April launch for Farrer Square medical suites

RB Capital will be launching its medical suites at Farrer Square for sale next month, chief executive officer Kishin RK told The Business Times.

The 42 strata medical suites, located above Farrer Park MRT station, are part of a $450-million integrated development geared towards the medical tourism market. Designed by RSP Architects, the building includes the 300-room five-star Park Hotel and a ground-floor retail podium.

Farrer Square is expected to be ready in 2017. It will be directly linked to neighbouring Connexion, which houses the 220-bed Farrer Park Hospital, a hotel and medical suites. It will also be connected via existing MRT underground pedestrian walkways to City Square Mall.

RB Capital’s medical suites are between 500 and 1,000 square feet in size, with the ability to combine units. These suites have a high ceiling, with a floor-to-ceiling height of between 4.9 and six metres, one of the highest around, said Mr Kishin.

“The high floor-to-ceiling height gives it a very open and luxurious feel,” he told BT in a recent interview.

The company is open to both doctors and investors buying the suites, but said it would give priority to medical professionals.

Besides the medical suites, other facilities in Farrer Square, including certain rooms at Park Hotel Farrer Park, are also being developed for the medical market.

Mr Kishin said: “We have over 60 family lofts, which will cater very comfortably to medical tourism, housing more than three to four people per room.”

These rooms, around 20-per cent larger than regular rooms, will be split over two floors. Extra amenities include a sofa bed – potentially for caregivers to rest while looking after patients – and a kitchenette.

Beyond the physical arrangements, Park Hotel will also be rolling out additional services for medical tourists.

Said CEO of Park Hotel Group Allen Law: “When the hotel opens, we will be introducing targeted medical tourism packages for medical travellers and their family members with the aim of providing them a seamless experience from airport, hospital and to the hotel.”

These packages include airport pick-up, interpretation assistance for non-English speaking patients, and provision for special dietary requirements, Mr Law said.

While all 42 medical suites will be for sale, the ground-floor retail units – which will house retail complementary to the medical suites – will be for lease only, said Mr Kishin.

Farrer Square is one of at least five integrated developments, which house medical suites, currently being built. Others include Royal Square in Novena, SBF Center in the CBD, Vision Exchange in Jurong East and Connexion, which is across the road from Farrer Square. Together, these will add some 500 units – around 35 per cent of current medical-suite supply of 1,400 – to the market.

RB Capital said pricing of the medical suites will be revealed only when it is closer to the launch, but it added that the company would use the rest of the market as indication.

According to URA caveats, prices in the past six months for units at the neighbouring Connexion were around $4,200 psf. Units at Royal Square, which were launched late last year, have been selling at around $4,350 psf on average. More established medical suites, such as Gleneagles and Mount Elizabeth, have traded around $6,000 to $7,500 psf in the last year.

Mr Kishin said: “As Singapore continually evolves as a top travel destination for tourists, and positions itself as a regional healthcare hub, there are phenomenal growth opportunities in the real-estate industry, specifically in the medical tourism sector, which influenced the creation of our fourth business engine, RB Capital Healthcare.”

Source: Business Times – 20 March 2014

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