Tag Archives: Kallang

Rochor River renewed

Rochor

RochorRivermap

RochorRivermap2
Th revamped canal is the latest addition to water agency PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme. Six other projects under the programme are scheduled to open this year.

A stretch of the Rochor Canal – running from Sim Lim Tower to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority Building – which has been transformed into a riverfront with rain gardens, community plazas and benches will be officially opened by Mayor of Central Singapore District Ms Denise Phua on Mar 8.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/revamped-rochor-canal/1698632.html

http://www.pub.gov.sg/mpublications/Pages/PressReleases.aspx?ItemId=430

Central Area Masterplan

A video that summarises the development plans for the Central Area of Singapore!

Sungei Road Flea Market going off soon

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/sungei-road-flea-market-will-have-go-20140731

Around eight decades of history seem set to come to an end for Sungei Road flea market.

As it has to make way for the Sungei Road MRT station, due to open in 2017, an association representing its 200 traders had suggested relocating to one of four alternative sites nearby.

However, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has rejected this – and not given it any explanation. When asked, NEA referred The Straits Times to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which said the four sites have been zoned for parks and residential use under Master Plan 2014. They are next to Rochor River, at Kampong Bugis along Kallang River, behind Sim Lim Tower and a roadside near Jalan Kubor Malay cemetery.

The president of the Association for the Recycling of Second Hand Goods, Mr Koh Ah Koon, 73, received a letter from the NEA informing him of the decision last week. He passed on the bad news to members at a meeting on Monday. “Shutting down the market will mean taking away a source of income for many elderly folk here,” he said. “Most of us have little education or are illiterate.”

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/sungei-road-flea-market-will-have-go-20140731#sthash.Y7sJhYQ2.dpuf

Sports Hub extends free trial for facilities to Aug 17

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/sports-hub-extends-free/1280972.html

2014-07-06 16.54.38

The extension is part of the National Day celebrations. The National Day Parade will also be screened at the Sports Hub.

As part of Singapore’s National Day celebrations, the Singapore Sports Hub has decided to extend the free use of its facilities till Aug 17. So if you missed out on getting tickets to this year’s National Day Parade (NDP), you can catch all the action on a giant screen at the Sports Hub, as it celebrates the nation’s 49th birthday.

The screening of the NDP at the Sports Hub follows the successful free screenings of the World Cup matches. The free trials, originally slated for the whole month of July, have proved popular with the public, with usage rates hitting about 90 per cent to date. Badminton and swimming have attracted the most number of bookings.

Once the free trial period is over, the Sports Hub will charge a fee for the use of these facilities. The rates, to be announced later, will be aligned with that of other sports facilities in Singapore.

“The free trials will give us feedback on what the public want,” said the Singapore Sports Hub’s Chief Operating Officer Oon Jin Teik. “We will adjust the rates and timings accordingly to make it easily accessible and affordable for all.”

Dakota Crescent – Where time stands still

A SWANKY new National Stadium rises in Kallang. Two years ago, the nearby Goodman Arts Centre opened its doors to a hip young crowd. One street away, a new condominium has been built on the site of Housing Board flats.

But amid these changes, time has passed by Dakota Crescent, one of Singapore’s oldest HDB estates, located off Old Airport Road. The 17 blocks of low-rise flats have hardly changed since being built in 1958.

No wonder, then, that their retro architecture and old-school playground make them a hot spot for photographers and artists.

“It’s rare to see such old flats,” said Mr Renalto Wong, 25, who was there on a Sunday, sketching a 54-year-old provision shop that recently closed down. “There’s something comfortable and nostalgic about this place – it’s almost like a hideout.”

The estate was named after the Douglas DC-3 Dakota, a model of plane that landed at Kallang Airport in the past.

Built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) – the forerunner of the HDB – most of the 600 flats are leased to low-income families under the board’s public rental scheme. The flats are occupied mostly by elderly residents, who pay as low as $26 a month for a one-room flat and $44 a month for a two-room flat.

Scrap-goods buyer Ng Guan Swee, 68, has lived in Dakota Crescent since it was built.

“There was a fire in Cecil Street in the 50s and our house got burned down, so we were allocated a house in Dakota Crescent,” he recalled in Mandarin.

At that time, Mr Ng’s grandmother had bound feet – as was the custom in her day – and the family requested a ground-level unit. Theirs, at Block 20, has been home to Mr Ng and his sister for more than 50 years.

“When we came in 1958, there were no streetlights,” said Mr Ng, sitting amid old laser disc players, hi-fi sets and other vintage items in his home. He remembers traversing the dark streets to go to the nearby Guillemard shophouses for snacks.

