SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Alan Tan has handed over the reins of Alan Photo Trading to his elder son Alvan, and is focusing on real estate development with his younger son Austin. Within three short years, the Tans have progressed from developing single houses in Singapore to a 304-unit condominium in East Thailand, with investments in Australia and the UK on the horizon.
Camera retailer Alan Photo Trading has been a household name in Singapore for more than three decades, among both professional and hobbyist photographers alike. Its founder is Alan Tan, who opened his first store at Sim Lim Square in 1986.
The space occupied by the flagship Alan Photo spans five prominently located shop units on the first level of Sim Lim Square. Tan is not a tenant but the owner of these five shops. For an indication of how much these shop units are worth today, one need only look at a transaction last August, when a neighbouring 355 sq ft unit changed hands for $1.85 million ($5,208 psf). This is despite Sim Lim Square looking its age (37 years old) and having just 62 years left on its 99-year lease that began in 1983.
While camera retailing has been Tan’s mainstay for 34 years, he has seen how the advent of smartphones with built-in cameras has changed consumer behaviour. The retail industry has likewise been disrupted by technology, especially online shopping.
With elder son Alvan, 31, taking over at the helm of Alan Photo Trading to cater to the new generation of professional and hobbyist photographers, the 62-year-old Tan has switched to real estate development. That led to the creation of ABN Holding, a real estate development firm founded in 2016. Tan is president of ABN, while younger son Austin, 29, is the COO.
Over the past three decades, Tan has proven to be a savvy property investor. Besides the shop units at Sim Lim Square, Tan also owns about 10 condominium units in Singapore, zooming in on prime properties, for instance, The Sea View on Amber Road, Horizon Towers on Leonie Hill Road and Parvis at Holland Hill.