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40 years of Siglap

A 40-year-old mixed-use building in Siglap might be demolished very soon.

Siglap Shopping Centre. Credit: OrangeTee Advisory.

Siglap Shopping Centre will be put up for collective sale by public tender on Tuesday (Oct 27), with the reserve price for the freehold mixed-use site on East Coast Road set at S$120 million, marketing agent OrangeTee Advisory said on Monday.


Completed in around 1980, the three-storey development at 883 to 903A East Coast Road is made up of eight residential units and eight commercial units sitting on about 39,635 sq ft of land.


An adjoining plot (roughly 5,005 sq ft) of state land can be amalgamated with the site, subject to approval from authorities, to form a site with a combined area of about 44,640 sq ft.


Siglap Shopping Centre, not to be confused with the nearby Siglap Centre, is currently occupied by a variety of tenants including eateries and a pre-school.


The tender will close at 3pm on Dec 9.

“With its freehold tenure and location in popular District 15, the site is likely to see good interest from developers,” said Mr Edmund Lee, executive director of OrangeTee Advisory.


“The optimal site area, coupled with a frontage of about 60 metres onto East Coast Road, offer developers the opportunity to build a prominent mixed-use development to cater to the lifestyle demands of buyers.”


Based on the reserve price, the land rate works out to S$1,235 per square foot per plot ratio, after accounting for an additional 7 per cent bonus residential gross floor area for private outdoor spaces.


The figure of S$120 million includes an estimated development charge of S$47.47 million and an estimated alienation cost of S$7.2 million for the plot of state land.


According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2019 Master Plan, the site is zoned as residential with commercial on the first storey.


The gross plot ratio is 3.0, and the building height control is four storeys.


The site is close to several schools and malls, as well as Parkway East Hospital, and will be served by the upcoming Siglap MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line.


OrangeTee Advisory director Mr Tay Liam Hiap said that new projects in the area have been a popular choice for home buyers.


“New project sales in the East Coast area have been trending well, and attest to the continued appeal of the Siglap/Katong district with its plethora of dining, shopping and recreational amenities,” he said.


“The proximity to beaches, parks and Changi Airport further amplifies the attractiveness and draw of the area to home buyers.”


***


I looked up Siglap Shopping Centre on Google Maps and found something resembling more a row of shophouses than a conventional shopping centre. Going through Google Street View’s history reveals a little slice of the building’s history.


In 2008, its tenants included Pizza Hut, Video Ezy, a United Overseas Bank (UOB) branch, a Thai restaurant named Lemongrass, KFC, and another restaurant, Le Viet. The building also had a smaller cousin to the left, possibly constructed at the same time.

2008. Credit: Google Maps.

By 2012, the building’s smaller cousin had been torn down for a new condominium (what else?), Siglap V. Video Ezy and Le Viet had departed; Video Ezy’s space was taken by Feet Press, a foot reflexology centre.

2012. Credit: Google Maps.

By 2015, UOB had moved out; a Chinese restaurant and a sales gallery had set up shop on either side of the KFC outlet.

2015. Credit: Google Maps.

And by 2019, Pizza Hut had been replaced by two restaurants, UOB’s space had been taken by a preschool, and the two tenants on either side of KFC had been replaced by a bar and a bike distributor.

2019. Credit: Google Maps.

This meant that of all the commercial tenants that were around in 2008, only KFC had stuck around by 2019.


And a search of the newspaper archives reveals that KFC was one of Siglap Shopping Centre’s first tenants when it opened in 1980! Below is a Straits Times advertisement from 12 December 1980, announcing the outlet’s official opening.

The KFC outlet is still open presently:

40 years of fried chicken in Siglap!


Unfortunately, it might have to move out, along with its neighbours, very soon. And the history of this little stretch along Upper East Coast Road will roll on, relentlessly.

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