Tanglin Shopping Centre up for collective sale again

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

Tanglin Shopping Centre up for collective sale again

The fate of a somewhat faded Orchard Road landmark is hanging in the balance.

Owners of the strata-titled Tanglin Shopping Centre are making a second try for a collective sale, but have yet to gather the requisite consent level as the deadline of next Wednesday approaches.

As of Thursday, the owners who have signed the collective sale agreement represent a 68.73 per cent stake in the property. The property has 173 owners in total.

The 44-year-old building comprises a six-storey podium block of shops, eateries and medical suites, and a 12-storey tower block of offices.

For the building to be put on the market, owners of 80 per cent of the property – by both share value and strata area – must sign the agreement before it expires next Wednesday.

The requisite consent level for the building’s strata area has been reached, but the percentage by share value still falls short.

The first attempt at a collective sale in 2011 fell through when the reserve price of $1.25 billion was not met. This would work out to about $4,200 per sq ft (psf) of potential gross floor area, assuming the 68,512 sq ft freehold site is redeveloped.

The Straits Times understands that the reserve price is now $1 billion, or about $3,200 psf per plot ratio.

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, which holds the largest stake in the building, announced last November that it had signed the collective sale agreement.

The hotel arm of Singapore-listed property group City Developments owns 34 per cent of the shopping and office complex.

Signing sessions for owners will be held every weekday till the deadline. Sale committee chairman Len Hoo said building maintenance costs have been rising, and owners have been delaying upgrading works in view of the proposed collective sale.

“It’s an old building, a lot of maintenance work is needed for the air-conditioning, the lifts, cleaning… Driving in the carpark is like going 40 years back in time,” said Mr Hoo, the managing director of family firm C.T. Hoo which owns an office unit and a jewellery shop in the building.

“Still, the choice is up to the owners, to decide what to do with their own property.”

Some owners have opted to sell their units and cash out instead of waiting for the collective sale.

Mr Anil Bhatia used to own two second-floor units but decided to sell them last year for $1.4 million each – about $4,000 psf. He continues to operate his tailor shop Nath and Company in the units, but is now paying rent to the new owner.

The 69-year-old plans to shut his shop and retire next month, mainly because of poor business.

“The shopping centre does not get much foot traffic, and the type of trades we have here are established trades, but might not be in keeping with modern trends,” he said.

“Maybe some owners are holding out because they think this is Orchard Road, it’s freehold, it must be a gold mine.”

Source: The Straits Times – 23 August 2014

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