Known for its Thai eateries, supermarkets, and night establishments, Golden Mile Complex has a special place in many Singaporeans’ hearts, especially for those who frequently head down for their late-night mookata fix.
But with the S$700-million en bloc sale finalised earlier this year, some feared that ‘Little Thailand’ may soon be no more. Recent developments have now proven this to be true.
On 10 Aug, Edmund Tie & Company, the real estate firm in charge of the sale, announced that the building would be vacated and handed over to the developers by May 2023. In other words, the renowned Thai establishments in the complex will soon have to move out of the iconic mall.
While some stall owners plan on retiring, others plan on relocating. Regardless of their decisions, most of them will leave the iconic mall with feelings of nostalgia.
Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, 63-year-old Ms Zheng (surname transliterated from Chinese), who has been running her business at Golden Mile Complex for over 30 years, said she plans on retiring with the sale of the mall.
Initially selling Thai records, Ms Zheng transitioned to running a coffee shop in recent years.
Speaking about the imminent en bloc sale, Ms Zheng felt sentimental.
Of course, I can’t bear to part ways. It’s very hard to find a similar place in Singapore, I even learned Thai here. But at my age, I guess it’s about time I close my stall and retire.
On the other hand, others plan on relocating. One such person is 53-year-old Tont Chai.
Having operated a Thai eatery at Little Thailand for more than 10 years, Mr Chai will move to a new site near Lavender MRT, which is just a stone’s throw away from Golden Mile Complex.
He explained that the location would make it easier for regular customers to find them.
Stall owners aren’t the only ones who feel sentimental about Golden Mile Complex.
For 82-year-old Yang Xiucai and 75-year-old Ling Xingfa (names transliterated from Chinese), the place is their daily meeting spot, where they would converse over kopi and teh.
For the past 30 years, Mr Yang would wake up at 6am and travel from his place in Pioneer down to the complex. He would spend the entire day chatting with his friends at the coffee shop until late in the evening.
Mr Ling, who stays across the complex, also follows a similar schedule after his brother and parents passed away. As someone who stays alone, he regards his friends as his family.
Since Shin Min Daily’s report about the announcement was published, many netizens have taken to the comments to bid farewell to the iconic mall.
This netizen pointed out that the en bloc project marks the end of decades of memories witnessed at the mall.
Another Facebook user lamented the fact that Little Thailand will soon disappear.
Last Wednesday (10 Aug), Edmund Tie & Company issued a press release announcing that the collective sale of Golden Mile Complex has been reached, and they have obtained the Sale Order from the Strata Titles Board.
According to the terms of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the legal completion is expected to take place in Nov 2022.
The vacant possession of the development will then be handed over to the developers in May 2023.
Following news of the successful en bloc sale, many people must’ve anticipated such a move.
We’re certain that the imminent disappearance of Little Thailand will sadden many Singaporeans, especially those who frequently head down for their mookata fix.
With more than nine months to go till the handover, it’s still not too late to make plans with your friends for one last supper at the iconic mall.
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Featured image adapted from Google Maps and Chas Pope on Flickr.
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