The Straits Times (ST) in an article titled, ‘No peace at Peace Mansion, say residents, as KTV girls working nearby move into complex’ dated July 22, said that some owners of the mixed development were unhappy that they were being jolted awake by loud noises in the wee hours of the morning.
Describing those that were unhappy as “long-term residents”, ST (which claims to have staked-out the development for 3 weeks for the article) said that they complained that some new occupants who keep odd hours were affecting their well-being. They claimed that this problem at Peace Mansion was exacerbated when employees of KTV lounges moved into their development soon after the entertainment outlets were sprang up in their vicinity about 10 years ago.
One resident who has been living at Peace Mansion since the 1990s said: “The noise is particularly bad when the lounges close, and the girls who work there return to the residential units.” She found the noises made by the slamming of doors and metal gates, the dragging of furniture and loud conversations, especially disturbing.
Another such disgruntled resident explained how the noise has been keeping him awake in the early hours. “The noises happen suddenly, and they jolt us awake. They come and go, which also makes them difficult to police and complain about,” he said. Adding: “I’ve had neighbours, especially those with young children, move out in the past few years because they were so frustrated with the noise.”
This same resident said that the “noise problem has forced him to think about selling his unit as part of the property’s collective sale effort.” “If this continues, I am going to look for another place to retire in. I had wanted to live here for the long term because Peace Mansion has a great location,” he added.
Another tenant at the residential-commercial development who works at one of the karaoke lounges said to the newspaper that her employer arranged for her to move into a bedroom in Peace Mansion three months ago.
She said that Peace Mansion was a very convenient location for her work. She admitted coming home drunk after work at times, but said she tries not to disturb her neighbours with loud noises.
Peace Mansion which is a mixed development with Peace Centre, is said to be eyeing a reserve price of $650 million in collective sale. Peace Centre, a 99-year-leasehold property, has about 50 years left on its tenure. If the requisite number of owners at Peace Centre consent to the sale, prospective buyers will have to pay an estimated $200 million in lease top-up premium. Development charges are not payable for this property.
Peace Centre and Peace Mansion together, sit on a 76,617 sq ft site with a gross floor area of about 600,000 sq ft. Besides the commercial spaces at Peace Centre, Peace Mansion has a 22-storey residential tower with 84 apartments and two penthouses.
Peace Mansion and Peace Centre are 10 per cent shy of the requisite 80 per cent approval level. The mixed development is said to be eyeing a reserve price of $650 million. The development has made three previous unsuccessful attempts at collective sale.
Some readers who reacted to the ST’s article on its Facebook asked why the newspaper had to waste its resources to stake out the mixed-development just because of a few unhappy residents.
Other readers like Dave Tan said: “When some residents complaint, but there are also many whose happily rented the unit to these KTV girls working nearby. In short, there is nothing to complain about. They pay the rental, the owners get the money.”
Peace Mansion’s Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) did not reply to the newspaper about its residents’ noise complaints. But this is not the first time that noise and public disorder problems about Peace Mansion and Peace Centre have been reported in the news.
In 2014, a letter sent to Minister Masagos Zulkifli which went viral alleged that “Peace Centre is fast becoming another prostitution hub like Geylang.” The letter writer claimed that “lawlessness was a norm at Peace Centre especially at night, and that the police dare not bring crime rates under control in that area.” The viral letter was sent to the Minister 6 months before the mixed-development’s 3rd unsuccessful attempt at en bloc sale.
Chief Mortgage Consultant at iCompareLoan.com Paul Ho said that owners of Peace Mansion and Peace Centre should not sell off the mixed-development for a song because of such negative feedback by some of its residents.
Mr Ho said, “KTV workers being among the residents at Peace Mansion is not reason to sell the place cheaply.” Adding: “Owners must hold out for a good price.”
Indeed Peace Mansion and the adjoining Peace Centre should consider holding out for a good offer because they are located in a prominent area which deserves a premium.
The mixed development is prominently located at the junction of Selegie Road and Sophia Road, 1 Sophia Road enjoys a wide double frontage of approximately 175m. If redeveloped the property may be the largest among the malls located along the streetscape comprising of POMO, Parklane Shopping Centre and Wilkie Edge.
4 MRT Stations – Dhoby Ghaut Interchange, Little India Interchange and Bugis MRT Stations as well as the upcoming Rochor MRT Station, serving 4 MRT networks – North-South Line, North-East Line, Circle Line and the upcoming Downtown Line, are all located within a 600 metre radius from the site.
Situated immediately next to the Civic District, 1 Sophia Road is within minutes walk from various leading educational institutions such as, SOTA (School of the Arts), Singapore Management University, LASALLE College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts etc. The National Museum and the Singapore Art Museum is similarly within minutes walk from the site. Furthermore the site has a captive market of residents from nearby prime residential projects such as Parc Emily, 8 @ Mt Sophia, The Cathay Residence, Sophia Residences and Suites @ Orchard.
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