Feb 5, 2007

Coming up: Waterfront living for HDB residents

By Liaw Wy-Cin

BIGGER SPLASH: To be ready in three years, the Bendemeer waterfront development will be built where two waterways meet - Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa.

WATERFRONT living, until now the preserve of condominium developments, is making its way to the public housing sector.

The Housing Board's first waterfront project will be completed in about three years. Five blocks comprising 816 three- to five-room flats will be built in Bendemeer Road, where two waterways - Kallang River and Sungei Whampoa - meet.

And getting first pick of the cherry will be some residents affected by the HDB's programme to redevelop old residential blocks.

The 816 flats are among 1,670 new ones made available to residents of seven blocks of flats in Sims Drive and Upper Boon Keng Road as replacements for their 27- to 31- year-old ones, which have been slated for the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers). The other replacement flats are located in Upper Boon Keng Road.

Registration for the replacement flats opened to those eligible at the end of last year, and surplus flats will be sold to the public later.

The Bendemeer waterfront development sits on a site 2.86ha in size, about the size of seven football fields. The most common flat type on offer is the four-room one, with about 550 units - either 85 or 90 sq m in size.

Externally, the residential blocks, numbered 41A to D and 42A, are of staggered heights for a more distinctive skyline, and there will also be a lookout plaza that affords a view of Kallang River and beyond, towards the National Stadium, said the HDB.

With Sungei Whampoa and Kallang River being part of a $517 million facelift of the surrounding Jalan Besar area and with a major makeover of Singapore's water bodies in the works, waterfront living is set to make a bigger splash for even more Singaporeans.

Financial consultant Victor Wu, 32, agrees: 'It is definitely good news because with HDB in the picture, it means such waterfront living will be accessible to more people, especially if prices are kept affordable and the flats are nice.'

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