Liang Court tenants to vacate by March for redevelopment

22 Nov 2019

Straits Times, 22 Nov 2019, Liang Court tenants to vacate by March for redevelopment
The Liang Court site, known as an enclave for the local Japanese community, looks set to become an integrated development with two residential towers, a new hotel, and new commercial spaces.
Tenants have been told to vacate the mall by March next year.
The planned transformation of the site, which comprises Liang Court mall, mid-scale hotel Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay and serviced residence Somerset Liang Court Singapore, is in line with recent attempts to rejuvenate the Clarke Quay area.
In a statement yesterday, property heavyweights City Developments Limited (CDL), CapitaLand and Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) said they would take on the redevelopment project together.
With a total gross floor area of 100,263 sq m, the proposed development, which is subject to approval from the authorities, will open in phases from 2024.
The proposed project will feature two residential towers offering about 700 units, a commercial component, an "upper mid-scale" hotel with 460 to 475 rooms, and a 192-unit serviced residence with a hotel licence.
The new hotel will be operated under the Moxy brand by Marriott International when it is completed around 2025, while the new serviced residence will keep its Somerset branding when it opens in the second half of 2024.
Mr Jason Leow, president and chief executive of Singapore and International at CapitaLand, said Liang Court sits on a prime site and its redevelopment is a prized opportunity to create a residential development with views of the Singapore River and the city centre.
He said: "We will harness our partnership with CDL to shape the property into a fresh focal point along the Singapore River for local and international visitors of all ages."
The residential and commercial components of the new development will be owned by the 50:50 CDL-CapitaLand joint venture entities, while the serviced residence will be owned by Ascott Reit.
CDL Hospitality Trusts will own the hotel under a forward purchase agreement with CDL.
With the mall preparing to reinvent itself, tenants are preparing to leave. Mrs Shirlena Liew, owner of Love Link Jewellery, said the mall's management told her a few months ago that she would have to move out by March.
Several others also said they had been told to vacate by then.
A spokesman for the CDL-CapitaLand joint venture confirmed that the mall will close for redevelopment in the second quarter of next year. She said: "For tenants who are interested in relocating, we will explore with them on possible moves to some of our other malls."
The complex, once an attractive spot for Japanese expatriates living in the River Valley belt, is now mostly made up of empty units. ST understands many stores left the mall after their leases ended.
Japanese supermarket Meidi-Ya, fashion chain Uniqlo and a handful of Japanese restaurants and other smaller retail stores are still operating. When ST visited Liang Court yesterday, the mall looked half deserted even with the lunch-time crowd.
Industry experts believe that the redevelopment will be a boost for the larger Clarke Quay area.
Dr Harvey Neo, senior fellow at the Singapore University of Technology and Design's Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, said: "Liang Court is probably the most tired-looking building in that area so really a renovation will have a positive spillover effect to its surroundings."