Big moves in property (and small ones that will affect you too)

Jun 07, 2016 08.30AM |

THE biggest single-building property deal in the Asia-Pacific region has been inked – Asia Square Tower 1, in the Marina Bay area, has been sold by US private equity firm Blackrock to Qatar Investment Authority for a staggering $3.4 billion. QIA pipped four or five other unnamed would-be buyers to seal the deal. The sale is expected to embolden other buyers as it signals confidence in the value of Singapore’s property market.

On the other hand, residents of Chip Bee Gardens are worried about asbestos found in their front porch roof sheeting. A contractor working on a broken roof on April 26 reported that the material in question could contain asbestos, and an analysis was conducted. Chrysotile, a common type of asbestos, was found in the building’s material. Asbestos was banned as a building material in 1989, but older buildings sometimes still contain the material, which is relatively safe unless it is being worked on.

Of the 349 state-owned, black and white terraced houses in the area, 323 were found to have roofs containing asbestos. The remaining 26 units were not affected. After inspection, SLA will replace about 20 per cent of the roofs and repair another 70 per cent of them. Asbestos works have to be conducted by a licensed asbestos removal contractor, and there are about 200 such cases done in Singapore every year.

No more new eateries will be allowed to open in three zones as parts of Thomson Village, Simpang Bedok and Little India Historic District get added to a list of 21 other zones flagged for having parking problems. A lack of adequate parking as well as errant drivers prompted URA to start the list in 2002. The message is clear – park properly, or else there will be no more food for you.

And if you haven’t already heard – the iconic Underwater World will close for good on June 26, after 25 years of operation. The lease for the site expires in less than two years, but the closure will happen before this to facilitate the move of the animals to their new homes, including Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai, China, where the pink dolphins will be moving to. Zhuhai is one of the main habitats of the pink dolphin.

To commemorate its final month, the attraction will slash prices to $9 for adults and $5 for children – the same as when it first opened in 1991. If you still want to visit an aquarium attraction after June 26, there’s still the S.E.A. Aquarium, also in Sentosa.


Featured image by Najeer Yusof.

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