CapitaLand is selling The Star Vista to New Creation Church for S$300m and turning 1980s Liang Court into high-end homes

New Creation Church reportedly agreed to the S$296 million sale of The Star Vista as it did not want the unpredictability of the mall having another owner.

Singaporean real estate giant CapitaLand dropped two huge announcements in a span of less than 24 hours this week.

The first, made on Wednesday (Nov 20) afternoon, was about the sale of The Star Vista at Buona Vista to New Creation Church. In its announcement, CapitaLand said that the mega church had agreed to buy the mall for S$296 million via its business arm Rock Productions.

The seven-year-old mall is situated in the same development as The Star Performing Arts Centre (PAC), which the church also owns and uses for church services.

CapitaLand said The Star Vista was last valued at S$262 million on June 30, and its sale is expected to generate net proceeds of approximately S$145 million and a net gain of S$32 million. The divestment will be completed by year-end, it said.

In a report, The Straits Times cited New Creation Church council chairman Deacon Yong Chee Ram as saying that it agreed to the sale as it did not want the unpredictability of the mall having another owner.

“Given that The Star Vista and The Star PAC are inextricably linked, our immediate objective… is both to protect the interest of the church and to preserve the good experience for all who come to The Star PAC,” he was quoted as saying.

Upon completion, CapitaLand will own 19 Singapore malls, including one still under development.

Liang Court to become upmarket residence, hotel and serviced apartments by 2024

Liang Court, which is home to Medi-ya supermarket, will make way for a new development that has 700 high-end apartment units.
CapitaLand and CDL

On Thursday morning, CapitaLand made another major announcement, this time involving redevelopment plans for Liang Court, which it reportedly acquired with City Developments Ltd (CDL) in May for S$400 million.

A Business Times report on the deal said Liang Court was built in the 1980s, which makes the complex at least 35 years old. It is known as a popular haunt for Japanese expats, and previously housed Japanese department store Daimaru and book store chain Kinokuniya.  Japanese supermarket chain Medi-ya and fast fashion giant Uniqlo are currently two of its most notable tenants.

Thursday’s announcement revealed that CDL, CapitaLand and Ascott Residence Trust would join hands to develop the site into an integrated development consisting of two residential towers with around 700 high-end apartment units, a commercial component, a hotel and a serviced residence with a hotel licence.

Remember Daimaru? The Japanese department store bowed out of Liang Court in the early 2000s.
The Straits Times

This comes after CDL Hospitality Trusts’ (CDLHT) proposed sale of its total interest in Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay to the 50:50 CDL-CapitaLand joint venture entities and CDL.  Concurrently, Ascott Reit will also sell part of its interest in Somerset Liang Court Singapore to CDL, the statement said.

If all goes to plan, the new integrated development will open in phases from 2024, and have a total gross floor area of 100,263 sq m.

The 50:50 CDL-CapitaLand joint venture entities will own the residential and commercial components while Ascott Reit will own the 192-unit Somerset serviced residence with a hotel licence, it said.

CDLHT will own the hotel – operated under the Moxy brand by Marriott International – with about 460 to 475 rooms under a forward purchase agreement with CDL.

Kinokuniya also shuttered its Liang Court store earlier this year.
Shin Min Daily News

But that’s not all the consortium is planning to redevelop.

In a joint statement, the firms said that it plans to also rejuvenate the river promenade flanking the property to enhance the area’s vibrancy.

“This is expected to generate social activities around the proposed integrated development, increase footfall and improve pedestrian accessibility along the Singapore River,” the statement said.

Referring to Liang Court’s prime location in front of the Singapore River and near Fort Canning Hill, CapitaLand Group’s president for Singapore & International, Jason Leow, said the redevelopment provides “a prized opportunity to deliver an upmarket, high-rise riverfront residential development that comes with stunning views of Singapore River and the city centre”.

According to him, the new development’s commercial component will be connected to nightlife hub Clarke Quay.

CDL Group chief executive officer Sherman Kwek also referred to the site’s multiple frontages, river views and access to Fort Canning MRT Station to describe it as one with “outstanding locational attributes for an integrated development”.

“By harnessing the strengths and capabilities of all the partners involved, we plan to transform the site into an iconic landmark along the Singapore River,” he said.

CDL and CapitaLand had also teamed up last year to develop a commercial and 680-unit residential site in Sengkang Central above Buangkok MRT station. According to the companies, the Sengkang Grand Residences has sold 235 units since launching earlier this month.

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