Pearl Bank Apartments making 4th attempt for collective sale

After seeing a string of collective sales this year, owners at Pearl Bank Apartments are jumping on the bandwagon – for the fourth time.

Owners at the iconic building in Outram have formed a collective sale committee and are asking for a reserve price of $728 million for the 288-unit building.

But the question of whether the distinctive tower will be conserved is still up in the air.

The latest bid follows a proposal involving conservation to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). In 2015, more than 90 per cent of residents backed a proposal that would conserve the building, while seeking URA approval for new units to be built on top of the carpark.

With the additional floor area, owners had hoped to entice a developer to rejuvenate the building.

However, The Straits Times understands from owners that the URA last year  said consent from 100 per cent of owners was needed for such a proposal to be approved.

Mr Alex Poh, the committee chairman, said he is “not too sure” if the tender conditions would include a conservation clause. However, he added: “If conservation adds value to our society, why not? (Pearl Bank) was, after all, the tallest building in Singapore during its time.”

He also said the building is getting harder to maintain with age.

An extraordinary general meeting was held last Saturday, with Colliers International appointed the marketing agent, but the agency declined to comment yesterday.

The building will go on sale after 80 per cent of home owners agree to it. This has to be done within a year, but Mr Poh is confident as previous bids in 2007, 2008 and 2011 garnered enough signatures. He hopes the building can go on the market “as soon as possible” to ride on market sentiment.

If the sale goes through, each home owner stands to receive an average of $2.6 million.

The 38-storey building was completed in 1976 and sits on 82,376 sq ft of land, with 52 years left on its lease.