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Liang Court (Now CanningHill Piers)

Integrated Living Along The Singapore River
TOP est 2025

Updated as at

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

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About Liang Court

With its iconic brownish twin towers overlooking the Singapore River, Liang Court was a symbol of the 80’s.

Opened in 1984, the main attraction of the complex was a 5-storey shopping mall. Alongside was Somerset Residences, a 26-storey serviced apartment, and the Novotel Clarke Quay Hotel, with 326 guest rooms. 


Liang Court Image

Liang Court: The Beginning

Back in January 1984, the Wuthelam Group (a manufacturer of paint and coatings and a company that owns 39% of Nippon Paint) collaborated with Daimaru Inc (a Japanese department store chain) to open Liang Court, the first large scale shopping mall along River Valley Road. 

Owing to its Japanese roots, the mall naturally had an inclination for Japanese wares, with Daimaru being an anchor tenant. The name Daimaru is one that conjures many fond memories for Singaporeans. 

Along with Daimaru, other stores included Kinokuniya (a mega bookstore with an ample selection of Japanese literature), F&B outlets such as Tung Lok Signatures, electronics retailer SAFE Superstore and more than 60 speciality tenants with offerings catering for the Japanese community. 

Above the commercial building stood two 25-storey tower blocks occupied by Hotel New Otani Singapore and serviced apartments Liang Court Regency, which opened in November 1984. These 2 towers would become the iconic landmark that would define its legacy. 

Daimaru Liang Court
kinokuniya storefront

Liang Court: Restructuring

In the earlier years of Liang Court’s inception, the local MRT network wasn’t that well developed and Clarke Quay was nowhere where it is today. Although the mall had a following from the Japanese expatriate community, it wasn’t quite sufficient to keep it going as general footfall wasn’t ideal.

After a good 19 year run, Daimaru had to throw in the towel in 2003 and close off their outlet as sales wasn’t quite keeping up. It was also in this year that Daimaru posted a 1.7% reduction in net profit as compared to a year earlier.

Taking over the role of anchor supermarket tenant was Meidi-Ya, another Japanese grocery chain that also had a long history.

(Meidi-Ya outlets can still be found at Millenia Walk and Great World)

Another large tenant Audio House came in (audio aficionados will remember) to mark the second phase of Liang Court’s growth.

Hotel New Otani’s management was taken over by Accor Hotels in December 2004, and was subsequently renamed Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay. The mall changed hands twice, having been sold to Pidemco Land in 1999 and subsequently sold to the Asia Retail Management Fund (ARMF) in 2006.

Meidi Ya Supermarket
Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay

At this point it is also useful to mention the evolution that was happening at Clarke Quay as Liang Court and Clarke Quay’s fate was intertwined.

The rights to develop Clarke Quay for private developers was opened through a Sale of Sites Programme in 1989. DBS Land won this tender, through its subsidiary Real Estate Holdings.

In November 1993, Clarke Quay reopened to a much better response, with as many as 170 retail shops and 17 F&B outlets. The MRT network was also more developed by then – at least 42 MRT stations were operational by 1990, with the closest station to the Clarke Quay  area being Raffles Place.

Although hopes were high for Clarke Quay, it was not the commercial success that many had hope it would be.

In the year 2000, Clarke Quay went through yet another change when DBS Land merged with Pidemco Land to form CapitaLand.

Following that, the growth Clarke Quay was on the rise, aided greatly when the Clarke Quay MRT station opened in 2003, and the Central Mall by Far East Organization opened a few years later in 2007.

The current night-life and entertainment hub that is Clarke Quay was in fact the brainchild of British architectural firm Alsop Architects, hired by Capitaland to refresh Clarke Quay’s image and infrastructure and revitalise the district.

Colorful Historic Houses by Singapore River at Clarke Quay
Singapore River

Liang Court: The Sale

Whilst Clarke Quay was gaining traction, Liang Court, under the Asia Retail Management Fund management, underwent major refurbishment works in 2007, which took until 2010 to complete.

Uniqlo opened at the mall’s ground floor in November 2013.

Despite the many rounds of restructuring and additions of large anchor tenants, business at Liang Court was declining, as the overall Clarke Quay had grown to one that catered for young working class professional, and there was increasingly little at the older and now increasingly outdated mall for visitors of that area to look forward to.

In March 2019, Liang Court was sold to a joint venture between CapitaLand and City Developments Limited, for $400 million.

In November 2019, CapitaLand and its subsidiary Ascott REIT, along with City Developments Limited announced that Liang Court will be redeveloped into a mixed-use, integrated development named Canninghill Piers.

This redevelopment effort was made possible following the proposed sale by CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) of its entire stake in Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay to the 50:50 CDL-CapitaLand joint venture entities and CDL.

Concurrently, Ascott Reit, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand, will sell part of its interest in Somerset Liang Court Singapore to CDL. 

Meidi Ya Supermarket
CapitaLand Logo
CDL Logo
CanningHill Piers