Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Katong Mall management is pleased to announce that they have begun collecting endorsement signatures from landlords to initiate another bulk sale process. Katong Mall was Singapore’s first air-conditioned mall when it opened in 1973. The mall contains 425 units and sits on nearly 87,000 square feet of freehold land. Located along Mountbatten Road, it houses, among other things, offices, employment agencies, printing and tailoring service shops and restaurants.
Katong Mall intends to sell all of its properties at once. Bulk sales were allowed by 80% of the 410 owners. Plans for the mall’s first bulk sale effort were fully realized in August 2011. The $445 million deal, however, fell through. At the time, the average value assigned to each homeowner was $2,000 to $2,800 per square foot.
In June 2014, there was a second attempt at a bulk sale, but the deal fell through again. However, using the previous data as a reference, the expected approval signatures for this third bulk sale attempt will be obtained from a good percentage of Katong Mall’s 410 owners.
To better understand the situation, the author traveled to Singapore’s Katong Mall and interviewed several tenants and shop owners about why they chose to join the collective sales agreement. Mr. Shi Jing Lee, one of the owners, indicated that he had various reservations and dissatisfactions with the management board and the management office. He was upset that the management office wanted to charge him $10,000 to hire a professional architect to draw a simple box on the floor using duct tape.
Mr. Shi Jing Lee’s application for permission to design his house was delayed for two years because he feared the cost of hiring an architect would be too high. He relentlessly pressed management to grant his request throughout the two years, but the administration avoided providing an update on the status of the request. It wasn’t until two years later that his license was instantly updated when the new management office took over.
Another tenant interviewed by the author expressed dissatisfaction with the rental of outdoor spaces by the management office. Mr. Tsao Nimat, the tenant, said he had rented an outdoor space outside his business for many years, but was surprised to find that his rented space had been given to another tenant despite payment monthly rental rates.
The two tenants will sign the sales agreement because it is difficult for them to continue doing business in a hostile climate. Other tenants interviewed had similar views. What remains to be seen is whether a buyer can be found for this ancient landmark in eastern Singapore.