Opened in 1984, the familiar Liang Court complex has undergone many changes, one of which, plans for redevelopment. With new owners like CapitaLand and City Developments (CDL) officially acquiring Liang Court for $400 million on 31 May.
The new owners’ immediate focus is the daily operations of the mall. As part of their active asset management strategy, the joint-venture partners will continually explore ways to enhance the value of the asset.
The mixed development complex lies just beside the Clarke Quay riverside area. Easily accessible by MRT via Fort Canning station and Clarke Quay station. With a prime location and popular Japanese shops like Daimaru Department store, it may seem puzzling as to why Liang Court has been experiencing a dip in popularity over recent years.
However, experts suggest Liang Court mainly faces competition from nearby shopping malls in the central area such as Plaza Singapura and 313@Somerset, which have a better retail mix and wider dining options.
Others suggest that the closure of the Kinokuniya outlet at Liang Court in April gave people a reason not to visit the mall anymore.
Tenants to face a worrying situation
At the heart of it all, many tenants at Liang Court are facing a worrying situation. Not only have they been seeing falling sales and less foot traffic over recent years.
Many existing tenants are concerned that they have to move out with plans for redevelopment. Taking their businesses elsewhere does not leave tenants at peace. The need to hunt for a new business location stirs up worry should customers find it inconvenient to follow along.
Several shops had signs saying they are moving to Great World City.
Liang Court ownership
The site has a leasehold tenure of about 97 years from April 1980, leaving 58 years on its lease.
In the early 1980s, tycoon Goh Cheng Liang’s Wuthelam Group developed the complex. This includes Liang Court Shopping Centre, luxury apartments and Hotel New Otani.
In 1999, Wuthelam sold a 58.9 per cent stake in Liang Court Holdings to Pidemco Land, which was part of the Singapore Technologies (ST) stable.
Later known as Somerset Holdings in 2000, the company eventually merged with DBS Land’s Ascott.
In 2006, The Ascott Group sold the six-storey Liang Court mall to Asian Retail Mall Fund II.
At present day, this sits as part of the PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund, an open-end private investment vehicle managed by PGIM Real Estate, the property investment business of PGIM, Inc, which in turn is the global investment management business of US-based Prudential Financial, Inc.
What do you think of Liang Court’s redevelopment plans? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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