Alexandra Road: From Rags to Riches, From Plantation Site to Industrial Hub
About One can measure the rapid rate of Singapore 's development just by looking at Alexandra Road. From a blossoming plantation site, it progressively morphed into a booming industrial hub of technoparks and distriparks, and a playground for giant players like Mitsubishi Electric, Ikea, PSA Building, Mercedes, Peugeot, Ford, Land Rover and BMW.
To keep up with the development of Alexandra Road, several other buildings like shopping malls, HDB residential areas and condominium estates took shape quickly. Nevertheless, a short row of old shop house still remains on one side of Alexandra Road.
As a result, Alexandra Road is a high-density, eclectic mix of industrial hub, part shopping hub, part residential area and part shop houses site.
History Prior to 1950s, Alexandra Road was a far cry from the industrial-heavy hub that it has become today. Back then, it was just a vegetables and fruits plantation site, as confirmed by its Chinese aliases: Chui-bo lai (“within the water rice-mill') and Lau-chi kha ( 'foot of the betel nut').
When Singapore was under the British colonial rule between 1930 and 1940, several buildings were constructed within Alexandra Road to serve as headquarters and accommodation for the Far East Land, Air and Sea Forces military personnel. An example of the aforementioned is Alexandra Hospital (still in operation at present), which was built in 1938 and known then as British Military Hospital.
Industrial Hub Alexandra Distripark and Alexandra Technopark are amongst the many techno parks and distriparks that call the southern part of Alexandra Road their home. Located in the vicinity of Maritime and Port Authority, Ministry of Transport ( PSA Building ), Shipping Division ( PSA Building ) and CBD, these industrial businesses can easily tap on the good infrastructure and available support.
Automotive Hub Automotive enthusiasts would be thrilled at the sight of automotive giants like Mercedes, Peugeot, Ford, Land Rover and BMW, just to name a few, setting up shop in a long stretch along Alexandra Road. Each automotive building exhibits the latest road conquerors facing the main road so that they are visible to the public eye. The car exhibits normally occupy the two lower floors of each building.
The upper storeys of these commercial buildings form a commune of many offices and businesses like Robert J Steiner and Virtual Map Singapore Pte Ltd.
Anchorpoint Shopping Centre This shopping mall is uniquely positioned within a condominium estate, The Anchorage, thus providing the residents – and other shoppers – with one-stop shopping convenience. This two-storey mall contains at least 50 stores that include a supermarket, a pharmacy, several eateries and fashion stores, just to name a few.
Queensway Shopping Centre First opening its doors in 1976, this shopping mall still retains its rustic charm as well as its clientele, usually young working adults in search of limited edition goods and cheap tailoring services. The majority of stores here sell limited edition sports gear from the usual likes of Adidas, Nike, Fila, Converse and Reebok, but at a much cheaper price. The stores also offer cheap services like name-engraving on soccer boots and jerseys, restringing of rackets and ordering of team jerseys, among others.
Ikea Ikea (Alexandra) is the first of the two Ikea stores in Singapore and welcomes almost four million shoppers annually. Ikea offers well-designed and affordably-priced home furnishing products.