New Creation Church (NCC) has officially bought The Star Vista Mall via its business arm, Rock Productions, in order “to protect the interest of the church”.
On Wednesday (20 November), the megachurch said, “While we had expressed our hope that CapitaLand would remain as the owner and operator of the retail space, we understood that CapitaLand had also initiated a sale process for The Star Vista.”
Prior to this, the church only owned The Star Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in that mixed-development which it uses as a space for the church’s services that doubles as a concert venue.
Its council chairman, Deacon Yong Chee Ram, said the church did not want the unpredictability of the space going to another buyer, since the PAC also serves as a place of worship for NCC on service days.
NCC bought the mall for S$296 million, which is about 13% above the value of The Star Vista at the end of June which was valued to be S$262 million.
In a statement, CapitaLand said the sale is expected to generate about S$145 million in net proceeds for the company and approximately S$32 million in net gain.
New Creation Church
The independent church, which is now a member of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, started in 1983 at a flat in Holland Drive and has grown significantly since then. In 1999, the church had 3,800 members which grew to about 12,900 members by 2006. It was then that the church bought PAC to accommodate the growing congregation. By 2016, the church boasted about 31,000 members.
Other venues it uses for services today include the ballrooms at Marina Bay Sands, Cathay Cineplex Causeway Point, GV Grand (Great World City) and GV Yishun.
Star Vista Mall – projected profit
When Star Vista Mall was first opened in 2012, CapitaLand projected it would rake in S$15 million in profit per anum after tax and minority interests.
The Start Vista is part of a 15-storey integrated development, including the Star PAC which takes up floors 3 to 11 and used by NCC. The mall also has three floors of retail space with a net lettable area of 162,500 sq ft.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the mall has a 95% occupancy rate as of June 2019. According to the mall website, there are just over 100 retail outlets with major tenants including Beauty in the Pot and LeNu, Canton Paradise Teahouse, Redman by Phoon Huat, Swee Lee and Cold Storage.
Speaking to CNA, the church said that it decided to buy the property after being told by CapitaLand that there were parties interested in acquiring it and that the process of selling the mall had been initiated.
“Given that The Star Vista and The Star PAC are inextricably linked, our immediate objective of acquiring The Star Vista is both to protect the interest of the church and to preserve the good experience for all who come to The Star PAC,” said deacon Yong Chee Ram, chairman of the church’s council.
He added that “The Star Vista is expected to generate healthy returns for Rock Productions”.