Goh Cheng Liang family buys Thye Hong's Garlick Ave GCB

Property is being sold by some members of the Lee family from the Thye Hong group, which used to make biscuits

Tue, Sep 29, 2020

Kalpana Rashiwala

The bungalow is owned by Thye Hong Manufacturing, which is ultimately owned by an entity whose shareholders are three siblings of Thye Hong's Lee family.



THE family of Singaporean billionaire Goh Cheng Liang is said to be the buyer of a bungalow sitting on 101,550 square feet of freehold land in Garlick Avenue.

The price is understood to be about S$93 million. Located within the Garlick Avenue Good-Class Bungalow (GCB) Area, the property is being sold by some members of the Lee family of the Thye Hong group, which used to make biscuits.

The transaction, which was entered into earlier this month, is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Mr Goh is the founder of Wuthelam Holdings, which last month struck a 1.29 trillion yen (S$16.72 billion) deal to gain majority control of Nippon Paint Holdings. His son Hup Jin became chairman of Nippon Paint in 2018.

The Garlick Avenue plot is large enough to be subdivided for redevelopment into five or six bungalows. However, it may also be redeveloped into a single grand mansion, say observers.

GCBs are the most prestigious type of landed housing in Singapore because of the planning constraints to preserve their exclusivity and low-rise character.

There are only about 2,500 bungalows in Singapore's 39 GCB Areas.

A minimum plot size of 1,400 square metres (about 15,070 sq ft) is stipulated as a planning norm for newly-created bungalows in GCB Areas.

Another restriction is that of a two-storey height limit (though an attic and basements are allowed).

Stipulations on site coverage control (total covered area as a percentage of the net site area) and setback from the sides and rear for a bungalow in a GCB Area are also stricter than those for a bungalow in a non-GCB Area.

The Garlick Avenue property is owned by Thye Hong Manufacturing, which in turn is ultimately owned by an entity whose shareholders are Lee Boon Leong and his sisters Lee Tuan and Lee Wah.

Mr Lee died earlier this year. The trio are children of Lee Gee Chong, who was the chairman of the Thye Hong Biscuit Factory. Mr Lee Gee Chong's father, Lee Choon Seng, set up many businesses, including Thye Hong Biscuit Factory.

Thye Hong Manufacturing this month also entered into a sale-and- purchase agreement to sell Thye Hong Centre at 2, Leng Kee Road for S$112.5 million to SLB Development.

The freehold six-storey industrial building has a land area of 5,952 sq m.

SLB Development is expected to redevelop the site, which is zoned for Business 1 use, into a new industrial project for strata sale. However, market watchers also suggest that SLB Development could potentially explore rezoning the site to residential use.