Specialists' Shopping Centre

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Specialists' Shopping Centre
SpecialistsShoppingCentre.JPG
The mall seen in 2005
Specialists' Shopping Centre is located in Singapore
Specialists' Shopping Centre
Former location of Specialists' Shopping Centre
General information
StatusDemolished
LocationOrchard Road Orchard Planning Area Singapore
Address277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
Coordinates1°18′03.8″N 103°50′20.0″E / 1.301056°N 103.838889°E / 1.301056; 103.838889Coordinates: 1°18′03.8″N 103°50′20.0″E / 1.301056°N 103.838889°E / 1.301056; 103.838889
Opening1972
Closed2008
Demolished2008
OwnerSpecialists' Centre Private Ltd
OCBC Bank
ManagementOCBC Bank
Technical details
Floor count6 storeys + basement + 20-storey hotel
Floor area15,317 square feet (1,423.0 m2)
Design and construction
DeveloperOCBC Bank
Other information
Number of stores70
Number of anchors7
Parking344

The Specialists' Shopping Centre (Chinese: 专业购物中心) was the oldest shopping centre on Orchard Road, a shopping area of Singapore. The largest tenant was the Hotel Phoenix Singapore and John Little. The Visitor's Guide of Singapore described the shopping centre as "revered".[1] However, the Specialists' Shopping Centre along with the Hotel Phoenix Singapore had been demolished to make way for newer developments in 2008.

History[edit]

Opened in 1972 on the former site of the Pavilion Theatre. The mall was originally named Specialists due to the concentration of medical specialists in its early days.[2]

Stores[edit]

The John Little store was Singapore's oldest department store.[3] The store opened in 1845 in Commercial Square. The main store was in the Specialists' Shopping Centre although there were four branch stores.[4] The store is no longer in Raffles Place. Guidebooks refer to the prices as "very up-to-date" or reasonable.[3] The John Little store displayed bargain goods in the outdoor sections of the ground floor.

Specialty goods including, but not limited to Famous Amos cookies, winter clothing, and golf equipment are available.[3] Leather goods, tools, household items, and a Korean restaurant are also located in the shopping centre.[5][6] A Starbucks café was located in the shopping centre. A branch of the OCBC Bank was also located in the shopping centre.

Hotel[edit]

Behind the shopping centre was the Hotel Phoenix Singapore, a "superior 4-star hotel" with 392 rooms.[7] The hotel was unique among hotels in that it offers an Intelligent Keycard which allows prepaid access to the bus and MRT system equivalent to the EZ-Link card.[8] As such, patrons were given the same EZ-link discount fares. The Intelligent Keycard also acted as one's hotel room key. No other hotel was participating in this scheme though it may change in the future.

Redevelopment[edit]

As one of the smaller shopping centres in Orchard Road[3] and located adjacent to vacant land used for a car park, the property was slated for redevelopment. It was reported that the shopping centre may be vacated by the middle of 2007.[9] One of the requirements that must be overcome by receiving an exemption was the height limitation of 16 storeys for the site. The OCBC Bank, as one of the owners of the property, had restrictions in development. The Banking Amendment Regulations (2004) restricted demolition and rebuilding of structures to more than 20% larger[9] Redevelopment plans had to include a hotel as hotel use was safeguarded by the authorities.[10] Speculation regarding the site's redevelopment had been ongoing for several years and included connecting a redeveloped site with The Centrepoint, a shopping centre across the road and owned by the same owners as the Specialists' Shopping Centre.[11]

Demolition[edit]

On 9 July 2007, John Little closed its branch at the Specialists' Shopping Centre, after operating for more than 20 years. In 2008, the shopping centre was demolished to make way for newer developments because it was surrounded by Orchard Central and 313 @ Somerset sites. Demolition began on 1 January 2008 and ended on 20 March 2008.[12] Part of Specialists' Shopping Centre site was used for the development works of the new Orchard Gateway shopping mall which started in 2011 and completed in 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Time Stands Still at Singapore's Veteran Shopping Mallpublisher= Remember Singapore". 13 June 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Specialists' Shopping Centre | Store/Shop Review | Singapore | Frommers.com
  4. ^ John Little – Singapore Archived 17 January 2007 at Archive.today
  5. ^ http://www.contactsingapore.org.sg/lifestyle_shopping.shtml
  6. ^ Food & leisure – Shopping in Singapore, Singapore Shopping Malls, Shop in Orchard, Marina, Suntec City, Little India, Chinatown
  7. ^ "OCBC Property Services Pte Ltd". Archived from the original on 20 April 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  8. ^ Intelligent Key Card Archived 12 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b 2007 February « Singapore Property Frontiers Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ http://www.asiaone.com.sg/orchardrd/20060605_001.html[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Channelnewsasia.com
  12. ^ "Shutters Down, One Last Time". The Straits Times. 10 July 2007.

External links[edit]