May 7, 2009
URA puts stop to Grangeford 'dorm' flats
A PLAN to run student dormitory rooms at Grangeford condominium in Leonie Hill is no more.
Master tenant Ideal Accommodation completed sub-dividing 140 apartments into a total of 600 units last month.
But it has been ordered to take down all the partitions by the end of the month.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) investigated the project after receiving complaints about the plans.
Late last month, URA asked for the condo units to be restored to their original condition, according to a Business Times report. URA declined to comment.
The Business Times also earlier reported that Ideal had found takers for about half of the 600 units - seeking monthly rents of $900 to $1,400 per furnished unit.
Now it may have to terminate the leases and find the takers alternative accommodation. Ideal's founder Tang Yong declined to comment. But The Straits Times understands that Ideal is appealing against the decision.
The condo's owner, Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE), which had signed a two-year lease with Ideal for 170 flats, will have to step in if Ideal fails to act.
OUE had acquired Grangeford in a $625 million collective sale during the property boom in 2007. Because demand is very poor, it is holding back the launch of the project and leasing the units out.
Owners of other apartments and projects are also reportedly carrying similar sub-divisions but on a smaller scale.
The Straits Times understands that the URA is also investigating these cases.