Thursday, July 31, 2008

1,800 Flats To Go On Sale At Dawson Estate Next Year

Source : The Straits Times, July 31, 2008

Two 40-storey towers to be constructed under build-to-order system by 2014

A NEW generation of Housing Board flats is set to go on sale in about a year's time at now-sleepy Dawson estate.

The 50-year-old Queenstown estate is set to be transformed with the construction of two striking 40-storey towers, designed by award-winning architects, SCDA Architects and WOHA Architects.

At Dawson - Singapore's first HDB estate - the SCDA-designed block is on a 2.2 ha site and could feature about 800 flats. -- PHOTOS: HDB

The towers, to boast about 1,800 flats, are being built under the HDB's build-to-order (BTO) system - now the board's main means of providing new housing stock.

HDB rarely builds new flats within a mature estate due to the lack of space. The new towers in Dawson will be nestled among gardens designed by landscape architects - a first for an HDB estate.

News that the flats will be on sale in a year's time was unveiled by Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development, at the HDB awards dinner yesterday.

She later told reporters that she expects very strong demand for the new flats.

Sales will start in the third quarter of next year. Construction could start six months after that and be completed in 2014, Ms Fu said.

At Dawson - Singapore's first Housing Board estate - the SCDA-designed tower block is on a 2.2ha site and could feature about 800 flats. The other block, on a 2.7ha site, will have about 1,000 units.

The towers will have special features such as lofts, flexible flat designs, and sky villages or common high-rise space shared by every 10 floors.

But potential buyers can still influence the final design. Feedback is invited at an exhibition on Dawson estate before the consultants finalise their designs. The show at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh runs from today until Aug 10.

Home-hunter Lauren Shen, 27, a graphic designer, said: 'The flats are exciting because they can be customised. I have applied for a flat in Punggol. If I don't get it, I will wait for these new ones.

'But it will depend on the prices. My chances may be limited because I think they will be very popular.'

A third new-generation development will be added later at Dawson by Surbana International Consultants. It will be launched when the site for it is cleared by 2011.

To tie the three developments together, HDB has asked award-winning local landscape architects Cicada to draw up a landscape plan.

The plans will rejuvenate Dawson estate, which has about 3,000 flats. Dawson eventually could boast about 10,000 new homes, most of which are expected to be public flats.

HDB is keen to preserve Dawson's heritage and is seeking contributions of old photos, postcards, books and other items for use in a display.

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