In pictures: A day at Pearls Centre
Text & Photos: Shah Salimat
Owners and tenants of all 243 units in Pearls Centre will have to move out by August 2014 to make way for new Thomson MRT line.
Owners of units at the 40-year-old building at Eu Tong Sen Street have been issued compensation and given additional help to relocate. The total compensation amounts to about S$450 million, which works out to about S$1,400 per square foot, on average.
The compensation for commercial units ranges from $1,200 to S$9,000 per square foot, while the figure is S$1,100 per square foot for residential properties.
While analysts said compensation is reasonable, property owners noted that it is between 5 and 15 per cent lower than their own valuations, and may not be sufficient to buy a replacement property, due to the increase in property prices in recent months.
Apart from compensation which includes reasonable expenses like the relocation costs, stamp duty and legal fees for the purchase of a comparable replacement property, an ex-gratia payment was also offered to mitigate the financial impact of the move.
However, not all will receive the goodwill payment, which can be as high S$30,000. About 30 per cent of the tenants are affected and will be appealing to the authorities.
Pearls Centre is one of four full lots acquired by authorities to facilitate construction of the new Thomson Line, a 22-station line spanning 30 kilometres. The $18 billion project is expected to be completed in 2019 and have a daily ridership of 400,000. It will connect to all other lines on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system via six interchanges.
Replacing Pearls Centre will be a "high-density, mixed-use development" together with an adjoining piece of land, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Last year, xinmsn went down to Pearls Centre to visit some of its tenants including the infamous arthouse Yangtze Cinema and document a day in the life of the mall, known for its mixture of seedy massage parlours, Chinese restaurants and mobile phone shops
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn