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Futuristic Store Fixtures boss buys Gallop Park bungalow

29 Jun, 2017

Entrepreneur David Low Chor Hoon, the chairman and chief executive of Futuristic Store Fixtures, is buying an old corner bungalow in Gallop Park for S$22.888 million.

The price works out to S$1,343 per square foot on the land area of 17,042 sq ft. The property is within the Cluny Hill Good Class Bungalow (GCB) Area.

When contacted by BT, Mr Low said he plans to redevelop the existing two-storey house on site into a new villa with a built-up area of about 12,000 to 13,000 sq ft. The new bungalow will span two levels and a basement, and may potentially include an attic as well.

"It will have at least six to seven bedrooms, a nice swimming pool, an entertainment room. The master bedroom will be huge, with a walk-in wardrobe looking like a boutique."

In all, he expects to pump in about S$4 million to S$6 million to build and fit out the new house. "I'll be talking with architects soon. I'm looking at a modern style."

Mr Low, 55, said he plans to move into the new house with his family; they currently reside in a semi-detached house in the eastern part of Singapore. "I do not have any plans at the moment for my current house. It's a very auspicious house; I made my fortune, living there for the past 20 years."

Last October, Mr Low clinched the overall Singapore EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 as well as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in manufacturing supply chain.

The former secondary school dropout started off as renovation contractor in the late 1970s before moving into the production of customised store fixtures, including shelving, display units and gondolas under Futuristic Store Fixtures. The group's client list includes global retailers such as Bath & Body Works, and Victoria's Secret.

Futuristic Store Fixtures has a global workforce of about 700 in Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Headquartered in Lorong 7 Toa Payoh in Singapore, the group has manufacturing and warehousing operations in Klang, Malaysia and Kunshan, China. Futuristic had a record year in 2016, generating revenues of nearly S$70 million, translating to a compounded annual growth rate of more than 20 per cent over the past three years.

OSIM recently took a majority stake of 69 per cent in Futuristic Store Fixtures. Temasek's Heliconia Capital Management owns 21 per cent. The remaining 10 per cent is owned by Mr Low and his partners.

Mr Low said that it took him just three to four months to find the Gallop Park site to redevelop into his new home. "It is a prominent corner plot, with a regular, squarish shape."

The seller is understood to be a retired businessman and developer who has owned the property for almost 40 years.

"My top criterion for the location of my new home was that it has to be within walking distance of Botanic Gardens," said Mr Low, who grew up in a shophouse in Duxton Hill, where his father ran a furniture factory until the early 1980s.

According to analysis of caveats data, there have been 20 transactions in GCB Areas so far this year totalling S$432.2 million; last year there were a total of 37 deals amounting to S$788.5 million.

Bungalows in GCB Areas are the most prestigious form of landed housing in Singapore, with planning conditions to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character. Only Singapore citizens are allowed to buy landed residential properties in GCB Areas under a policy change that took effect in the second half of 2012.

Adapted from: The Business Times, 29 June 2017