The Queensway Shopping Centre, one of Singapore’s first multi-purpose shopping complexes listed by the National Heritage Board as part of the Queenstown Heritage Trail, is up for sale but several shop owners have banded together to strongly oppose the sale of this 45-year-old complex.
Sitting on approximately 100,000 sq ft., – the shopping mall is well-known for its sports equipment and attire shops, and includes 241 retail units and 78 apartments. Ms. Suzie Mok, the senior director of investment Savills Singapore declined to reveal the reserve price, but said that the estimated value of the land is “above S$500 million.”
For and against
A number of shop owners have voiced their opposition to the potential sale. Around 50 shops, which “represent over 20% share value” of the property, have put their signatures down to oppose the deal, said shop owner Mrs. L C Lim.
Mr. Narwant Singh, who owns sports shop Weston Corporation and four other units at the four-storey mall, and his son Mr Mandeep Singh, who owns shoe shop Limited Edt, are among those against the sale. “The en bloc process is on but there is a tremendous amount of objection. Queensway is doing extremely well. The misleading information reported that footfall has dropped is rubbish. Queensway, no matter what, is still having the best footfall out of any part of Singapore,” said Mr. Narwant.
His son, Mr Mandeep, added: “Queensway gives us most returns out of all our outlets. Queensway has built a reputation over many years for sporting goods. There is no need for advertising, just word of mouth.”
“Yes, the en bloc process has started but we are very doubtful. Queensway is a very important place for us.”
In contrast, the residents at 13-storey Queensway Tower appear to be more supportive of the collective sale, citing the ageing property.
Ms Jessica Wong, who has lived there for 37 years, said that the area holds some “sentimental value” to her. However, she has also had to bear with constant leaking from the ceiling in her unit, because the building has been poorly maintained, she said.
Another resident, Madam Wong Hui Lan, who has lived there for 40 years, said she is prepared to see the building go under the hammer despite its convenient location.
“I don’t really like the design and furnishings of the place anymore. It is old and as an elderly, the lack of infrastructure to cater to people like us is missing,” said the 78-year-old.
The owner of Reuben Viton Career Services, who wanted to be identified only as Madam Tan, said that a collective sale would give her a chance to retire. She added that she has been trying to sell or lease the unit, which she purchased in the 1980’s, for more than a year without any success.
“I just want to retire. I am alright with getting rid of my business,” she says with finality. /TISG
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