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HDB announces Dawson estate renewal

31 blocks at Tanglin Halt Road, Commonwealth Drive to be redeveloped under SERS. "With every new HDB town becoming more modern, there is a need to ensure that older towns do not end up too far behind," says minister Khaw Boon Wan.

SINGAPORE: A total of 31 residential HDB blocks at Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive will be redeveloped under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), together with Commonwealth Drive Food Centre, Tanglin Halt Market and about 50 shops and four eating houses in seven shophouse blocks in the Dawson estate, HDB announced on Friday (June 27).

HDB will build five new housing projects on Margaret Drive, Dawson Road and Strathmore Avenue to re-house residents from these blocks, which will be ready by 2020.

The transformation of Dawson estate is part of the Remaking Our Heartland initiative first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 2007 National Day Rally. The initiative has been rolled out in Yishun, Punggol, Jurong Lake, East Coast and Hougang.

The residential blocks going en bloc are 24-38, 40-45 Tanglin Halt Road and 55, 56, 58-60, 62-66 on Commonwealth Drive, consisting of 2, 3 and 4-room apartments - 3,480 flats in total. This is the largest SERS project to be announced since the Hillview Avenue site in 1999.

Shops and eating houses at Blocks 46-1, 46-2, 46-3 Commonwealth Drive and Blocks 39, 47-49 Tanglin Halt Road will be cleared as part of the redevelopment of Dawson estate. There will be a new two-storey hawker centre on Margaret Drive, and a new neighbourhood centre will be built as well.

The former wet market at 38 Commonwealth Avenue has been conserved and will be refurbished to house shops.

Residents and shop tenants will be informed by HDB and National Environment Agency officers going door-to-door in the estate on Friday and Saturday.

A good 70 per cent of residents in Tanglin Halt are elderly, and some like Mdm Soh expressed concern over the redevelopment plans. "So sorry to move! Hopefully, by that time we are not around already," she said.

Others said having to move would not be an issue "Doesn't matter. It's better. The morning sun here is very hot," said Mdm Mulyana.

"THE NEXT ICONIC ESTATE"

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan, writing on his blog, said Dawson is "fast becoming the next iconic housing estate".

Two Build-To-Order (BTO) projects, SkyVille@Dawson and SkyTerrace@Dawson, featuring concepts like sky gardens and landscape terraces, will be completed next year, he noted, while residents of the new projects announced on Friday "will get a new modern flat with a fresh 99-year lease, with greenery at their doorstep, and panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas".

"With every new HDB town becoming more modern and better designed, there is a need to ensure that the older towns do not end up too far behind," he said. Queenstown was the HDB's first satellite town, with many of the flats there more than 50 years old, he added.

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