Wee family puts portfolio of houses on Thiam Siew Avenue up for sale

By Cecilia Chow
EdgeProp Singapore

September 23, 2021

Sitting between Haig Road and Tanjong Katong Road is a quiet street, Thiam Siew Avenue, with just 25 houses. Many of the houses are pre-war, single-storey, semi-detached houses and bungalows sitting on land area of about 9,000 to 10,000 sq ft each.

They are the legacy of property magnate and hotelier Wee Thiam Siew, who passed away in 1972. The properties are held primarily under Thiam Siew Avenue Investments and Wee Thiam Siew & Co, whose beneficiaries are the members of his family, many of whom are from the third generation. An illustrious businessman, Wee was chairman of Ban Leong & Co, dealers in cigars, cigarette and tobacco; as well as the former owner of The New 7th Storey Hotel on Rochor Road, Lion City Hotel and Hollywood Theatre at Tanjong Katong Road.

When it was built in 1953, the New 7th Storey Hotel (which actually had nine storeys) was considered the tallest structure on Rochor Road. In 2008, the hotel was acquired by the government for the construction of the Bugis MRT Interchange Station for the Downtown Line that opened in December 2013.

Hollywood Theatre on Tanjong Katong Road was built in 1957 and opened by cinema magnate, the late Loke Wan Tho, in 1958. In its heydays in the 1960s and 1970s, Hong Kong stars such as Fung Bo Bo and Siao Fong Fong made their appearances there. The cinema closed sometime in the 1990s, and became home to City Harvest Church at one point, followed by a food centre and then Sheng Siong supermarket.

Lion City Hotel, situated adjacent to Hollywood Theatre, opened in 1968. It had been owned and operated by members of the Wee family until December 2010, when they decided to put both Lion City Hotel and the adjacent Hollywood Theatre up for sale by tender. At the close of the tender in January 2011, Singapore- listed UOL Group announced that it had purchased Lion City Hotel and Hollywood Theatre for $311 million.

UOL redeveloped the site into a mixed-use development: the four-storey Kinex mall with a net lettable area of 202,191 sq ft; and the 244-unit Katong Regency above spanning three blocks of nine to 10 storeys. Launched in April 2012, all the units in the freehold condominium were sold out within a week at an average price of $1,608 psf. The project was completed in 2015, and units have changed hands in the resale market at $1,797 psf, according to caveats on URA Realis.

Read more at: https://www.edgeprop.sg/property-new...ew-avenue-sale