Friday, July 24, 2009

NTUC Club scraps plans for resort on Sentosa

DESCRIBED as a quality high-end resort for the working class, Palawan Resort was to have opened its doors by the end of last year.

But it will not be opening at all now.

Its developer, NTUC Club, has scrapped plans for the $45 million development on Sentosa after concluding that the project is "no longer viable".

The 200-room resort was to have been built on a 3-hectare disused carpark and boast state of the art facilities, including a luxurious spa and a mirage pool.

Room rates would have been about $150 with discounts for union members.

But as of last September, the project - announced in 2005 by former NTUC Secretary-General Lim Boon Heng - had faced several delays.

With the Integrated Resort being built at Sentosa, NTUC Club said then it was reviewing the concept and plans for Palawan Resort. Plans had to be shelved due to "rising land premium and construction costs".

After reviewing initial plans, the conclusion was that the project is "no longer viable".

It was meant to be "an engagement tool by NTUC Club Investments (NCI) for the labour movement, to allow members to have an additional option for affordable leisure and entertainment," according to NTUC Club.

NCI and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) have a good understanding of the decision and the site will be reviewed for future developments by SDC, NTUC Club also said.

Construction costs for commercial or sports and recreational spaces have risen by up to 15 per cent year on year.

But property analyst Nicholas Mak said the cost of land on Sentosa has remained relatively stable - the development charge rates, which is the tax paid to the government for the development of land at Sentosa - has not changed over the past six months.

Both parties declined to reveal details on the land arrangement but SDC said there were no rental payments made.

The project "never went beyond a Memorandum of Understanding", said NTUC Club.

NTUC Club is the biggest local resort operator, managing three budget family-themed resorts.

Two are located in Pasir Ris and one on Sentosa.

Source: Today, 24 July 2009

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