Shophouses on Rangoon Road for sale

By Michael Lim
/ The Edge Property |
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Tucked among a stretch of shophouses on Rangoon Road are two famous bak kut teh shops — Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Eating House and Founder Bak Kut Teh Restaurant. Along that same stretch is a row of four shophouses that are on the market for sale by tender.
The shophouses have been in the hands of the Lim family of Chin Leong (CLP) Corp for almost 70 years. The company was founded in 1947 by the late chairman Lim Ching Seng, who came to Singapore from Taiwan in 1938, and started the paint business by mixing his own paints out of his shop at 142B Rangoon Road. He then sold them to painting contractors who worked with construction companies such as Sin Soon Lee, Lum Chang and Lee Kim Tah.
Over the years, CLP became a distributor of Dulux, ICI, Jotun and Kansai paints, and has diversified into chemicals, solvents and waterproofing materials in the construction industry. The company is headquartered in Tanjong Penjuru in Jurong and has an annual turnover of $150 million, with 400 staff across Asia, and offices as well as factories in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Today, the business is in the hands of the second generation of the Lim family. Four of Lim’s five sons are involved, except for the eldest, James, who recently retired as executive chairman of Kansai Paint Singapore. But he remains a director of CLP.
Over the years, Lim bought over the neighbouring shophouses at 144, 146 and 148 Rangoon Road. He also acquired a house and a warehouse located behind the shophouses on Sing Avenue. These were redeveloped into a four-storey residential block about 20 years ago. The units have a floor area of 2,500 to 3,500 sq ft. He sold each of the units to two of his sons and two daughters “for a token sum”, and occupied the first level until his death in 2013.
The original shophouse at 142/142B Rangoon Road has been retained “for feng shui reasons”, as it was where CLP was founded. The family still operates a paint shop there. However, the adjoining double- storey, pre-war shophouses at 144, 146 and 148 Rangoon Road were redeveloped two decades ago into a four- storey block with six commercial units on the first two levels and six apartments on the upper floors. The six apartments are leased out to foreign students. Five of the six commercial units have also been leased to one tenant that has been there for more than a decade, namely I-Bridge Design, a specialist in home renovation and interior designer. The last unit is being used by CLP as a storage space for paints.
Although the property has potential for redevelopment, the Lims feel it is time to sell. “We are not interested in redeveloping, so there’s no reason to keep it,” says James. He feels the new owner could redevelop the property and further enhance its value.
According to Knight Frank, the marketing agency for the shophouses at Rangoon Road, the site has been zoned for re sidential use, with commercial units on the first level. The freehold shop houses occupy a total land area of 6,879 sq ft, with a gross plot ratio of 3.0 under the URA 2014 Master Plan. The site can be redeveloped into a five-storey block with commercial units on the first level and 20 apartments on the upper levels, assuming an average unit size of 800 sq ft each.
The Lims are hoping to achieve a selling price of $30 million for the property.
The shophouses at 142-148 Rangoon Road were put up on Jan 20 for tender, which will close on March 1.
Looking for shophouses near Rangoon Road? Click here
142/148 Rangoon Rd: A two-storey freehold corner unit and a four-storey mixed-use development for sale by tender
rangoon road shophouses
This article appeared in the City & Country of Issue 712 (Jan 25, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.

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