Hot on the heels of our recent post about the charms of Geylang is the latest news that some 1900 private residential units are to be developed at more than 25 sites scattered around Geylang.

They are slated for completion in three to four years, with many of them expected to be “shoebox” apartments. This term, of course, is technically incorrect, since these types of units are closer to the more-luxurious cardboard box.

This development probably has some Geylang residents thinking about the future. What new residents will these units bring? Is this a new lease of life for the area? Will there be a new air of respectability, or even more overcrowding and dodginess?

Another issue is the availability of loans. Banks have previously denied loans for property purchases in Geylang due to difficulty seeking redress should the mortgaged property be involved in dubious usages. Moreover, they have a similar reluctance to provide loans for such shoebox units. Put these two things together, and one wonders if loans will suddenly dry up.

Perhaps the developers of these 25-plus properties know something we don’t? For now, it’s simply a waiting game, both for investors and residents of this colourful neighbourhood.

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