News: Goodluck Garden en bloc sale finally gets green light

Nov 27, 2018

The freehold site off Upper Bukit Timah was sold collectively in March. (Photo: Knight Frank)

The $610 million en bloc sale of Goodluck Garden to Qingjian Realty has finally received the green light after a sale order was granted by the High Court on Monday (26 Nov), reported the Business Times.

However, Justice Woo Bih Li criticised the freehold property’s marketing agent, collective sale committee (CSC) as well as the CSC’s lawyers for how they handled the collective sale.

More: Developers’ En Bloc Appetite Diminishing: RHB

The Straits Times reported that seven minority owners, who were represented by TSMP Law Corporation’s Adrian Tan, had objected to the sale of the 210-unit residential development.

In rendering his decision on Monday, Justice Woo noted that the $542 million valuation by Colliers International of the property was not flawed, while the $637 million belated valuation by Asian Assets Allianz, on which the objectors relied, was.

The fact that two members of the CSC had relatives that owned units in Goodluck Garden did not also amount to actual or potential conflict of interest, he said. There was also no suggestion that the apportionment of the property’s sale proceeds was unfair, he added.

With this, Justice Woo said there was no bad faith in Goodluck Garden’s en bloc sale process.

Nonetheless, he said that the tender should have been extended by at least one week by the CSC to provide more time to inform bidders. The owners should have also been sought to decide the next steps after they found that no development charge (DC) was payable on the property. The CSC learned this from the authorities prior to the closing of the tender.

Marketing agent Knight Frank had previously given homeowners various DC estimates, with $63.19 million being the highest, and launched the tender even before getting the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) response on the actual amount of DC.

Meanwhile, the collective sale agreement’s (CSA) terms and conditions as well as the apportionment of the sale proceeds should have also been approved through “overt means” such as voting at a general meeting of the management corporation, said Justice Woo.

Lawyers Rajah & Tann advised the CSC that it was enough for the owners who agreed with the terms to sign the CSA after the meeting.

Monday’s hearing was attended by around 50 people.

More: Understanding The En Bloc Process (August 2018)

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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