There was still a glimmer of hope for the Singapore motorsports community when the Singapore Sports Council announced that they would conduct a market exercise and evaluate potential proposals for 41-hectare piece of land at Changi. After months of waiting, a final decision has been made – there will be no re-tender for the Changi Motorsports Hub site and the land will be returned to the authorities in due time.
Here is the full statement from the Singapore Sports Council:
Singapore, 12 June 2013 – The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) announced today that it would not be proceeding with the re-tender for the Changi Motorsports Hub site following the conclusion of an extensive international and local market sounding and Request for Information (RFI) exercise.
Updating the media on the decision not to proceed with the re-tender, SSC CEO Lim Teck Yin said: “The SSC has decided not to proceed with the re-tender as potential investors had indicated significant combined conditions for the project to be commercially viable, which we cannot accede to. The key requirements from potential investors include requests for flexibility of lease terms and land use as well as tax concessions. For example, with regard to flexibility of lease terms, there were requests for extensions of duration and pricing below valuation.”
“Taking into consideration these requests and potential outcomes, we need to balance the costs and benefits. The land take and proposed use under this project do not justify an operating model that involves significant government subsidies or concessions. After careful consideration and in consultation with other government agencies, we have decided not to proceed with the re-tender,” said Lim.
In July 2012, SSC conducted a seven-month long international and local market sounding and RFI exercise. A four-month market sounding exercise assessed the level of continued interest by potential investors and possible motorsports and sports and lifestyle concepts for the 41-hectare site in Changi. This was then followed by the RFI, which took place from November 2012 till Jan 2013, and whole-of-government deliberations that took slightly more than four months.
During the RFI, the SSC had received seven proposals from six consortia, the majority of which were motorsports-related. The proposed motorsports ideas included a FIA grade 2 or 3 circuit, CIK graded karting circuit, racing academy, drag strip and bonded warehousing, while non motorsports-related ideas included a theme park and watersports marina. Common ideas cutting across the majority of the proposals include retail and F&B.
Following the decision not to re-tender, SSC will proceed to reinstate the land and work with the authorities on the feasibility of early handover of the land back to the authorities for alternative uses.
Added Lim: “While we work towards handing the site back to the authorities, SSC is also actively working with the relevant agencies on possible interim uses for the site for motorsports-related activities such as karting for the community.”