Golden Mile Complex gazetted as conserved building, en bloc sales can still go on: Desmond Lee

URA has put together a significant incentive package to make development options more attractive to potential buyers.

Andrew Koay | October 22, 2021, 06:32 PM

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Golden Mile Complex was officially gazetted as a conserved building on Oct. 22, making official a decision first announced in 2020.

In a post on Facebook announcing the move, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had "made the effort to ensure that conservation does not undermine the owners’ collective sale efforts".

"(URA) has put together a significant incentive package to make development options more attractive to potential buyers," he added.

These incentives — which Lee said were refined with feedback from owners and was unique to Golden Mile Complex — include:

  • Allowing the developer to build a new 30-storey tower block beside the main building
  • A tax incentive that will lower development costs, waiving tax fully for the conserved floor area and partly on the new floor area

"This decision (to conserve Golden Mile Complex) was not taken lightly," Lee said in an accompanying video, noting that some owners had expressed their desire to use the proceeds from the en bloc sale to fund their retirements.

Lee wrote in his Facebook post:

"We hope that this will support the owners to move forward with their collective sale efforts, and motivate developers to consider the potential of the site, alongside our vision to rejuvenate a national icon."

Exemplified ingenuity of pioneers

Highlighting its brutalist architecture, Lee said that the building, in its heyday, had challenged conventional views of what modern city living would look like.

"It exemplified the ingenuity and ambition of our pioneer generation of architects, engineers, and builders."

URA had previously announced its intentions to conserve Gold Mile Complex in October 2020.

At the time, the announcement acknowledged that stakeholders had raised concerns that conserving the building could affect plans for a collective sale, especially when taking into account the building maintenance costs and design constraints.

More than 80 per cent of the unit owners in Golden Mile Complex also formally signed an agreement to proceed with en bloc sales.

Iconic landmark from the 70s

First built in 1973, Golden Mile Complex was one of the first large mixed-use developments in Singapore, as it contained offices, shops and residential units inside a single building.

The building subsequently became an iconic landmark for its distinctive architecture with its "floating" staggered staircases and terraced floor slabs.

The place was also a regular haunt for those visiting mookata restaurants and Thai discos.

Support for the building's conservation was so strong that a petition was launched by a group of architects, academics and heritage specialists.

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Top image by ET&Co