The man who made shopping belt his own

Far East Organization founder Ng Teng Fong.
Far East Organization founder Ng Teng Fong.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Far East Organization founder Ng Teng Fong earned the epithet of "the King of Orchard Road" for a very good reason.

Mr Ng, estimated by Forbes to have been Singapore's richest man when he died in 2010 at age 82, changed the face of Orchard Road in the 1970s and 1980s with buildings that have become part of the fabric of Singapore.

They include Far East Shopping Centre, completed in 1974; Lucky Plaza, finished in 1978; and Far East Plaza, up and running in 1983.

By 1984, Far East Organization had developed eight buildings and malls along Orchard Road.

In 2009, it added a ninth - Orchard Central, the first new shopping mall in Orchard Road in more than 10 years.

The future is exciting for Orchard Central and its retail neighbours, 313@somerset and orchardgateway, said Mr Augustine Tan, the group's executive director of property sales and corporate affairs.

This emerging Somerset precinct presents an accessible test bed for new brands and retailers seeking a South-east Asian exposure, he added.

With public investments in the area, and lifestyle events organised by the Orchard Road Business Association, the shopping belt is set to remain an attractive destination for consumers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'The man who made shopping belt his own'. Print Edition | Subscribe