Ghost town waits to be demolished

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Singapore’s first public housing project located at Commonwealth Drive now lies empty, awaiting its pending demolition later this year, reported AsiaOne.

Constructed in the early 1960s, the development consists of seven 10-storey blocks painted in brown and beige. This ‘mini estate’, affectionately called ‘chap lau chu’ in Hokkien, pioneered the concept of a self-contained ‘public housing precinct’ with several tall housing blocks adjacent to a food centre.

But the residents and businesses at blocks 74 to 80 vacated the estate in early-2014 after authorities earmarked the site for redevelopment in 2008. Former residents were given the option of relocating to new flats in the nearby Dawson estate.

Meanwhile, the government plans to tear down the seven buildings along with other old housing blocks. In total, they intend to demolish 31 blocks with 3,480 flats in Commonwealth Drive and Tanglin Halt Road, making it the largest residential redevelopment to date.

As the city-state looks to maximise the use of its scarce land, more housing estates are being cleared so that construction of new ones can begin.

Under HDB’s Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme, 19 projects have been undertaken in the last 10 years.

While the residents of all these areas were moved out of their flats, old apartment blocks in seven of these developments have been identified for conservation, set aside for interim use, or are in various stages of demolition.

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