Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

April 24, 2008

Singapore’s very own Lake District

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 12:08 am

Jurong is set to shed its industrial image with a stunning makeover

JURONG tends to conjure up unflattering images of factories and sleepy suburbia, but the area is slated for a stunning makeover that will transform it into Singapore’s only lakeside destination.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan yesterday unveiled a vision for a revamped Jurong, starting with a new name: the Jurong Lake District.
POLISHING A ‘GEM’: Set around the Chinese Garden and Lakeside MRT stations will be new tourist attractions and parks, complemented by water activities. — ST PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG

The ambitious plan, to be implemented over the next 10 to 15 years, involves building new waterways, 1,000 private homes, 2,800 hotel rooms and adding 750,000 sq m of office and retail space.

The Jurong Lake District, which at 360ha is the size of Marina Bay, will consist of two precincts.

One is the 70ha Jurong Gateway, which will boast swanky new offices, condos and entertainment features, including an Olympic-size ice-skating rink, all set around Jurong East MRT station.

The other is Lakeside, which is being targeted as a hang-out for young families.

It will feature a bold new science centre, tourist attractions and parks complemented by water activities, all set around the Chinese Garden and Lakeside MRT stations.

Mr Mah told a 500-strong audience at an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) seminar yesterday that many Singaporeans saw Jurong as a suburban residential and industrial area ‘located far away from the city centre’.

But he described it as a ‘gem’, with compelling reasons singling it out for redevelopment. It is near established towns, with a large labour force and a population catchment of more than one million residents.

It is also a thriving business hub, with more than 3,000 companies – from multinationals to tiny operations – two universities and research centres such as one-north in the vicinity. That made it an ideal business location for cutting-edge technology, said Mr Mah.

Existing transport links – the PanIsland and Ayer Rajah expressways and two MRT lines – also connect Jurong East to the city quickly.

Mr Mah pointed to another benefit of the plan: the proximity of jobs to homes in the area, which reduced the need to commute and eased pressure on transport services.

Jurong’s rejuvenation is part of a broader URA decentralisation strategy to balance economic growth, reduce commuting and provide a high quality of life with many leisure options.

It will announce its plans next month to redevelop Paya Lebar. Both initiatives are part of its 2008 Draft Masterplan Review.

URA chairman Alan Chan said the ideas for Jurong were the result of consultation with a wide spectrum of public and private industry players.

Market watchers welcomed the news, saying it would inject new life into Jurong, which has struggled for years to shed its industrial image.

Colliers International’s director of research and consultancy Tay Huey Ying said the plan ‘would lift the popularity and value of property in the mid- to long-term’.

PropNex chief executive Mohamed Ismail predicted that home prices could increase by five to 10 per cent in the next two years.

Madam Halimah Yacob, an MP for Jurong GRC, said the rejuvenation was a welcome move.

The Chinese and Japanese gardens, for example, were under-utilised and could do with a makeover, she said.

Residents are also excited.

Manager David Lim, 49, who owns a four-room HDB flat at Lakeside, said he hardly stays in Jurong for his weekend recreational activities.

‘But to have all these amenities so close to home will really be a bonus,’ he said.

Source : Straits Times – 5 Apr 2008

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