Business

Sim Lim Square forms collective sale committee

City Plaza, former HUDC estate Braddell View also hoping to jump on bandwagon

Gadget central Sim Lim Square is aiming to get on the collective sale bandwagon after forming a sales committee.

The six-storey mall in Rochor Canal Road is making its first collective sale attempt amid declining footfall in recent years, industry observers said.

Part of that is due to the unsavoury headlines in 2014 over unscrupulous sales tactics by rogue merchants, but online retail and newer outlets have also taken a toll.

Mr Vikas Gupta, chairman of Sim Lim Square's collective sale committee, said it is looking to appoint a marketing agent and a lawyer. The 99-year leasehold building with around 500 units was completed in 1983 and has a land area of 7,260 sq m.

ZACD Group executive director Nicholas Mak noted that the mall has seen better times.

"Rentals have been dropping, and the owners of these commercial properties may be trying now because they saw the successful conclusion of several residential en blocs," he said.

"Some of these malls were built 20 to 30 years ago, and now with the advent of e-commerce, they have lost their lustre, relevance and customer base."

City Plaza, near Paya Lebar MRT station, could join Sim Lim Square on the collective sale market. The 18-storey freehold building with 450 units, including 66 apartments, is aiming to form a collective sale committee at a meeting on Nov 1.

Both malls are struggling because of competition from newer malls and online retail. The owners should be happy if there is an en bloc opportunity. Mr Salleh Marican, who owns units at Sim Lim Square and City Plaza

Second Chance Properties, which is run by former presidential hopeful Salleh Marican, has 12 units at Sim Lim Square and 22 at City Plaza.

Mr Salleh told The Straits Times yesterday that he supports both efforts.

He said: "Both malls are struggling because of competition from newer malls and online retail. The owners should be happy if there is an en bloc opportunity. But be realistic, because if you ask too high a price, nobody will pay."

CHALLENGE

Mixed-use developments face the challenge of a possible mismatch in expectations between apartment owners and commercial unit owners.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, head of research at Edmund Tie & Company, noted that the recent purchase of a prime Beach Road commercial site for $1.622 billion by two GuocoLand units may have encouraged owners at Sim Lim Square to try their luck.

"While Sim Lim Square is close to the land parcel sold, the character of the area at Sim Lim Square remains slightly different," he added.

In the residential market, former Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) estate Braddell View is a step closer to selling en bloc.

An owner at the 918-unit development said 493 voted on Tuesday in support of forming a collective sale committee, while 28 voted against.

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