 17 September 2014 – JLL is pleased to announce that it has been exclusively appointed to offer for sale via an Expressions of Interest campaign, the BIG Hotel, on a sale and leaseback basis.

BIG Hotel is a chic boutique 308-room hotel that first opened in May 2013 after an extensive renovation of the former Prime Centre commercial building.  Located on a prominent corner site of Middle Road and Bencoolen Street,  BIG Hotel's proximity to Orchard Road, Bugis and the CBD has made it a popular choice for both leisure and business travellers.

The unique feature of BIG Hotel is that it places a strong emphasis on comfort with high quality bedding and bathroom amenities together with state-of-the-art entertainment – all combined in a stylish, compact and affordable offering.  Facilities in the 16-storey hotel include a multi-storey car park, three retail/F&B outlets and a gymnasium. These features, combined with convenient access to public transport, has contributed significantly in the hotel's success in establishing a core following, achieving occupancy levels of 90 per cent after just 12 months.

BIG Hotel is being sold with the existing operator in place to manage the hotel under the BIG Hotel brand.  The hotel is being sold on a leaseback structure, with a fixed guaranteed income being paid to the new buyer of the hotel.  This creates an opportunity for buyers to not only secure a freehold asset with a guaranteed return, but also to obtain a foothold into the highly competitive hotel industry in Singapore. 

Following the success of the BIG Hotel brand since its launch, there are plans to roll out the brand across other markets in the region in the near future.  The period of the leaseback is flexible and dependent on the buyer's requirements, but it will be a minimum of three years.

Anthony Barr, Regional Director of Investments, JLL Singapore, said: "This is a rare opportunity to acquire a freehold asset in the CBD at a guaranteed yield.  We expect the offering to be extremely well-received by both hotel investors and buyers outside of this asset class." 

He added: "The central location of BIG Hotel, which adds to its attractiveness, will realise its full potential once both the Rocher and Bencoolen MRT stations are up and running in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The area already has a vibrant feel due to the surrounding arts and education precinct, and new developments in the area will further add to its appeal as a destination for hotel users."  

Mike Batchelor, Managing Director of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, Asia stated: "Singapore remains one of the most sought after hotel investment destinations across the region, with a record USD 2.37 billion of hotels traded in 2013 alone. We foresee that this trend will continue."  

The freehold nature of the site, strong locational attributes and attractive deal structuring is expected to generate strong interest in BIG Hotel across a wide investor base ranging from institutional investors, private buyers and family offices. Similar opportunities in Singapore are extremely rare.

The subject property will be sold by Expressions of Interest; submissions are due on 28 October 2014 (Tuesday).

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Note to editors:

  1. The image of BIG Hotel can be downloaded here.