The world's largest commercial real estate services company CBRE Group, Inc. is selling the Liv@Changi mall in Singapore for just S$38 million ($28.4 million).

The mall - close to Singapore Changi Prison - remained empty for more than a year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. The mall was given a temporary occupation permit in December 2019.

The cost to build the mall was not disclosed.

The mall was expected to be a hit in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. However, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and "circuit breaker" measures affected the interest of tenants.

Developer Fortune Assets (Changi) Pte. Ltd. said that in addition to pandemic measures, there were also restrictions imposed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority that made the mall unattractive to restaurant and cafe owners.

The authority says nearby residents complained about parking problems and traffic.

Without food and beverage outlets at the mall, experts said many shoppers were not interested.

Fortune Assets director Keev Tan said Liv@Changi was supposed to "provide quality amenities and services" to residents. However, residents said restaurants and cafes would encourage traffic jams and parking issues.

CBRE is hoping the building can soon offer fitness centers, retailers, supermarkets, clinics and child care facilities.

Malls and retailers were among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Singapore. Essential services only were allowed to open during the height of the outbreak. But a year on from the circuit-breaker measures hopes are rising for a recovery

Social distancing measures have been implemented in malls, and masks remain mandatory. With eased restrictions, the industry is looking to recover losses, experts say.