Katong Shopping Centre (KSC) has been a feature at the junction of East Coast Road and Amber/Haig Road for as long as I can recall. It is an old shopping mall - probably one of the first few in Singapore. In fact it was featured a few years ago in the Straits Times. I won't call it a beautiful building but I've always liked it for the characteristic circles down the length of the building (that's the car park floor). Not so long ago, the Rose Garden apartments were directly opposite KSC but they have just been emolished for en bloc development. I was probably about a week or two too late to photograph them before they went under the wrecker's ball. So I guess I need to step up the pace on this blog:-)
As a child, I remember my family going over to KSC fairly frequently. The old Emporium Holdings had a supermarket and a department store at one end of the building. We'd do the weekly supermarket shopping there and run other errands at the same time. There were a few boutiques there (my mum's favourite dress shop was there). I used to buy my school uniforms there. And something far more glamorous too (at least I thought so). There were also a number of textile shops there as well - so my friends and I bought the material for our JC prom dresses there and brought it up to the dressmaker on one of the upper floors to make it up into a dress of our own choosing. These were clearly before the days Daniel Yam started making pretty and low-cost prom and evening gowns for the teenage and young adult market.
Even today, KSC is my auntie's favourite shopping centre where she gets everything she needs and more besides. Some of the old shops are still there, plus a few food outlets, maid agencies, interior decor firms etc. Plus one ghostbuster - as I said earlier, you can get anything at Katong Shopping Centre! There have been attempts to refurbish and update the building. It is no longer a nondescript grey colour but a cheery blue and yellow (IKEA colours!) and there is a imitation Starbucks in one corner.
But KSC is indeed past its prime, outclassed and completely eclipsed by the nearby Parkway Parade. Rumour has it that it is slated for redevelopment. Admittedly, I seldom go there these days but when it goes, another little piece of Katong's history and heritage goes too.