But in the 1960s, as more families moved in, a market sprang up opposite the estate.

“Almost every unit in this estate was occupied. Neighbours knew one another and our doors were always open,” said Mr Ng. “Those were good times.”

Madam Yong Fong Keow, 64, who moved there in the 60s, also misses such communal life.

Gesturing at a new condominium, she said in Mandarin: “There was a bakery there. At 3pm or 4pm, we would smell the aroma of freshly baked bread. That’s when you grabbed some money and a neighbour and went to buy bread.”

But now, communal life in Dakota is a shadow of what it used to be. Only about 60 per cent of the units are occupied. Of a row of four shops, only two – both Chinese medicine clinics – remain.

Neighbours started moving out in the 90s, some to live with their children.

Then, a new wave of tenants moved there in 2005 when the HDB leased empty units to private operators, who, in turn, rented them to foreign workers.

“You could hear Thai accents, Filipino accents and Chinese accents around the neighbourhood, it was like a mini United Nations,” Mr Ng joked.

While some residents got used to these new faces, others did not.

Madam Amy De Silva, a long-time resident in her 60s, said: “Some of them were rowdy and you could hear them coming home late at night. Their living habits just didn’t suit ours.”

The HDB’s agreement with the managing agent ended last year and the foreign workers have since moved out of the Dakota estate.

However, at Block 32, an empty unit is littered with cardboard boxes and clothes. Mr Y.Y Goh, 57, a resident, said foreign workers live there but they do not disturb anyone.

One empty unit in Block 12, though, has become a party spot for teens. “They drink, eat, smoke, and mess the place up,” said a resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Zhang.

When The Straits Times visited, there were drink cans, chip packets and cardboard boxes in the unit.

In another vacant unit in Block 16, graffiti was scrawled on the walls. Some residents suspect teenagers sniffed glue there – some were spotted going into the unit with bags over their noses.

The HDB said that it has received complaints about crime and mischief in the area and informed the police.

But Dakota, now somewhat of a ghost town, may soon be more crowded again. The HDB said it is offering empty units as interim housing to needy families awaiting new flats. They were expected to start moving in progressively from last month. It has not indicated any long-term plans to develop the estate, however.

Although Dakota has been dubbed an “old people’s estate”, the few young faces who live there have no complaints.

“It’s a five-minute walk from Dakota and Mountbatten MRT stations, we have the Old Airport Road hawker centre and I hang out with friends at the Kallang Leisure Park nearby,” said Mr Kartigesan Saravanan, 20, who has lived in Dakota for the past 13 years. “It’s really a good location.”

Indeed, resident Bill Koh, who is in his 50s, said: “So many new buildings are coming up around us, it’s hard not to worry what might happen.

“People always come here and say how nice this estate is. There’s lots of green space between these old flats. It’s a pity if one of Singapore’s oldest estates is gone – maybe they should consider conserving it.”
– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/suburb-where-time-stands-still-20131104#sthash.FKBJBMLk.dpuf

Burlington Square

BSQ 6 BSQ 5 BSQ 1

Address: 175 Bencoolen Street
Type of Development: Apartment / Commercial
Tenure: 99 years
District: 07
No. of Units: 179
Year of Completion: 1998
Developer: Wintrust Investment Pte Ltd (WingTai)
Unit sizes:
Studio: 667 sq ft
2 bedrooms: 861 – 990 sq ft
3 bedrooms: 1,119 – 1,350 sq ft
Penthouse: 3,035 sq ft

Burlington Square is primarily used for Office rental and sale. Burlington Square is close to Bugis MRT Station (EW12) and Bras Basah MRT Station (CC2). Upcoming new MRT station Rochor Station (DT13) will be less than 2 minutes walking distance from it.

It is near to several bus stops located opposite Burlington Square – 07517, after Sim Lim Square – 07531 and at Fortune Centre – 07518.

 

Condo Facilities at Burlington Square

Facilities are full and include covered car park, 24 hours security, swimming pools, BBQ pits, gym, tennis courts, steam bath, and a multi-purpose hall. Some units have roof gardens and there is also a communal viewing terrace that offers residents an outstanding view of the city skyline.

 

Amenities Burlington Square

Reputable schools such as Laselle College of the Arts and Singapore Management University are both within walking distances.

Cinema, restaurants and eating establishments, supermarkets, and shops are located at the nearby Bugis Junction Shopping Centre. Residents can go to the neighboring Sim Lim Square for a range of computer and electronic products at competitive prices.

