Katong's iconic Red House to reopen by second quarter of 2016

Artist impression of the Red House, a new residential-retail-lifestyle heritage development located in Katong.
Artist impression of the Red House, a new residential-retail-lifestyle heritage development located in Katong.PHOTO: MUIS

SINGAPORE - The iconic Red House in Katong, which once housed a famous bakery, and five adjacent shophouses are on track to reopen by the second quarter of next year as a residential and commercial development.

The six properties are being developed by Warees Investments, the property arm of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).

The Red House Project will house 42 residential units and five retail shops.

There will be new halal bakery and heritage gallery, showcasing artifacts from the old bakery which was in operation from 1925 to 2003.

Minister for Communication and Information and Minister-In-Charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim toured the site on Thursday. He was briefed on the progress of the project, which was officially launched in 2013 and is currently 90 per cent complete.

"We hope to appoint a vendor to run the bakery in a way that not just endears to the community but also to the wider Singapore because it's an important icon to Katong," he said. "We want the Red House bakery to be that icon again, in terms of its service and products."

The development is expected to get its temporary occupation permit in the first quarter of 2016.

Warees is in talks with prospective tenants for the bakery as well as the five other retail spaces.

Meanwhile, more than two thirds of the residential units have been sold. The four lofts, 10 suites and 28 residences range from 441 sq ft to 1,206 sq ft. Costing about $1,500 per sq ft, the smallest unit will set a buyer back by around $661,500.

The six properties, consisting of shophouses at 63, 65, 67, 69 and 71 East Coast Road, and the Red House at 75 East Coast Road, were declared Wakaf (Islamic endowment) assets in 1957.

Wakaf properties such as this are built on land bequeathed or willed by a Muslim towards religious or charitable uses.

In this case, the land that the Red House Project sits on were put in trust by philanthropist Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Mohamed Alsagoff in 1957.

mellinjm@sph.com.sg