Ocbc Centre Chulia Street Wikimedia Commons

OCBC exploring redevelopment of Chulia Street property

OCBC, in a statement released on Wednesday (Apr 3), confirmed its exploration of the redevelopment of its renowned Chulia Street property, as reported earlier by Business Times.

Emily Teo, head of group property management at OCBC, affirmed the bank’s intent to rejuvenate a strategic area in the central business district through the redevelopment of 63, 65 Chulia Street, and 18 Church Street. She emphasized that any redevelopment plans would prioritize preserving the rich heritage of OCBC Centre, an iconic landmark in Singapore and South-east Asia, designed by the late renowned architect IM Pei.

OCBC’s filing with the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday evening added that while exploring redevelopment plans, there was no certainty that they would result in actual redevelopment, a transaction, or other alternatives.

OCBC Centre, located at 65 Chulia Street, comprises a 50-storey tower and a car park block completed in 1976. The bank’s head office is housed in the tower. Over the years, OCBC expanded with the development of two extensions: OCBC Centre South at 18 Church Street and OCBC Centre East at 63 Chulia Street.

In response to media queries following a report in The Business Times, OCBC disclosed that it had put out a request for proposals last year to seek a property consultant to identify a potential partner for the property’s redevelopment. JLL was understood to have been appointed for this task.

Observers noted that under Singapore’s current banking regulatory framework, banks are restricted from engaging in property development. Thus, OCBC would likely need to transfer the Chulia Street property to a partner for redevelopment, with the asset reverting to OCBC upon completion.

When OCBC Centre was completed 48 years ago, it stood as the tallest building in South-east Asia at 198 meters. Designed in the Brutalist architectural style, the tower remains an enduring symbol of minimalist construction, flanked by two rounded concrete cores.

The Business Times

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