Saturday, January 5, 2013

Objections to Thomson View sale


STRAITS TIMES
Jan 05, 2013

The whopping $590 million collective sale of Thomson View Condominium has hit a roadblock after 13 owners lodged objections to the deal.

The Straits Times understands that the Strata Titles Board issued notice of a stop order yesterday. The stop order will take effect on Jan14.

Such orders are made if mediation is unsuccessful. There have been three rounds of mediation for Thomson View.

One of the issues raised by the 13 objectors is believed to centre on the sale price, which they believe undervalues the block.

The Upper Thomson MRT station - part of the upcoming Thomson Line - was announced during the site's tender period.

Objectors believe they should be getting more for the site as the MRT station will be close by.
The majority owners of 255-unit Thomson View will now have to make an application to the High Court for further adjudication.

The stop order raises concerns that the collective sale process for Thomson View may result in a drawn out legal battle due to the large size of the development.

Experts say projects with more units are likely to face more objections. "With more owners, there are likely to be more opinions and more people raising concerns, even if nothing might be wrong with the sale," a property lawyer said.

"We haven't seen as many stop orders recently because there haven't been as many collective sales in the past year as compared with the en-bloc boom in 2006 and 2007," he added.

Mainboard-listed developer Wee Hur Development and private equity investment company Lucrum Capital teamed up to buy the 540,314 sq ft site in Upper Thomson Road for $712 per sq ft (psf) per plot ratio (ppr) in September last year. It was the fifth largest collective sale made, and was seen as a boost to the market, which had seen mostly only smaller en-bloc deals of under $100 million in recent years.

The last big sale to be inked was in June 2007, when the former HUDC estate Farrer Court was sold for $1.34 billion.

Many experts had thought the days of mega collective sales of more than $500 million were over in the wake of the property market cooling measures.

Owners of Thomson View units - ranging from apartments to townhouses and shop space - were expected to receive gross proceeds of $1.62 million to $3.59 million, earlier reports said.

Lucrum Capital director David Batchelor declined to comment on the details of the stop order but said the firm remains "committed to the obligations of the contract".


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