Condo and mall will no longer bear the Andrew name after protest from Saint Andrew's alumni

An artist's impression of The Poiz Residences.
An artist's impression of The Poiz Residences.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM MCC.SG

SINGAPORE - A condominium and mall in Potong Pasir to be located near the Saint Andrew's Village school complex will not bear the "Andrew" name after all.

Instead, developer MCC Land has renamed them from The Andrew Residences and The Andrew Village to The Poiz Residences and The Poiz Centre.

This follows protests from Saint Andrews' alumni in mid-October and a petition which got more than 1,000 signatures in the span of a day.

They believed calling the mall The Andrew Village will cause confusion with the Saint Andrew's Village at Francis Thomas Drive, which is home to Saint Andrew's Junior School and Secondary School, and Saint Andrew's Junior College.

The petition also said that the move was "deeply problematic" as it wanted to benefit from the "hard-earned goodwill associated with the St Andrew's name for a self-serving commercial intent".

MCC Land's spokesman, on the decision to drop the names, said: "As a socially responsible developer, we take such community sentiments seriously as our development vision is to bring about a positive transformation to Potong Pasir at large."

He said MCC Land went back to the drawing board and with the help of a creative agency, shortlisted Poiz from a few other options.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority's Street and Building Names Board approved the new names on Monday (Nov 2).

Saint Andrew's alumni welcomed the news.

Among them was 26-year-old baker Ong Shi Jie, who said she felt that the prestige and pride associated with Saint Andrew's would have been diminished if used by non-related entities. Others such as marketing manager Ho Koon Leong, 55, said it removes potential confusion. "We are thankful that the developer has been sensitive to the views of the community," he said.

Alumnus Geoffrey Toi, 30, who works in the finance industry, believes the initial choice of using the Andrew handle was more of a nod to the school because of the close distance rather than an attempt to leverage on its name.

The commercial project comprises a 731-unit condominium and 4,645 m sq mall. It is expected to be completed in 2019. It will be sited at Upper Serangoon Road and Meyappa Chettiar Road, about 20m from the Saint Andrew's complex.

MCC Land's spokesman said Poiz was coined from the first two letters of the word Potong to provide a sense of place. He added: "Poiz was derived from the word Poise which means elegance and presence which we feel is befitting of an upcoming landmark."