City Developments Limited

City Developments Limited
Republic Plaza is the tallest building in Singapore, a property of City Developments Limited.

Singapore's property pioneer since 1963, City Developments Limited (CDL) SGX: C09 is a listed international property and hotel conglomerate involved in real estate development and investment, hotel ownership and management, facilities management as well as the provision of hospitality solutions.

With an extensive network of more than 300 subsidiaries and associated companies under its wings, CDL also has 5 companies listed on notable stock exchanges in New Zealand, Hong Kong, London and Philippines. The Group currently owns and manages a strong portfolio of residential and investment properties, in addition to hotels, across Asia, Europe/Middle East, North America and New Zealand/Australia.

CDL is Singapore's largest property developer by assets, and has constructed more than 22,000 luxurious and quality homes since 1963. As one of the biggest landlords in Singapore, CDL owns over 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) of lettable office, industrial, retail and residential space across Singapore, regionally and globally. The Group also owns one of the largest land banks amongst private developers, with over 3,500,000 square feet (330,000 m2) that has the potential of being developed into over 7,000,000 square feet (650,000 m2) of gross floor area.

Beyond establishing a distinctive imprint on the Singapore cityscape, CDL's local presence is matched by the strategic growth of its international business.

The Group's global presence is led by its diversification into hospitality management and the acquisition of hotel assets through CDL's London-listed subsidiary, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc(M&C). As one of the world's largest hotel groups, M&C owns, asset manages and operates over 120 hotels in 19 countries around the world. The Hong Kong-listed City e-Solutions Limited is another subsidiary of CDL that is dedicated towards providing management services and technology solutions for the hospitality industry, as well as making investments in the global real estate sector.

Early years

City Developments was registered as a company on 7 September 1963. With an initial eight employees working out of a rented apartment in Amber Mansions, CDL was in the business of acquiring, developing and selling property. By November, the company was listed on the Malayan Stock Exchange, having offered 20 million ordinary shares at 50 cents each for public sale. Its first project was a 200-unit terrace and bungalow housing development named Fresh Breezes in Johor Bahru that was completed in 1965.

CDL’s next developments were the residential estate Clementi Park and the 17-storey City Towers, Singapore’s first high-rise private residential development. Another development was Marine Vista, a coastal estate in Johor. In 1964, CDL opened a finance company as a subsidiary, offering investments protected by CDL’s property developments. In 1970, the company decided to concentrate on property in Singapore after unsatisfactory returns from its developments in Johor. After seven years, CDL had yet to come in to the black against its issued and paid-up capital of S$10 million or to declare a dividend for shareholders.

Acquisition by Hong Leong Group

The company then moved to diversify its income streams. It raised funds through a number of share issues, and acquired companies that could offer it different sources of income. It also acquired retail and office developments that provided rental income, and expanded its land bank. These developments came as CDL became closely associated with the Hong Leong Group, which eventually acquired a controlling interest in CDL in 1972. For the financial year ended October 1972, CDL made a dramatic recovery, recording profits before taxes of some S$5.3 million compared to a loss of S$262,283 the year before. The greater resources of the Hong Leong Group allowed CDL to expand its investments; in January 1973, a newspaper report had CDL’s total assets as S$18.4 million. By February, the company was announcing that it was to buy around S$31.37 million worth of properties.


Under the leadership of managing director and future chairman Kwek Leng Beng, CDL continued its move into commercial, industrial and retail developments. Its first residential and retail development was City Plaza, and the company acquired retail developments like Tanglin Shopping Centre, Katong Shopping Centre, Woh Hup Complex (now Golden Mile Complex), Queensway Shopping Centre and The Arcade. Several of these properties were acquired through a takeover of Singapura Developments in 1981, in a deal estimated at around S$63 million.

For the financial year ended October 1980, CDL announced profits before taxes of S$24 million. Through a slump in the property market in the following years, CDL maintained profitability, from a low of S$12.9 million in 1985 to a high of S$72 million in 1989. Through the 1980s, CDL completed 21 residential developments and 12 investment properties, including the 1983 completion of City House in the Central Business District that became CDL’s headquarters. In 1989, CDL’s land bank was estimated to be sufficient for between 4,000 to 6,000 residential units.

Hotel business

In 1980, CDL bought 65% of listed King’s Hotel (now Copthorne King’s Hotel) for S$13.64 million. The Orchid Hotel (now Copthorne Orchid Hotel) followed, and CDL quickly expanded its portfolio of hotels in Singapore and in the region, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In 1989, Kwek articulated the company’s strategy as building strategic stakes in foreign property companies and hotels while retaining a domestic-based long-term policy.

