The iconic Golden Mile Complex may turn into an important integrated development project if it manages to find an en bloc buyer, says the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). This was announced on January 8, 2019, in response to an application submitted for redeveloping the existing complex with an additional block.
The Golden Mile Complex, situated on the Golden mile stretch between Nicoll Highway and Beach Road. It holds historic importance as the Urban Renewal Department of the Housing and Development Board’s first Sales of Site programme. The programme was conceptualized as part of a redevelopment project of Singapore’s Central Area.
Completed in 1973, the 16-storeyed Golden Mile Complex used to be one of the highlights of the area. Built at an original cost of S$18 million, the complex integrated several functionalities including shopping malls, clubs, ticketing centers besides housing units. The property has a land area of 1.3 hectares approx and was designed with a step-terraced architectural layout. The complex is considered to be one of the earliest mixed-use developments in Singapore’s urban landscape and has been redeveloped in minor ways time and again since.
However, in the recent past, the complex has turned into an urban slum owing to personal development and extensions carried out by individual owners within the site. Much of these personal add-ons and constructions have been carried out without a thought to others around the apartments and this has turned the site into an eyesore. The Golden Mile complex has been critiqued several times in recent times for turning into a source of national disgrace.
The complex has been on a 99-year-old leasehold since 1969. But owing to its current dilapidated state the URA decided to put it up on en bloc sale with an $800 million reserve price. More than 80% of the current owners signed an agreement to this effect in August 2018.
At the current reserve price, the current residential owners, who are 68 in number, stand to get a gross payout of between $1.27 million and $6 million each. The 418 shop units may get a payout anywhere between $200,000 and $7 million each, dependent on the size, location and other specifics of their units. The gross payout for the 227 office units is similarly estimated to be between $360,000 and $3 million each.
As of now, if an en-bloc buyer is found, the URA has agreed to consider an estimated 86,000 sqm of the complex space for mixed-use development with facilities like offices, serviced apartments, hotels and retail spaces as part of the plan. This is subject to the buyer’s willingness to conserve the historic main building of the complex which has rightfully become a landmark in Singapore’s urban history.
It is hoped that a buyer is found soon and the new Golden Mile Complex will turn into an essential part of the redevelopment of the Beach Road corridor. This would indeed be a unique opportunity for preservation and incorporation of an iconic site into a new development if the selling goes through smoothly.
Depending on the buyer’s proposals for the land use, a new premium and lease upgrading premium will be made effective. It is hoped that the new buyer will top the lease up to 99 years as well. The tender exercise for the sale will be closed on January 30, 2019, at 3 pm SGT.
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