8 West Coast blocks picked for Sers

Blocks 513 to 520 West Coast Road, comprising 994 flats, have been picked for the Sers Scheme, with residents to be offered new replacement units at Clementi Avenue 1 and West Coast Link.
Blocks 513 to 520 West Coast Road, comprising 994 flats, have been picked for the Sers Scheme, with residents to be offered new replacement units at Clementi Avenue 1 and West Coast Link.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Residents will be offered new units in Clementi Ave 1 and West Coast Link

Eight Housing Board blocks in West Coast Road have been picked for redevelopment, with residents to be offered new replacement units in Clementi Avenue 1 and West Coast Link.

Yesterday, the HDB announced the selection of Blocks 513 to 520, West Coast Road, comprising 994 flats, for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

This is the 80th site under the scheme, which began in 1995 and involves demolishing old blocks, offering residents new units nearby, and redeveloping the old site.

It is the first Sers project announced since June 2014, when 31 blocks along Tanglin Halt Road and Commonwealth Drive were selected. Comprising 3,480 flats, it was the largest Sers project.

Residents of the affected West Coast Road blocks, which date back to 1979, will be offered new units on fresh 99-year leases at the two sites.

"I'm very happy," said Madam Wang Min Zhu, 55, who works in the food and beverage industry and has lived there for about two decades. "My husband and I bought this flat as a resale unit. We've never lived in a new flat before."

HAPPY TO GET A NEW FLAT

I'm very happy. My husband and I bought this flat as a resale unit. We've never lived in a new flat before.

MADAM WANG MIN ZHU, 55, who has lived in her West Coast Road block for about two decades. Residents of the affected blocks, which date back to 1979, will be offered new units on fresh 99-year leases at the two sites.

Both projects are expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

The site in Clementi Avenue 1 will have two 40-storey blocks offering 680 units in all. The one in West Coast Link will comprise three blocks ranging from 30 to 32 storeys, offering 666 units.

The Ministry of Health also plans to develop an eldercare hub near the West Coast Link site, with services such as daycare and home care.

The new units will be sold at subsidised prices, frozen at this point in time. For instance, a three-room flat in the Clementi Avenue 1 site starts at $311,000 before the Sers grant.

R'ST Research director Ong Kah Seng expects the sites - particularly the Clementi one - to be popular with affected flat owners.

"The two new locations are actually very well-positioned residential enclaves and have an upmarket flavour," he said, adding that the West Coast Link site has "sophisticated, relaxed vibes" with private condominiums nearby.

For cashier David Chong, 43, the West Coast Link site's lower prices - a three-roomer starts at $264,000 - and peaceful location are pluses. "Because it's facing West Coast Park, the view is unobstructed."

Residents affected by Sers are compensated based on the flats' market value today and "reasonable expenses". For instance, total compensation for a four-room unit is estimated at $427,300 to $478,800.

If residents do not want a unit at the replacement sites, they can apply for a new flat elsewhere or sell the old flats on the resale market.

But given the tepid resale market, owners are unlikely to do so, said Century 21 chief executive Ku Swee Yong.

There is a one-month freeze to give owners more time to decide. Resale or transfer applications can be submitted only from Sept 2 till July 31 next year.

The Sers plan includes two shops and an eating house at Block 516, and 12 shops at Block 517.

Owners will be compensated based on today's market value and may opt to buy a new unit on a 30-year lease, or rent one.

Mr Roy Tan, 36, manager of Peranakan restaurant Daisy's Dream Kitchen, said the replacement lease is shorter than the 60 or so years left on the existing one. "It doesn't make sense for us," he said, adding that the restaurant might move elsewhere.

Affected flat and commercial property owners will be informed individually and invited to a Sers exhibition running from Saturday to next Thursday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline '8 West Coast blocks picked for Sers'. Print Edition | Subscribe