The group’s hotels were organised into a new subsidiary company named CDL Hotels, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1989. The new company contained hotels like the Manila Plaza, Grand Hyatt in Taipei, Orchid Hotel in Penang, and Orchard Hotel, King’s Hotel and Orchid Inn in Singapore. Through the 1990s, Kwek spearheaded a rapid expansion of CDL’s hotel business, acquiring at bargain prices hotels such as the Gloucester in London, the Macklowe and the Millennium in New York, and in New Zealand. The most significant acquisition came in 1995, when Kwek allied with Saudi prince Al Waleed Bin Talal to purchase the famous Plaza Hotel in New York for S$455 million. Nine years later, the Plaza was sold for US$675 million.

The 1995 purchase of the Copthorne chain added hotels in London, Germany and France, which brought the company’s portfolio to 55 hotels worldwide in 1996. In 1996 Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) was listed on the London Stock Exchange with CDL retaining a 55% share. CDL Hotels had become the eighth largest hotel management chain worldwide by 1998, before its hotels were re-organised into the M&C chain in 2000. As of 2011, CDL controls more than 120 hotels in 19 countries through M&C.

The 1990s and 2000s

A bubble in Singapore’s property sector helped CDL’s net profit grow to S$400 million in 1995. The market crashed soon after in 1997, however, and CDL’s profits swung between S$38 million and S$190 million as the property market slumped and rose over the following decade. CDL had also expanded its property developments in the region, staying profitable through the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and 1998. The group maintained an image of quality by selling off older properties in their portfolio and developing newer ones, and its land bank grew to about 5 million ft2 in 1997.

In 2006, CDL completed the luxurious St Regis Residences and Hotel, which drew a record price of S$28 million for a penthouse condominium unit at the time, and a record S$3,000 per ft2 for its units. That year, the group launched the CDL Hospitality Trusts, comprising the CDL Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and the CDL Hospitality Business Trust. With the Orchard Hotel and Orchard Shopping Arcade, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Copthorne King’s Hotel and M Hotel in its portfolio, it was the first hotel REIT to be listed on the Singapore Exchange. The REIT added a new stream of income for CDL. The rise in the property market around 2006 helped CDL pre-sell residential properties such as The Sail@Marina, One Shenton, The Botannia, Cliveden and St Regis before they were completed. CDL’s assets grew to S$11.5 billion, making it Singapore’s largest property developer by assets.

In 2007, CDL recorded its best-ever profit after tax, making S$725 million. In partnership with Dubai’s Istithmar Group and Israel’s Elad Group, CDL won the tender for the prime South Beach plot with a bid of S$1.68 billion. The project’s development has since been shelved until construction costs moderate. In recent years, CDL’s after tax profits have been S$580.9 million (2008) and S$593.4 million (2009). The group’s highest-ever revenues of S$3.27 billion were recorded in 2009.

Beyond its business operations, CDL believes in giving back to the community. It remains committed to an extensive range of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes aimed at caring for the needy, raising awareness about the environment, nurturing the youth and promoting the arts. For its sustained commitment and outstanding contributions to the community and the environment, CDL was conferred the prestigious President’s Social Service Award and President’s Award for the Environment in 2007. It has also been listed on the coveted FTSE4Good Index Series since 2002, for meeting globally recognised corporate responsibility standards. More recently, CDL was ranked amongst the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World for the second consecutive year – the only Singapore corporation listed in this international ranking in 2011. This is an international ranking unveiled annually at the World Economic Forum.


Major Properties



  • 7&9 Tampines Grande
  • 11 Tampines Concourse
  • Central Mall
  • Central Mall (Office Tower)
  • Cideco Industrial Complex
  • Citilink Warehouse Complex
  • City House
  • Delfi Orchard
  • Fuji Xerox Towers
  • GB Building
  • Katong Shopping Centre
  • King’s Centre
  • New Tech Park
  • Palais Renaissance
  • Plaza-By-The-Park
  • Republic Plaza
  • Sunshine Plaza
  • Tagore 23 Warehouse
  • Tanglin Shopping Centre
  • The Arcade
  • The Corporate Building



  • Umeda Pacific Building, Osaka



United States

Serviced Apartments


  • Le Grove



  • Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore
  • The St. Regis Singapore
  • Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Bangkok
  • Grand Millennium Beijing
  • Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur
  • Hotel Nikko Hong Kong
  • JW Marriott Hotel, Hong Kong
  • Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta
  • Millennium Seoul Hilton
  • Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang
  • The Heritage Hotel Manila
  • Copthorne Orchid Hotel Singapore
  • Studio M Singapore
  • Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Copthorne King's Hotel Singapore
  • M Hotel Singapore
  • Orchard Hotel Singapore
  • Copthorne Hotel Qingdao
  • Millennium Hotel Chengdu
  • Millennium HongQiao Hotel Shanghai
  • Millennium Hotel Wuxi
  • Millennium Harbourview Hotel Xiamen
  • Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung
  • The Regent Kuala Lumpur
  • Millennium Resort Patong, Phuket



  • Coral Beach Diving Hotel, Marsa Alam
  • Millennium Tiran Hotel and Resort Sharm el Sheikh


