HOUGANG PLAZA: Hougang’s first shopping & entertainment complex

Constructed in 1996, Hougang Plaza has been a strange but synonymous landmark in the heart of Hougang altogether. Built to help ease the burden on the popular Hougang Oriental Emporium situated in the Lorong Ah Soo neighbourhood (the current Heartland Mall in Kovan), it was the first shopping & entertainment complex built in the Hougang/Cheng San Constituency.


Built to ease to congestion at Oriental Emporium (Hougang), Hougang Plaza was a welcomed construction to many residents

When it first started, the main attraction of the complex was the Visions Lanes Bowling Alley and Shaw Cineplex that provided a welcome source of entertainment for the residents. The architectural concept however, left many residents bewildered as to why someone would build a bowling alley right above the Cineplex. Even I vaguely recall hearing countless pins dropping while catching Star Wars Episode I back in 1999.

Not surprinsgly the Cineplex closed soon after to make way for Novena Furniture Mall that has stood till this day.

Hougang Plaza also introduced many F&B outlets like McDonald’s & Jack’s Place to the residents, and has seen various entertainment venues like Kbox, Arcades, LAN Shops and Pool Rooms constantly change hands due to the lack of patrons, as many more practical malls like Hougang Mall, Hougang Green and Hougang Point (now Festival Market) were constructed to meet the growing demands and population of residents staying in the various Avenues.


Few residents would complain about the demolishment of the building

If you ask most residents around the area, few would be sad to see Hougang Plaza demolished as it has indeed been quite a sore thumb and is neither a heritage worthy building nor an effective use of space altogether. Yet I still have many memories hanging out at Hougang plaza, including having a once a month McDonald’s breakfast with my Dad, playing $1.80/game bowling sessions and spending my Sundays after church, voyaging with Zhuge Liang & Co. in the popular 三国arcade game.

Hougang Plaza was sold to Far East Organisation in 2012, and from what I see as I walk pass it, is going to become yet another condominium/shopping mall.

Interestingly, I do think that everyone has their own little heartland shopping centre that they have fond memories of, from ‘loitering’ after school hours, to the Sunday family breakfast or just being a landmark to meet your friends before the days of mobile phones and pagers.



  1. Kelvin Tan

    There are two mistakes in your article. First, Hougang point is now Hougang 1. Second, capitamall trust sold it to Oxley holdings last year and it is to be redeveloped as a condo cum retail development.

    • nickyeo

      Hi kelvin thanks for letting me know about this, had some friends who told me that hougang point is now festival market didn’t know it is hougang 1. As for oxley part perhaps mistook it cause the far east portion was what I saw on a news sub-header but thanks for clarification!

  2. Shona

    Hi Nick yeo!

    By any chance you know where vision lanes bowling moved to? I’m also trying to gather information about this issue for my assignment. It will be great if you could help out.


  3. I remember going to the McDonald after school, my school is opposite Hougang Oriental Emporium, but the cinema was badly build, because I can heard the lorry passed by when I went to watch the movie there. I will sure miss it. I think Hougang Mall is one of the reason why Hougang Plaza have less business.

  4. Yang Hao

    Huh?! It’s being demolished? That’s so sad as I did grew up in Hougang.

  5. eileen

    miss those time.. i rmb there hougang plaza have kopitiam back then . the events will big..
    yes i do went to the cinema before. throw back those time..

  6. Foo Yuh Cheng

    Hougang paza was owned by Hougang town center development private limited.

  7. John

    Nice write up. I was here today and totally astonished by the change and search the article and found you. I missed the old hougang plaza.

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