Condo, mall renamed after outcry by school alumni

A condominium and mall in Potong Pasir being built near the St 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.

The move comes after protests from St Andrew's alumni in mid-October and a petition which garnered more than 1,000 signatures in the span of a day.

Dissenters believe calling the mall The Andrew Village will cause confusion with the St Andrew's Village in Francis Thomas Drive which is home to St Andrew's Junior School, St Andrew's Secondary School and St Andrew's Junior College.

The petition also said the move was "deeply problematic", accusing the developer of wanting to benefit from the "hard-earned goodwill associated with the St Andrew's name for a self-serving commercial intent".

The commercial project comprises a 731-unit condominium and a 4,645 sq m mall, and is expected to be completed in 2019.

It will be sited in Upper Serangoon Road and Meyappa Chettiar Road, about 20m from the St Andrew's complex.

On the decision to drop the names, an MCC Land spokesman 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.

Poiz was coined from the first two letters of the word Potong to provide a sense of place, he said, adding: "Poiz was derived from the word Poise which means elegance and presence, which we feel is befitting of an upcoming landmark."

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

St 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 St Andrew's would have been diminished if its name was used by non-related entities.

Others such as marketing manager Ho Koon Leong, 55, said it removes potential confusion. He said: "We are thankful that the developer has been sensitive to the views of the community."

However, 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 proximity rather than an attempt to leverage on its name.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2015, with the headline 'Condo, mall renamed after outcry by school alumni'. Print Edition | Subscribe