Old School Cool in Tiong Bahru

Old and new co-exist in Tiong Bahru, arguably one of central Singapore’s coolest neighbourhood. The place is home to some of the oldest, most expensive and most beautiful low-lying HDB apartments in Singapore.

14 Yong Siak Street. Picture: iProperty

At the same time, hip cafes, new private residential developments, and a shiny refurbished mall have sprung up in recent years. Let’s take a dive into Tiong Bahru to find out what makes it one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Singapore!

Old Buildings, New Life

The architecture in Tiong Bahru is fascinating, and in recent years, the old estate has seen renewed interest from locals and foreigners alike. Tiong Bahru’s art deco-inspired architecture is unique to the area and was implemented by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), the HDB’s predecessor.

These SIT flats were developed in the 1930s and were extremely fashionable in their time.

In 2003, the URA granted conservation to many of these buildings, which brought attention to the area and made it cool for people to visit. Today, people still live in these units, but many of them have been turned into ultra-hip cafes, swanky restaurants, and cool boutiques that dot the neighbourhood.

Want to stay in one of these legendary units? Well, the price of entry is steep, with some of the walk-up apartments starting in the $600,000 range and going all the way up to the $1.3 million mark.

Rentals aren’t any better, with a large 1300 sq ft apartment in the area going at $5000 per month, or $3.85psf. Smaller units are available, but they run in the region of $8.80psf, so while the quantum is lower, it doesn’t come cheap compared to some of the other public housing options in the area.

RelatedKnow which district you are in based on postal code

Cool Collection of Condos

Let’s start with one that is a stone’s throw away from these conservation apartments. The Regency at Tiong Bahru is a Freehold condominium on Chay Yan Street, which is a short walk from Tiong Bahru MRT station. Units for sale in this development do not fall below the $2 million mark, with a 1281 sq ft unit going at $2.28 million. That’s a $1776psf cost, and it only gets steeper from there.

The only other condominium development that can beat The Regency when it comes to pricing is the luxurious Regency Suites. This Freehold development on Kim Tian Road is also near Tiong Bahru MRT. Units for sale at this development are more expensive, albeit larger. An example would be a 4413 sq ft unit going at $5.8 million, which comes down to around $1279psf.

Central Green Condominium. Picture: iProperty

Convenience is Key

If you look at the neighbourhood, it is actually very well-connected.

First off, the neighbourhood has some solid access points with an MRT station, abundant bus routes, and a direct link to the Central Expressway (CTE) via Jalan Bukit Merah.

This puts Tiong Bahru within 15 minutes drive of the CBD, and 3 MRT stops away from Raffles Place via the East-West Line (EWL).

I also really like the newly refurbished Tiong Bahru Plaza. The 215,000 sq ft mall is home to 5 floors of retail and food, counting key brands like Uniqlo, Fairprice finest and Kopitiam as some of their tenants. It also boasts a food court and even a Golden Village Cinema.

Finally, Tiong Bahru Park is a 3.3-hectare space just 5 minutes from the MRT station. This park was developed in 1967, and updated through the years, evolving into a well-used community space that’s perfect for the kids to run around in.

18 Jalan Membina. Picture: iProperty

Convenient Comfort

If you are the type of person that absolutely needs to stay near the CBD, Tiong Bahru is the place to do it in style. It’s got everything you need to within walking distance and is highly accessible. Even on lazy weekends, you won’t need to go far to get that perfect cup of coffee. After all, it’s probably just 5 minutes away!

Cafe, Woods in the Books. Picture: iProperty

Related10 Unique HDB buildings in Singapore