Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bugis Cube creates the BC effect…

Hi guys and gals, I’m writing on the plane coming back from Bangkok and before that, I was in Seoul. It has been a very hectic weekend as I left Singapore on Saturday night after the first day of the launch of Bugis Cube. The concept is a hit with 85% of the project taken up just over the weekend.

The person in charge of marketing the project from Knight Frank was also an old friend, Mary, who sold me my first individual shop house. That was my beginning and I gave the project to them as a thank you. They did a great job and Mary anticipates a “Bugis Cube” effect on the rest of the commercial sector in Singapore.

There is no equivalent of such space in Singapore. 999 year tenure, strata- titled commercial space, that is retail oriented, and right smack in the heart of town. BC has all the essential ingredients for success. If you look at the prices paid for 99- year space outside town, well I like the location and concept much better, enough said. I can’t wait for the building to be completed as I want to build a school that will be the envy of town.

It was a busy start to the week as I had to settle our Seoul project and resolve all the transition issues which arose because our Thai GM passed away(May the Lord have mercy on his soul). Sad times but life still goes on.

We need to celebrate life and the only way is to look forward and charge with all gusto. However,we also need to smell the roses, which is why I will want to take a long break after my last property class this weekend. It is very tiring to be executing the various projects we have but I do thank God for the opportunity to do work I can only dream about when I was a kid. Irony isn’t it, but I have learnt that everything comes at a price.

I bumped into my university mate on the flight back. We were competitors in canoeing, dragon boat and canoe polo games both at the faculty and hall level. Meeting him sure brings back memories. Those were extremely great memories, to be precise. He just spurred me to back to school again. All of us need new phases of life and the essence is to make peace and create happiness on your own terms.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless!

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The New Bugis Cube is Born…

The New Bugis Cube is the result of months of strategizing to enhance the value of our real estate. We consider this to be gem as the building is in an amazing location, 999 year leasehold, near 5 MRT stations within a 10 minute walking radius. We are building an Education mall focused on the young. We are expecting F&B and electronics to be the main tenants and we hope to create a very lively concept.
Knight Frank is the appointed agent and the response has been absolutely amazing. We feel so blessed to be able to have the opportunity to execute such an interesting project.

Till the next update, take care and God Bless

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

My latest Acquisition and my Proudest too….

Hi Guys, it has been a while. :)

I have been keeping quiet until I exercised my option to my latest acquisition. This is my dream property and I started work on this 15 months ago. The House of Tan Yeok Nee is a national monument and it is the only Teochew style courtyard mansion in South East Asia.

Mr Tan Yeok Nee is a business legend who came to Nanyang to escape poverty in Chaozhou, China. He amassed a great fortune from business in Singapore and Johore. He is what we call the ultimate entrepreneur of his time. The House was painstakingly built by him and is the only surviving member of the “Four Great Mansions” from that period.

Here is how Wikipedia describes it:
“The House of Tan Yeok Nee occupies approximately 2,000 square metres of elevated land along Clemenceau Avenue. The mansion has been carefully restored with great sensitivity to ensure that the original architecture and character of the house is kept intact. The walls, tiles, roof, pillars, carvings and pottery were restored to their original state of a century ago through painstaking research. 
However, contemporary facilities and equipment have also been incorporated to adapt the building for modern day usage. With the wide array of beautifully restored traditional Chinese decorative elements and the convenience of present day state-of-the-art technology around the house, this combination of 'old' and 'new' provides a unique environment rich in history and culture. 
The front and back portions of the house face east and west. Pillars on the front door are made of marble with colourful carvings of stories reflecting the lives of Tan Yeok Nee’s ancestors in Chaozhou. The back of the house has a distinctive style exhibited by beams with special Teochew tiles, a main pillar decorated with gold-plated carvings, and a marble floor. Exquisite, colourful tiles reflect Chinese people characters and animals. 
The House of Tan Yeok Nee is typical of Teochew-style residential buildings. The structure exhibits the harmony of Yin and Yang, shown at the top of the ceiling in gold, wood, water, fire, and earth – the five elements. Armed with traditional philosophical ideas, the designer coordinated the entire building’s design to reflect the balance and harmony represented by the five elements. This unique design not only enriches the artistic value of the walls, but also represents the unity of prosperity, intelligence, longevity, health and happiness.”

I am half-Teochew, from my mother’s side. I identified and fell in love the moment I stepped into the mansion. Given that it was gazetted as a national monument and there are very few of such buildings in private hands, I consider myself to be so blessed to be given such an opportunity. The Business Times reported the acquisitions before I can notify you, the reporter was very good!

I have been looking for a suitable building to house our entrepreneurship education and I believe there is no better place in Singapore. And the best part is, it is a price that I can afford. I consider this to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if money was the issue, then it will be a regret of a lifetime. I attach some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Front Entrance

Like the courtyard

Lecture Theatre 

Your Friend,
Andy Ong

Friday, June 1, 2012

Market turmoil! Seize the Day!

The Greeks are finally realizing that there is no such thing as a free lunch. After indulging in years of tax evasion as a national sport, they finally realize that their economy is based on a stack of cards. They tried living in denial by electing to believe in the Syriza party, which promises to revive the good old days. Having their cake and eating it too is unpalatable to the rest of Europe.

If Greece can get away with it, that is remain in Europe and get access to bailout money whilst reneging on its austerity measures. Imagine the impact when Spain, Italy and Portugal demand the same treatment. Angela Merkel will only allow that over her dead body. The European slowdown has impacted the world no doubt. Even mighty China is reeling from lower industrial growth. They of course have their own set of problems too.

However, I am of the opinion that this crisis like all others will resolve itself eventually. The Greeks are no fools and the Europeans will find ways to manage the contagion effects. The window may be shorter than you think. I evaluated the European real estate market last December. Some of you were so shrewd to have figured that out. I decided it was not time yet. However, some of the European funds may be forced to sell some of performing assets so watch out for bargains.

I certainly am. :)

Your Investment Friend,
Andy Ong

Life Is Short…Maximise It!

It has been truly an emotional week. A week filled with such intense mixed emotions that it is truly undescribeable. I nearly broke into tears when I found out that my Thailand GM passed away. He was my junior, in fact, he was my brother’s school mate. I first met him when he attended my entrepreneurship class. He was full of hope for his business venture in Thailand but his partner turned out to be a con woman.

I bailed him out through a series of investments. He in turn assisted when I ventured into Thailand. His departure was all the more emotionally straining as he was full of life before his sudden passing. He had just married his sweet heart in March after a long courtship. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

What happened really made me look at life a little more carefully. Life is not just about making money. We really need to treasure the people who loves you. I need to thank all my friends and family who have loved me through the years. I have been blessed by God even though I am unworthy.

I will be reflecting upon life and really live life to the fullest everyday as if its my last day. I do apologise if I have offended anyone in the past. I have been brash, I suppose that comes with youth. What’s done cannot be undone, at least we are alive to look towards the future.

Your Friend,
Andy Ong