New rail terminus to develop the Jurong East area towards becoming an alternative CBD
Jurong East has been selected as the location for the highly anticipated Singapore – Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) terminus. This is another enhancement to the region that has already seen major redevelopment over the past few years including new commercial, leisure and business amenities. The area was chosen over Tuas West and the Singapore city centre due to its transport links as well as its growing potential as a commercial hub.
Analysts who spoke to TODAY had mixed reactions to the decision. Mr Colin Tan, Director of Research and Consultancy at Suntec Real Estate, commented that the area of choice was “ideal” due to its convenient public transport channels, with the neighbouring Lakeside and Chinese Garden being viable options should there be insufficient land at Jurong East. Mr Tan added that the rental value of commercial properties in Jurong East will likely rise as the majority of HSR commuters will be business travellers.
However, Mr Nicholas Mak, SLP executive director for research and consultancy, felt the areas highlighted by Mr Tan might be ill-suited due to their proximity to Jurong Lake and the density of the area. Mr Mak said to TODAY that the HSR station alone will not contribute to a rise in property prices but rather, the developments built to accompany it that would raise real estate prices as they will contribute to job creation, increased convenience and an improved standard of living. Mr Mak also added that the prized waterfront plots near the proposed location would be better used for recreational or residential purposes.
Most of the residents in the Jurong East area interviewed by TODAY had positive reactions to the news, citing convenience and an increase in leisure options as the main plus points for the decision. Those who visit Malaysia on a regular basis were happy with the potential ease of travel. Travel time to Kuala Lumpur currently takes around three hours by car, but will be reduced with the implementation of the high-speed rail.
However, some residents felt that the area already faces congestion problems due to the shopping malls and the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, which could worsen with the increased traffic flow the terminus will create. Another concern brought up by a resident was the rising temperatures. Trees have been removed to make way for developments and the lack of greenery around Jurong East has caused temperatures to climb.
A timeline has yet to be determined for the construction of the terminus, but the completion date will likely be after 2020, noted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. At present, Jurong East is the second biggest commercial hub after the Central Business District (CBD) and could become the next CBD once the terminus is completed.
Pioneer batch of Skyville@Dawson residents collect keys to their units
Keys for the new generation public housing development Skyville@Dawson were distributed to its first batch of residents on 2nd May. The project is due for completion by Q3 2015 and is one of the two projects under the “Remaking Our Heartland” plan. The other project, SkyTerrace@Dawson has been completed. The remaking plan was developed to promote multi-generation and family-friendly living to create a cohesive and vibrant community. Features that support this plan include a combination of studio apartments with four room and five room flats at SkyTerrace, which enables children to remain close to their parents who live in the studio apartment. The new flats in SkyVille have flexible layouts such as large rooms for young couples which can then be partitioned into a number of bedrooms when they have children.
The projects also include greenery in its sky terraces as well as gardens to allow residents close access to nature and a heritage gallery that encompasses the rich history of the Dawson and Queenstown estates. The upcoming estates of Bidadari, Punggol Northshore and Tampines North will see similar concepts and ideas from the Dawson projects implemented.