  • Millennium Hotel Paris Charles de Gaulle
  • Millennium Hotel Paris Opéra


  • Copthorne Hotel Hannover
  • Millennium Hotel and Resort Stuttgart

New Zealand

  • Copthorne Hotel Auckland Anzac Avenue
  • Copthorne Hotel Auckland HarbourCity
  • Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central
  • Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City
  • Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Durham Street
  • Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch Airport
  • Copthorne Hotel Grand Central New Plymouth
  • [[Copthorne Hotel Marlborough]
  • Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay
  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands
  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokianga
  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront
  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park Wairarapa
  • Copthorne Hotel Wellington Plimmer Towers
  • Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Christchurch
  • Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia
  • Kingsgate Hotel Beachcomber Nelson
  • Kingsgate Hotel Brydone Oamaru
  • Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin
  • Kingsgate Hotel Greenlane Auckland
  • Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth
  • Kingsgate Hotel Hamilton
  • Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay, Wellington
  • Kingsgate Hotel Palmerston North
  • Kingsgate Hotel Parnell Auckland
  • Kingsgate Hotel Portland Wellington
  • Kingsgate Hotel Rotorua
  • Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
  • Kingsgate Resort Terraces Queenstown
  • Kingsgate Hotel The Avenue Wanganui
  • Kingsgate Hotel Whangarei
  • Kingsgate Hotel Wellington
  • Millennium Hotel Christchurch
  • Millennium Hotel Queenstown
  • Millennium Hotel Rotorua
  • Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupo


  • Millennium Hotel Doha

United Arab Emirates

  • Copthorne Hotel Dubai
  • Grand Millennium Al Wahda
  • Grand Millennium Dubai
  • Kingsgate Hotel Abu Dhabi
  • Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi
  • Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai
  • Millennium Hotel Sharjah

United Kingdom

  • Copthorne Hotel Aberdeen
  • Copthorne Hotel Birmingham
  • Copthorne Hotel Cardiff Caerdydd
  • Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick
  • Copthorne Hotel Manchester
  • Copthorne Hotel Merry Hill Dudley
  • Copthorne Hotel Newcastle
  • Copthorne Hotel Plymouth
  • Copthorne Hotel & Resort Effingham Park London Gatwick
  • Copthorne Hotel Reading
  • Copthorne Hotel Sheffield
  • Copthorne Hotel Slough Windsor
  • Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington
  • Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club
  • Millennium Bailey's Hotel London Kensington
  • Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington
  • Millennium Hotel Glasgow
  • Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge
  • Millennium Hotel London Mayfair
  • Millennium Madejski Hotel Reading
  • Millennium Hotel Southampton Ocean Village (2008)
  • Kirtons Farm Hotel Reading (Copthorne Associate Hotel)

United States



  • Amber Park
  • Avenue Park
  • Avenue Villas
  • Ballota Park
  • Botannia
  • Brookvale Park
  • Buckley Road Bungalows
  • Butterworth 33
  • Canary Park
  • Casa Rosita
  • Cashew Heights
  • Changi Rise Condominium
  • Chantilly Rise
  • Chelsea Gardens
  • Chester Park
  • Chwee Chian View
  • Citilink Warehouse
  • City Mansions
  • City Square Residences
  • City Towers
  • Clementi Park
  • Elmira Heights
  • Emery Point
  • Excelsior Gardens
  • Faber Crest Condominium
  • Gloucester Mansions
  • Goldenhill Park Condominium
  • Goldenhill Villas
  • Guilin View
  • Hillview Green
  • Hillview Heights
  • Hillview Park
  • Hume Park I
  • Hume Park II
  • Hundred Trees
  • Jervois Lodge
  • Le Grove
  • Livia
  • Lornie Gardens
  • Mirage Tower
  • Monterey Park
  • Moonstone View
  • Nassim Park
  • Nuovo Executive Condominium
  • Parc Palais
  • Park East
  • Park West
  • Parkshore
  • Pasir View Park
  • Peirce Villas
  • Pinewood Gardens
  • Queen Astrid Park Bungalows
  • Residences @ Evelyn
  • Ritz Mansions
  • Riveria Lodge
  • Savannah CondoPark
  • Savoy Park
  • Signature Park
  • Sixth Avenue Ville
  • Sophia 98
  • Spring Grove
  • St Regis Residences
  • Summerhill
  • Sunshine Plaza Residences
  • Symphony Heights
  • Tanglin Park
  • The Arte
  • The Equatorial
  • The Esparis
  • The Florida
  • The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove
  • The Pier at Robertson
  • The Sail @ Marina Bay
  • Thomson 800
  • Tree House
  • Trellis Towers
  • Trevose Park
  • Tribeca
  • Villa De West
  • Villas at Kew
  • Wilkie Studios


  • Fresh Breezes
  • Marine Vista

External links

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