Unhappy JEM tenants seek compensation over indefinite closure

Unhappy JEM tenants seek compensation over indefinite closure
From L-R: Mr Steve McCann, Group CEO and Managing Director of developer Lend Lease; Ms Jenny Khoo, General Manager of JEM and Mr Reggie Lim, Head of Environment, Health and Safety, Asia.

SINGAPORE - Tenants at JEM mall have expressed unhappiness over the mall's indefinite closure after a first-storey ceiling at the mall collapsed, adding that they will consider moving out once their lease expires.

The collapse which happened on Wednesday night was caused by a leak in a water pipe. 

The weight of the water, which collected on the false ceiling, was a likely cause of the false ceiling collapse. Three women in their 30s were injured in the accident.

Lianhe Wanbao said tenants told the paper spoke they intend to seek compensation for their losses, and are "seriously considering" whether or not to extend their lease once it ends.

Said the owner of a chain restaurant, Madam Tan, 40: "We sell soups like 'Buddha Jumps Over The Wall' and have expensive ingredients in the restaurant. We were not able to move all of them out in time. We have lost a lot of money."

She said she will calculate her losses first, before seeking compensation from the mall.

Madam Tan added that the mall had run into many problems since its opening, and business has not been as good as expected, expressing disappointment at the mall's management.

"But we have already signed a three-year contract. When the time comes we will decide if we want to extend our lease," said Madam Tan.

According to the Chinese evening daily, many small businesses operating in the mall also said they will seriously consider whether or not to stay on at the mall once their lease expires. 

In contrast, large chains such as Koufu Foodcourt and H&M that they have no plans to move out, and expressed confidence in the mall's management.

A spokesperson from the mall's developer, Lend Lease, said they are unable to determine when the mall can re-open, as it depends on the daily progress of the re-construction and safety inspections.

According to Wanbao, JEM is likely to stay closed till Sunday at least.

The spokesperson added the mall will not open until all safety checks are in place.

However, tenants told Wanbao that some of the mall's staff had revealed that the closure could take up to two or three weeks. The paper said that it understands JEM will be compensating tenants for their losses during this period. But  details of the package has yet to be revealed.

candicec@sph.com.sg

 

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