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Bertha HarianBertha Harian


Don’t hunt for pearls of wisdom

I really really don’t like reading repeated stuff. But I had to endure this in ST:

Headline: Surprise for Pearls Centre tenants.

Deck: Most unaware of acquisition of complex for new Thomson line

Intro: News of the Government’s impending acquisition of Pearls Centre yesterday took tenants and residents by surprise. Neither shopowners, residents nor the building management saw the move coming, with most of them saying they have no choice but to accept it.

Enough already!

And frankly I doubt that the journalists spoke to MOST of the complex’s people. But I got through the article anyway because the Chinatown complex is a landmark. And didn’t get much satisfaction. So it’s strata-titled so I guess no one owns the whole building. But landlords, shopowners, tenants and residents seem to be used interchangeably. Story says that the 243 TENANTS have two years to move out. So the people who OWN the shops can stay? And are all the residents on the 11 floors of the complex tenants? How many shop units and residential units. How many owner-occupied and how many tenanted?

Is there a major landlord? Or plenty of small landlords who rent it out? If so, what sort of rents do they command? That would give an indication of the worth of the shops. And what about the residents? Very good location. So how much rent do they pay? Or what was the last sale price?

Eh, how to find pearls of wisdom when don’t even have nuggets of basic information leh? How to analyze or comment on the issue like dat?

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The most interesting bit of information was actually towards the end of the story – that the un-named building management had actually started the process going for an enbloc sale. So it must have SOME idea of the value of the place and what it can fetch. Seems to me a lot of people are going to be unhappy about losing not just the shop but the potential windfall they can reap if the sale goes through. In fact, BT had someone referring to this in its story – whether the enbloc potential will be factored into the Govt’s compensation.

The ST story ends with AT LEAST one tenant being happy that there is a “closure” and how it’s a “good thing” that the Government has given an end date. So it ends uncontroversially….Really!

AFTERNOTE: I just read Today’s version. It was better-angled. Referred to the enbloc process in intro. Also, it gave breakdown of commercial and residential units. Tone? Less rah rah.

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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