Singapore to get first retirement village

Standing: Ms Chan Wai Lin, 55, Mr V. Sreetharan, 74, and Ms Jacqui Oehlers, 63. Sitting, from left: Mrs Lam Lee Yin, 59, Mrs Maureen Ooi, 57, Mrs Rita Wee, 63, Ms Amy Tan, 64, Mrs May Chan, 65, Ms Kandha Ruby, 64, Dr Ambika Dharan, 64, , Ms Mabe
Standing: Ms Chan Wai Lin, 55, Mr V. Sreetharan, 74, and Ms Jacqui Oehlers, 63. Sitting, from left: Mrs Lam Lee Yin, 59, Mrs Maureen Ooi, 57, Mrs Rita Wee, 63, Ms Amy Tan, 64, Mrs May Chan, 65, Ms Kandha Ruby, 64, Dr Ambika Dharan, 64, , Ms Mabel Wee, 64, Dr Grace Varughese, 70, Ms Jessie Yeo, 70, and Ms Judy Yeo, 68. A group of 100 seniors led by retired principal Mabel Wee and retired general practitioner Dr Ambika Dharan have been lobbying the government to get a retirement village. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

For a long time some of Singapore’s ageing baby boomers have said what Singapore needs are retirement villages like the ones you see in developed countries. They provide housing as well as a range of amenities for older people, who get to live in a purpose-built community of their own.

Now it is going to happen, with a pilot project coming up in Jalan Jurong Kechil.

Property developer World Class Land, a subsidiary of the Aspial jewellery group, is building a retirement village on a plot roughly the size of 1 1/2 football fields.

It won a tender last November by offering close to $75 million for the 60-year leasehold land. Details about the number and size of units, and the price, are still being worked out and will be announced later, a spokesman for the company said.

According to tender documents, the project has to be completed by November in 2017.

The news made a group of ageing citizens happy, because they have been lobbying hard, writing to ministers and developers to say they would like to live in a retirement village, if only there was one.

“We have been waiting for this for so long and our hopes were fading,” said Dr Ambika Sarah Dharan, 64, a semi-retired doctor who has gathered 150 like-minded senior citizens to the cause. “This is the biggest piece of news I have heard this year.”