Tag Archives: SIT

Saving Dakota Crescent

On local press recently, there is a group of architects, led by Mr Jonathan Poh, seeking to save parts of Dakota Crescent. Dakota Crescent is one of the oldest public housing estate in the island. The group is submitting a paper to MND to provide various options to save the entire area, as well as conserving parts of the iconic structures in the estate.

Based on the government’s rejuvenation plans for old housing estates, the 17 rental blocks in Dakota Crescent is primed for demolition. The residents have to vacate the area by end of 2016, to either nearby Cassia Crescent or elsewhere if they decide to buy a new flat. The site is reserved for future residential development.

The conservation plan include 8 “butterfly blocks” — curved buildings with 2 perpendicular wings at the back; blocks 10 and 20, which are similar to the already demolished blocks in St Michael’s estate in Whampoa and the Princess and Duchess estates in Queenstown. The flats were built SIT in 1958.

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Expiry date for Dakota Crescent flats in 2016

Dakota Crescent, one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates, is making way for developments under Mountbatten’s estate renewal plans.

Residents of the 17 low-rise rental blocks off Old Airport Road must leave by end-2016. Those who choose to buy a new flat anywhere else will get a relocation grant of up to S$15,000.

Only about 400 of the 648 units, built by the Singapore Improvement Trust in 1958, are occupied and about two-thirds of the households have at least one member aged 60 and above.

Retiree Lee Choong Hian, 68, who lives alone in a two-room rental flat, will miss the estate where he has lived for 20 years. “The environment is good. At night it’s peaceful, and transport is convenient,” he said.

Those who want to keep renting will get priority and their rents will not go up. Their options of one- or two-room flats include those in a new block in nearby Cassia Crescent, to be completed in 2016.

They can also choose to buy a new flat from the HDB. Eligible first-timers will get a Central Provident Fund relocation grant of S$15,000 for families or singles jointly buying a place; lone singles get S$7,500.

This grant is being offered for the first time in this relocation exercise. All tenants will also get a moving allowance of S$1,000.

The estate was named by experts as a piece of public housing history that should be saved. It was also one of the sites deemed “sacred” by readers in a Straits Times poll.

The HDB said Blocks 13 and 21 “will be retained for interim use, as there is no immediate redevelopment plan”.

“Purely from a heritage point of view, I think it certainly has value,” said Dr Yeo Kang Shua, conservation architect and Singapore Heritage Society secretary, while agreeing that the state has to balance competing needs.

Mountbatten Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan said: “Those who like the heritage mostly don’t live here.”

Even residents who do not welcome the move acknowledge that it has been a long time coming. Mr Yap Boon Hoo, 59, said: “We’ve lived here so many decades, we knew it was just a matter of time.”

The HDB said it would “take cognisance of the social memories of the area when redevelopment takes place in the future”.

The estate’s landmarks include an old-school playground with a blue mosaic-tiled dove design and a provision shop dating back to 1959, revived as a cafe last month.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/2016-expiry-date-dakota-crescent-flats#sthash.hR7jAmT9.dpuf

Flashback to an old housing estate

Bidding farewell to a precious piece of Singapore’s history is always difficult.

Dakota Crescent, one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates, will be vacated by the end of 2016 to make way for new developments under Mountbatten’s estate renewal plans.

The cosy block of flats just off Old Airport Road has been a sleepy refuge for the Singaporeans who call it home.

We look back at some of the features of Dakota Crescent.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/housing/story/5-things-remember-about-dakota-crescent-20140725#sthash.HZS1tSLt.dpuf

Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) HDB flats at Dakota Crescent.-- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

The former Kallang Airport has been home to the People’s Association (PA) since 1960. -- PHOTO: PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION

Tian Kee provision shop in Dakota Crescent has been turned into a cafe that retains the feel of the old place. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

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Block 62 Dakota Crescent, which won the Cleanest Block Competition in Marine Parade Town for two years consecutively. -- PHOTO: ST FILE