New Creation Church business arm buys The Star Vista mall from CapitaLand for S$296 million

The megachurch made the purchase to protect its interests, after learning that CapitaLand was trying to sell it.

Zhangxin Zheng | November 20, 2019, 11:19 PM

On Wednesday (Nov. 20), real estate giant CapitaLand announced that it will be selling The Star Vista mall to Rock Productions, a business arm of New Creation Church (NCC), one of Singapore's megachurches.

The mall is part of a 15-storey integrated development just outside Buona Vista MRT station.

Bought mall at 12 per cent markup from June valuation

The mall's shopping space spans the B1 to Level 2 floors, and according to a release from CapitaLand shared with Mothership, the S$296 million deal comes at an estimated 12 per cent markup from a S$262 million price tag given by an independent valuer in June.

The mall will be handed over by the end of this year, CapitaLand said, generating proceeds of about S$145 million and a net gain of about S$32 million for the real estate developer.

An announcement from the megachurch itself seems to shed more light on the transaction, however.

NCC said that they decided to purchase the mall after discovering that CapitaLand was in talks with multiple parties to sell it.

The Star Vista was valued at S$296 million by Savills Singapore on Oct. 30.

NCC added that it had hoped CapitaLand would remain as the owner and operator of the retail floors, but learned that it had "initiated a sale process for The Star Vista".

The church's chairman Deacon Yong Chee Ram said that the retail space in the building and The Star PAC are "inextricably linked" and so the latest purchase is to "protect the interest of the church and to preserve the good experience for all who come to The Star PAC".

He also reportedly said the church did not want the "unpredictability" of the mall space going to another party.

Already owns eight-floor Performing Arts Centre, used as place of worship

Previously, NCC built the 5,000-seat The Star Performing Arts Centre, which occupies levels three to 11 of the building, at some S$500 million in 2007 to accommodate its growing congregation.

From 1999 to 2006, the church's congregation tripled from around 4,000 to almost 13,000.

In 2016, the church's senior paster Joseph Prince said they had successfully paid for the cost of The Star PAC.

In response to The Sunday Times back then, the church said that the money used to pay for the centre came from voluntary contributions from the churchgoers.

Last year, the church had collected S$122 million in donations, mostly contributed by its members.

Together with City Harvest and Faith Community Baptist Church, the three megachurches were also identified as Singapore's top 10 largest charities that have business subsidiaries and collect donations.

Top photos via New Creation Church Facebook page & courtesy of CapitaLand.


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