The Rochor Centre to be Demolished
The Rochor Centre is hard not to notice and it will certainly be missed by residents, shop owners and many Singaporeans when it is demolished later this year. The public housing estate, built in 1977, is distinctive for its brightly coloured facades. Its blocks – coloured differing shades of blue, yellow, red and yellow – have found a place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. The iconic landmark is in Bugis, next to Sungei Rochor and Sim Lim Square and was originally home to 567 households based in its 4 residential blocks as well as 183 shops and offices located in a separate, but equally colourful 3 storey block.
The centre started out life like any other HDB, and was a white/grey colour until all the blocks underwent a refurbishment in the early 1990’s, when they were given their now familiar colourful makeover.
It was announced in November 2011 that the centre would be knocked down to make way for the new NSE (North South Expressway) which will become Singapore’s 11th expressway when it is completed in 2023. The route will join the northern parts of the island with the East Coast Parkway (ECP), and will take a lot of the burden off the congested Central Expressway (CTE). It is hoped that the NSE – which will span 21.5km when completed – will benefit all those living in the east and north of Singapore and will cut rush hour journeys by up to 30 per cent.
Though there are several other plots of land and buildings that will be purchased by the government to make way for the development (Dakota Crescent, four low-rise blocks in Siglap and Victoria Street Wholesale Centre for example), the Rochor Centre is by far the most high profile casualty. The centre has a very strong sense of community and many if not all of the residents, many of whom have lived there all their lives, will be very sad to move out. At the beginning of 2016 just over a hundred of the shops had closed while just 36 households had relocated.
Residents will be offered relocation benefits similar to those that are offered to those undergoing the selective en bloc redevelopment scheme. These include an additional 20 per cent discount of up to S$30,000 when they buy their next flat, as well as receiving compensation for their existing homes. Prices for the Rochor Centre flats will be valued according to current market values. The residents, though sad to leave their homes and neighbours will also be able to look forward to a new life in a greener, more relaxed environment than the busy and hectic Bugis area. 91 per cent of the residents will relocate to a newly built HDB in Kallang.
Below are some new launch condos that will benefit from the North South Expressway
Upcoming New Launches