A real estate project built by a unit of what is now CK Asset Holdings is facing a lawsuit in Singapore after homeowners complained of alleged defects in the Thomson Grand condominium complex near Lower Pierce Reservoir in central Singapore, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) of Thomson Grand condominium filed a lawsuit last year against the building’s developer, Luxury Green Development — a unit of the developer controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing — alleging that “numerous defects have become manifestly apparent” in the 20-storey complex, according to a market source who talked to Mingtiandi.com, verifying a report by the Business Times last week that cited official court documents.
Aside from the developer, the MCST dragged two contractors into the legal dispute, accusing a joint venture of local construction firm Lian Beng Group and Hong Kong-based company Paul Y. Construction and Engineering — which is the main contractor — and subcontractor Jinyue Aluminium Engineering of breach of warranties and negligence.
Builder, Contractors Deny Allegations
Homeowners in Thomson Grand said common property defects in the 99-year leasehold complex include deficiencies in the lap pool, carpark, driveways, roof, staircases and lift lobbies.
Completed in 2015, the condominium sits on a 20,859 square metre (224,524 square foot) residential site in the affluent Upper Thomson district, spanning 43,781 square metres in total gross floor area. The tower has 339 condo units and 22 landed homes being sold at an average of S$1,448 ($1,062) per square foot, according to property website Edgeprop.
The lawsuit included a claim against the unit of CK Asset — which was known as Cheung Kong Holdings before a 2015 reorganisation — for committing a breach of contract, breach of statutory duty and negligence.
The condo’s MCST, which is represented by Aequitas Law managing partner Lim Tat, is appealing before the court for damages, interest and costs, and other relief it deems fit.
CK Asset denied breaching the agreement and maintained that the company is not liable for the defects, contending that they were caused by “fair wear and tear, and/or natural deterioration” in the building, according to defence documents verified by the market source.
If proved liable, the builder said it would file a claim against the main contractor for an indemnity.
For the Lian Beng-led JV, which entered into a S$169 million agreement as the main contractor in 2012, the report said the partnership filed a defence this month arguing that the defects were not attributable to it and also pointed to the homeowners’ failure to maintain the building.
Represented by Kennedys Legal Solutions, the JV stood firm that the construction works were done in line with approved plans, specifications and market standards and that the venture is not liable for damages on the part of subcontractors.
Jinyue Aluminium Engineering, which was in charge of aluminium and glazing works, also denied the allegations through its representative CTLC Law Corp, saying the alleged defects have been addressed already.
Mingtiandi had not received responses to requests for comment from legal representatives of the defendants at the time of publication. CK Asset also did not respond.
Hong Kong’s Wealthiest Man
Aside from Thomson Grand, other properties in CK Asset’s Singapore portfolio include the 248-unit Cairnhill Crest condo in the city’s central business district and the One Raffles Quay twin office tower in the downtown core.
Back home, the developer is planning to convert Hong Kong’s East Fo Tan Industrial Area into a residential project that could supply up to 4,706 flats upon completion, based on a rezoning application it filed in November.
While one of the company’s past developments is facing a legal dispute, tycoon Li Ka-shing remains unfazed with his $36 billion net worth still the highest in Hong Kong based on the latest Forbes rich list.