The Sim Kwong Ho shophouses were built in 1926 by a lady named Sim Cheng Neo, whose family home was located at 503 Balestier Road. Sim also developed shophouses at 412-418 Balestier Road in 1928 and owned properties at Sophia Road and Roberts Lane. These shophouses became known as the Sim Kwong Ho shophouses because of the Chinese characters on their corner façade.
Designed by the architectural firm of Westerhout and Oman, the shophouses are examples of a style known as Chinese Baroque or Singapore Eclectic, which blended Western elements such as moulded pilasters (wall columns) and pediments (triangular frontispiece) with local symbols and motifs. For instance, the exterior walls are adorned with plaster stucco work of flowers, peacocks and other creatures while colourful glazed tiles line the supporting columns which have capitals (topmost sections of pillars) in the form of floral wreaths.