SINGAPORE: A six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion close to the Botanic Gardens is being sold for S$83 million. The good class bungalow belongs to Tang Wee Kit, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Mr Tang is the son of the late Tang Choon Keng, also known as CK Tang, who founded the iconic TANGS department store on Orchard Road.

The listing for the GCB can be found on the Knight Frank website. The property is described as a two-story bungalow at a cul-de-sac in a “private and peaceful” residential area, Victoria Park.

The GCB also has a garden, swimming pool, and a sheltered open garage. Its floor area is 1,189 sqm. The house has a lift, basement, and servants’ quarters.

“The house is well-lit with natural light and full windows facing the greenery of the lush compound. Designed for resident privacy, rooms are hidden from immediate view on the first level.

Stairs and the lift to the second level rooms and basement are tucked discreetly at the end of the house,” the listing reads. Bloomberg added that Mr Tan is the managing director of Tang Holdings Pte.

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The area where the GCB is located is said to have been named after a 49-hectare nutmeg plantation on Mt Victoria, as seen on a map of Singapore from 1846. Mt Victoria, of course, was named after Queen Victoria, who ruled Britain at the time.

Aside from Mr Tang, other prominent people who have owned properties in the area are Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group; Minister of State for Finance and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Tang See Chim; and former CK Tang Ltd CEO Foo Tiang Sooi.

Who is CK Tang?

Like many tycoons, the late Mr Tang had humble beginnings. Born in China in 1901, he migrated to Singapore in 1923, where he made a living peddling handmade linen, lace, and embroidery products, earning him the nickname “Tin Trunk Man” or the “Curio King”.

The retail tycoon is said to have kept the trunk he used for peddling goods all his life so that he would never forget his roots.

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In 1932, he opened his first department store at River Valley Road with S$3,000 he had set aside from peddling. He later owned a building that housed his store at the corner of Jalan Mohamad Sultan and River Valley Road.

He named it the Gainurn Building after his father, Presbyterian pastor Tang Gan Urn.

Notably, Mr Tang was one of the first in Singapore to recognize the commercial potential of Orchard Road after seeing many UK housewives shop there en route to the city.  /TISG

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