What used to be swamps and fish farms has since transformed into a vibrant suburban hub over the decades. Developed as an industrial town in the early 1960s, Jurong now no longer leaves an impression of a polluted industrialised area and has grown into a bustling precinct.
As part of the government’s plans for Remaking Our Heartland (ROH), a new lease of life has been injected into the Jurong Lake area, benefitting local residents and bringing the area to the attention of international visitors. The 360ha Jurong Lake District features two areas – Jurong Gateway and Lakeside.
The new Jurong regional centre, known as Jurong Gateway, features F&B, commercial, office, residential and even hotel developments for business travellers and tourists. It centres around the Jurong East MRT station and is set to be the largest commercial hub outside the city, with existing malls such as IMM, JCube (which has Singapore’s first Olympic size ice-skating rink), JEM, Westgate and the upcoming megamall, Big Box. Attractions favoured by children such as the Science Centre, Omni Theatre (which has the first IMAX theatre out of the city area) and Snow City are also located nearby.
An integrated healthcare hub, comprising Jurong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital, is also slated for completion in 2014 and early 2015 respectively.
Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research & Advisory at Colliers International said, “When fully developed, the regional centre will have more than 750,000 sqm of commercial space, 2,800 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 new homes.” She believes the blend of commercial and recreational activities around residential areas would draw businesses and property buyers.
As a major decentralised commercial hub, Jurong is an attractive location to set up company headquarters and business services away from the central business district. The International Business Park (IBP) near Jurong Town Hall Road hosts multinational corporations (MNC) such as Acer Computer, Creative Technologies and Sony, spurring strong job creation in the vicinity. With such employment opportunities, the area draws locals and foreign residents alike, in turn ensuring residential rental demand and investment potential.
GATEWAY TO THE WEST
The recently launched J Gateway condominium was well-received and so are new commercial properties, such as the office block in Westgate which was sold for over $5 million in January this year.
Westgate is a mixed-use development in the heart of the Jurong regional centre, comprising shopping, entertainment, dining and office facilities that is directly linked to Jurong East MRT station.
The train station which underwent improvements in 2011 with additional platforms and trains added, serves the North-South and East-West MRT lines and residents can look forward to an integrated transport hub soon.
Rejuvenation plans also extended to the surrounding heartlands, as HDB created a unique character and identity for 10 neighbourhood centres with new facilities such as community corners or family plazas where community activities can be held.
Two new public housing sites, comprising about 1,200 flats, are being rolled out progressively to cater to young families or upgraders seeking homes in this part of the island.
SUBURBAN WATERFRONT LIVING
There has been a lot of hype about the upcoming residential estates around the Jurong Lake region, close to Jurong Lake and Pandan Reservoir. Rightly so, as over the next 10 to 15 years, Lakeside is set to be developed with new attractions, waterfront hotels, parks and promenades added around the scenic lake. Residents and visitors can enjoy nature walks, fishing, bird watching, kayaking, dragon boating, sailing, canoeing and other water-based activities. Two new parks will also be created in the vacant space near the Jurong East MRT station and Toh Guan.
Meanwhile, the newest housing project in the area, Lakeville, moved 180 units at an average price of $1,300 psf on its first day of launch on 4 April. Developed by MCL Land, the 99-year leasehold project features one-to five-bedroom apartments of varying sizes.
Chia said the growth potential of the Jurong East and Jurong Lake District as a whole makes the area highly attractive to homeowners and residents. She said, “The private residential market in Jurong East has untapped potential for a mini residential boom of their own given the development plans and infrastructural improvements in the pipeline. As such, it will not be a surprise if the leasing market in the area becomes more appealing overtime, as business and leisure activity grows.”
She added that the impact is expected to be more pertinent to private residential homes than HDB flats. “While prices of HDB flats will appreciate in tandem with the development fervour in Jurong, this is expected to be on a more measured basis.”
Nevertheless, current HDB residents in the Jurong Lake area benefit from the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP), Home Improvement Programme (HIP) and the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP).
It is no surprise then that Jurong will be a sought-after location as government plans for the area materialise progressively.
Credits: Property Guru