Numerous other restaurants and eating establishments are scattered around the development. In addition, there are numerous pubs and bars located at Selegie Road, which is a stone’s throw away. Burlington Square has several eateries located within its buildings such as Café Lyubi Menya and Burger King Fast Food Restaurant.

Attractions like Fort Canning Park and Little India are just around the corner and interested residents can scour through the huge collection of books and electronic media available at the nearby 7-storey Singapore National Library.

For vehicle owners, travelling to the business hub and the buzzing Orchard Road shopping belt takes about 5 minutes, via Victoria Street and Bukit Timah Road respectively.

Burlington Square is within reasonable distance to NTUC Fairprice Supermarket. It is also an array of amenities such as grocery, retail shopping, banks and more.

Burlington Square is accessible via Bencoolen Street, Rochor Road and Jalan Besar.

 

Kallang Riverside Transformation via Bus Firm

https://i0.wp.com/kallangriversides.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Kallang-Riverside-Day-Facade.jpg

AS A young man visiting his father’s Kampong Bugis factory in the late 1970s, Mr Lee Kin Hong would watch the comings and goings of boats on the water.

“There were timber logs flowing down the Kallang River,” the soft-spoken man recounts.

“They built sampans and tongkangs (a type of wooden boat) nearby. There was a bustling trade in boats… it was quite messy.”

The boatmakers’ huts have since vanished and the timber merchants no longer ply that route.

And Mr Lee, 60, has taken over as managing director of his father’s firm, Singapore-Johore Express (SJE). Set up in 1947, SJE operates buses to Malaysia.

The family’s Singapore-Johore Factory still stands, but not for long. The Lees plan to redevelop it into a new 30-storey condominium called Kallang Riverside.

The eight-storey building was built around 1978 to house bus maintenance services, but is now used mainly by short-term tenants as a warehouse.

Mr Lee told The Straits Times earlier this week at the condo’s newly-built showflat that he plans to begin tearing down the factory by the end of this year.

In its place will be a 212-unit condo that will have an “open concept… when you move in it will feel like a park. We want it to merge into the garden”.

There will be seven shops on the ground level, he said, adding that there are plans for an infinity pool on the 24th floor, offering a view of Marina Bay Sands and the new Sports Hub.

Mr Lee plans to sell units at about $1,900 to $2,350 per sq ft (psf), though he added that without the property market cooling measures, he would have priced it at around $3,000 psf.

It is expected to be completed in 2019.

Although the building plan for Kallang Riverside was formally approved only in March, plans to redevelop the site have been on the drawing board for nearly two decades.

The Singapore-Johore Factory was built in Kampong Bugis because that was near the bus terminal at Ban San Street in Bugis, where the Singapore-Johore Express buses would stop, he said.

When SJE moved its bus maintenance depot to Sin Ming in the 1980s, the factory was rented out to an array of tenants.

“We had printers, shoemakers… glassmakers, (those making) textiles. Even boilermakers. Most were related to retail activities in the city.”

In the early 1990s, SJE wanted to refurbish the factory and build an extension. But when they sought approval from the authorities, “the matter was delayed for some time”, he said. “They told us they were going to relook the concept plan for Kampong Bugis.”

Mr Lee then found out from government land planners in 1994 that his family’s freehold plot at 51 Kampong Bugis was to be rezoned from industrial to residential land.

SJE thus had to submit a new plan to build a residential development on the land parcel. It refined it “countless times” over two decades in discussion with various government agencies.

Its plan was finally approved in principle last year, before the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s draft masterplan was released. The masterplan earmarked Kampong Bugis, bounded by Kallang Road and Crawford Street, as a residential and lifestyle district.

Kallang Riverside will technically be SJE’s maiden residential project, but Mr Lee said the firm’s sister company, Melodies, is developing the 41-unit Riverside Melodies at St Michael’s Road. Melodies also developed the 72-unit Cassia View at Guillemard Road, completed in 1998. Both projects are freehold.

Dried Goods Centre: Victoria Wholesale Centre & Albert Centre

http://victoriawholesalecentre.com/

Straits Times 17 Jan 2014

The Victoria Wholesale Centre is slowly experiencing a rebound in business since it relocated from Bugis to Kallang Avenue almost two years ago.

Gone are the hordes of tourists who used to wander into the previously bustling centre in Bugis, attracted by the array of dried goods on display there.

Like its predecessor, the new centre boasts a wide selection of goods, ranging from dried fish stomach and dried Chinese sausages to almonds and tidbits, all housed under one roof.

But its location – half an hour’s walk from the nearest MRT station – is more inaccessible and attracts far fewer walk-in customers. When The Straits Times visited it on Wednesday, only a few shops had a steady flow of customers. But merchants said business has been slowly picking up, thanks to their loyal customers.

