Normanton Park was sold on Thursday (Oct 5) to Kingsford Huray Development for S$830.1 million, making it the highest land rate (psf ppr) for a 99-year leasehold collective sale site this year.
As the face of housing in Singapore continues to change, we take a look at five historic estates that will soon disappear, or are already gone thanks to sale and development.
1. Normanton Park
Home owners here mounted a military-style operation to get the 488-unit project bordered by the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and Kent Ridge Park, on the market in double-quick time.
And aptly so, given that the condominium is home to many military commanders and officers.
It was designed and built by the HDB in 1977, before being privatised in 1993.
The condominium was developed by the Ministry of Defence to provide affordable housing for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commissioned officers, and to build camaraderie among them.
Former SAF personnel now make up about a fifth of its residents.
2. Dakota Crescent
Built by the Singapore Improvement Trust 1958, during the British colonial days, and handed over to its successor, the Housing Development Board (HDB), in 1960, it is one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates.
The last of the residents of the 17 low-rise brick-clad flats moved out this year, to make way for new developments under Mountbatten’s estate renewal plans.
There were 648 two and three-room flats, mostly occupied by elderly residents and low-income families under HDB’s public rental scheme.
An iconic Old Dove playground sits in the middle of the estate, well-preserved with rubber tyre swings and a slide sitting on a sand pit.
3. Rochor Centre
The iconic cluster of four Housing Board blocks, each painted mainly in red, blue, yellow or green, is one of the few remaining landmarks from 1970s Bugis.
Completed in 1977, Rochor Centre was originally home to 183 shops and 567 households.
Back then, sailors and transvestites frequented the area, and it was often associated with the odour of faeces, as there was a night soil deposit point located opposite it, where Albert Complex stands today. The area was cleaned up in the 1980s.
Rochor Centre was vacated in September last year, to make way for the new North-South Expressway.
4. Commonwealth Drive
The seven blocks of brown and beige-coloured flats were the country’s first 10-storey flats, and were colloquially known as chap lau chu, Hokkien for 10-storeys house.
Built in the early 1960s, this pioneering estate of blocks 74 to 80 introduced Singaporeans to the concept of a self-contained “public housing precinct”, with several tall housing blocks next to a food centre.
The iconic “mini estate” also featured on the back of the nation’s first $1 bill.
The area was earmarked for redevelopment in 2008, and residents and businesses cleared out by early 2014. It has now been demolished.
5. Neo Tiew Crescent
The abandoned HDB estate sits in Lim Chu Kang, eerily silent and empty.
Built in 1979, the estate, which is now a ghost town, consists of three three-storey blocks of flats. They are blocks 3 to 5.
Along with the residential units, there was a wet market and playground.
The estate underwent an en bloc sale in 2002, with its residents moving to Jurong West.
The Singapore Armed Forces currently use the location for their Fighting In Built-Up Areas training and exercises.