SINGAPORE: Singapore's first new-generation neighbourhood centre officially opened in Punggol on Sunday (Feb 17), offering residents access to a variety of amenities ranging from a supermarket, a food court, a 24-hour fitness centre as well as various shops and food and beverage outlets.
The seven-storey Oasis Terraces, located next to Oasis LRT and facing Punggol Waterway, is also the first neighbourhood centre in Singapore to be integrated with a polyclinic and a childcare centre.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) said it took into account suggestions by Punggol residents, who want shops and facilities that open until late, family-friendly dining options, as well as sports and recreational facilities.
At the heart of the neighbourhood centre is a sheltered plaza where events will be held weekly.
Built by HDB, the neighbourhood centre is designed to encourage social interaction and bonding, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.
Unlike a private developer, HDB is not out to maximise commercial returns, he said.
"We don’t maximise every single plot ratio. We have many open spaces, public spaces for residents to gather to and mingle, and to achieve our social objective of strengthening family bonds and facilitation community integration," Mr Wong said at the official opening of Oasis Terraces.
"The tender is not just based on the highest price, it is also based on qualitative factors like the proposed business concept and the operating model."
'SPECIAL HDB EXPERIENCE'
At the sixth floor rooftop, residents can enjoy lush greenery at the cascading garden terraces overlooking Punggol Waterway. There are also "play and explore" elements such as a water park, a playground, a fitness corner and resting spaces.
Gardening enthusiasts can grow fruits, herbs, flowers and other plants at a rooftop community garden, as part of the National Parks Board's Community in Bloom programme.
"It’s more than just about building that apartment, high-rise public housing apartment - it is also about the design of the entire HDB estate that makes it special.
"And neighbourhood centres are an integral part of this special HDB experience," said Mr Wong.
Oasis Terraces is also the first neighbourhood centre to have "smart and sustainable" features, such as motion-sensor lighting and fans.
Additionally, solar panels have been installed on its rooftops, and a system is in place to collect and treat rainwater, and use it to automatically water plants in the centre.
An Entrepreneur Cluster has also been set aside for 10 budding online-to-offline business owners who get to pay lower rents.
Five more neighbourhood centres are scheduled to be completed in the next three years.
Canberra Plaza in Sembawang and Buangkok Square will open this year, said HDB.
Northshore Plaza in Punggol and Hougang Rivercourt are due to open next year, while Anchorvale Village in Sengkang will be ready by 2022.