In March 2012, some 23 of the 40 merchants in the old Victoria Street Wholesale Centre moved to the eight-storey centre in Kallang Avenue, which is tucked inside an industrial estate, after they pooled resources and took bank loans to build it.

The previous site had to make way for the construction of the North-South Expressway, which is expected to be completed in 2020.

The old location was just a few minutes’ walk from Bugis MRT Station. But it now takes at least 10 minutes on foot to get to the new centre from the nearest bus stop.

At De Cheng Xin Xing Trading, the majority of its customers are regulars.

“Business at the old place was different,” said its director, Mr Andrew Goh, 37, the third-generation owner of a family business selling dried goods and high-end products such as bird’s nest and abalone.

“There used to be many passers-by who walked in and we made a lot of petty-cash sales. Now, there is no huge crowd.”

To boost business, the centre is providing visitors with a free shuttle bus service to and from Kallang MRT station, from Jan 3 to 28 daily, in time for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Some merchants, such as Ah Pau Chop’s 58-year-old owner, Madam Chua Soo Cheng, are hoping that the service will be permanent.

Despite the inconvenience, merchants said their long-time customers, who hail from as far as Bukit Timah, go to their shops because of the personalised service.

“A lot of shops (elsewhere) sell the same things, but here, we let customers try the goods and tell them how to cook and store the ingredients,” said Madam Chua, who has been in the business for 40 years. “The customers trust us. Otherwise, they wouldn’t come back.”

Retiree Soh Mui Wah, who was shopping there, agreed. “At De Cheng, I can sample the abalones so I know what’s inside the can, how big the abalones are and whether they taste good,” she said.

Mrs Catherine Wong, 71, a retired office administrator who lives in Bukit Timah, bought $160 worth of goods such as cashew nuts and dried shrimps.

“There are a lot of choices here,” she said. “I think we save about 15 per cent by buying the goods here.”

It was, however, a different scene at another wholesale centre. On the third floor of Albert Centre at Queen Street, there was barely any space to walk along the narrow aisles when The Straits Times visited the centre, located near the famous Guan Yin temple and shopping haven Bugis Street.

Shopfronts were packed with rows of clear plastic bags filled with dried goods and snacks, such as lotus seeds, peanuts, almonds and pistachios.

Shoppers, mostly middle-aged women, jostled to do their Chinese New Year shopping. Many dipped their hands into the bags to try the snacks before making their purchases.

One of the more popular shops was Tan Sum Joo Provision Shop. Owner Willian Tan, 59, said he has been running the business for more than 30 years, but declined to be interviewed because he was busy.

Ms Pinky Chear, a 24-year-old Malaysian hairstylist who works in Singapore, said her family would ask her to buy snacks from the shops and take them back to her home town in Perak. “It’s popular among my relatives because they said the stuff is fresher here.”

Customers said while the goods sold at Albert Centre can be found in supermarkets and neighbourhood shops, they preferred to come here to soak up the atmosphere. Housewife Jane Lim, 58, said: “Shopping at supermarkets may be more relaxed. It’s not as cramped, the goods have price tags on them and it’s easier to find the items I want. But there is a festive atmosphere at Albert Centre. That’s why I am here.”

– See more at: http://www.soshiok.com/content/mixed-fortunes-2-dried-goods-centres#sthash.nSvzysAi.dpuf

Sports Hub free usage while time allows

From late June 2014, the Singapore Sports Hub will unveil the Experience Sports Programme to the community – starting with an introductory period from 28 June till 30 July before the official programme kicks-off in August 2014.

This is an all inclusive in-house community programme that will allow everyone to participate for FREE.

From learning to play a new sport, to having a go at fun try-outs or just letting the kids jump around in the Experience Sports Village, there’ll be nothing short of fun activities for everyone at the Singapore Sports Hub every weekend and occasionally on weekdays.​

With the guidance of certified coaches, the Sports Hub will provide fun learning experiences for all. Their “Learn To Play” programme is designed for all ages, all sporting abilities and for all proficiency levels.

Whether you’ve ever held a badminton racquet, just played for fun at the playground or can hit a mean cross-court smash, Experience Badminton, is for you!

If you had always wondered what sand feels like in your face, Experience Beach Volleyball can be the right tonic for your Saturday.

Every Saturdays and Sundays, all year round, the Singapore Sports Hub will have a new sport for you to Experience.

See more details from the Sports Hub Home page. http://www.sportshub.com.sg/community/Pages/experience-sports.aspx