End of 'Little Thailand': Tenants to move out of Golden Mile Complex before May 2023

End of current incarnation of Golden Mile Complex.

Gawain Pek | August 16, 2022, 01:34 PM

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Tenants of Golden Mile Complex will have to vacate the premises before the building is handed over to the developers come May 2023, following a successful en bloc sale.

Edmund Tie & Company, the real estate consultancy managing the sale, announced on Aug. 10 that a sale order has been obtained from the Strata Titles Board for the en bloc sale of Golden Mile Complex.

It was obtained on Aug. 3, the announcement said.

With it, the en bloc sale will proceed.

Legal completion of the sale is expected by November 2022.

"Little Thailand" no more

The commercial area in the building has amassed a majority of Thai eateries, grocery stores, and bars, among other businesses.

It has become a community over time, attracting Thai folks in Singapore who either work at or frequent the shops, as well as locals who enjoy patronising the businesses there.

Image via Ee Fang Teng/Google Maps

Over the years, these added to the character of Golden Mile Complex, christened "Little Thailand" by patrons.

With the coming redevelopment of the building, tenants and patrons alike expressed sadness at the loss of a rare communal gem, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Some businesses plan to move, others close for good

Thai restaurant owner Tont Chai, 53, has been serving diners at Golden Mile Complex for 10 years.

Tont Chai shared with Shin Min that he has already found a new location near Lavendar MRT for his restaurant.

Image via Mike Cheung/Google Maps

He said he hopes the location, being near Golden Mile Complex, will be convenient for regulars.

Another eatery owner, Tay, 63, shared with Shin Min that she plans to close her shop for good and to retire following the sale of building.

She had been operating her eatery at Golden Mile Complex for 30 years.

"Of course it will be hard to part with the stall. It is hard to find a place like this in Singapore. I even learned to speak Thai here. But all things considered, I have reached an age when it is time for me to retire", the eatery owner said.

Meeting spot for elderly folks who live alone

The Golden Mile Complex eateries have also become a communal spot for the elderly, some travelling all the way from the west to find the company of their friends.

Image via Benjamin Thong/Google Maps.

"This is where elderly folks who live alone come to meet and find companionship," one of them told Shin Min.

Yeo, 82, would take the train every morning at 6am from Pioneer MRT to Golden Mile Complex to meet his friends, Shin Min reported.

A retiree, Liang, 75, said he has been coming to Golden Mile Complex to meet up with others ever since his father and brother passed away.

Bus operators exploring alternatives

Those going to Malaysia by bus will soon have to get used to a new terminal stop when departing or arriving in Singapore as well.

Following the sale, bus operators who make use of Golden Mile Complex as a bus stop will have to find a new spot to replace it.

Currently, eight bus operators make use of Golden Mile Complex as a terminal, Shin Min reported.

Elson Yap, managing director of Transtar Travel, told said alternatives, such as Oxley BizHub, are being explored.

Mixed bag of history

It is not all doom and gloom though.

After being gazetted as a conserved building in October 2021, developers will have to preserve the facade and structure of the building, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Speaking about the building then, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee noted that it "exemplified the ingenuity and ambition of our pioneer generation of architects, engineers, and builders".

Nostalgia aside, Golden Mile Complex's notoriety as a location of hard partying and fights has bestowed upon the place the dubious honour of being one of the most authentic spaces in Singapore.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, several bars were also caught flouting safe management measures, owing to the number of bars and KTVs there.

Top image via Raftaar Photography/Google Maps J Cheung/Google Maps