Tampines: From swampland to modern regional centre
Oct 17, 2016
Tampines is one of the first residential towns to be set up in Singapore, and today, it continues to be a key regional area of growth, with new property developments and expanding new towns.
But just half a century ago, Tampines was largely uninhabited except for a handful of squatter settlements occupied by farmers and villagers. The landscape comprised of forests, plantations, farms and sand quarries. Ironwood trees (tempinis in Malay) grew in abundance, which was how Tampines got its name.
The construction of Tampines town started in 1978. Tampines Town Centre was designated as the regional centre for the East Region under URA's 1991 Concept Plan. To that end, an array of facilities such as offices, shopping malls and other facilities were developed to cater to residents of Tampines and the East region. In October 1992, Tampines was awarded the World Habitat Award by the Building and Social Housing Foundation of the United Nations, an acknowledgement of the town's successful urbanisation.
The Tampines Round Market and Hawker Centre at Tampines Street 11 in 1983 and the centre, which was renovated in 2004, today. Photos: ST
Today, in the place of forests and sand quarries stands one of Singapore's biggest residential estates and most developed regional centres, boasting modern amenities. And Tampines is still evolving.
In recent years, Tampines North New Town was added to the existing Tampines Town. Envisioned as the "green shoot" and extension of Tampines Town, the new estate will consist of four housing districts — Park West District, Green Walk District, Park East District and Boulevard District.
In the western part of Tampines, new condominium projects such as The Alps Residences offer the conveniences of the regional centre combined with proximity to nature. The Alps Residences offers close proximity to new commercial hubs, industrial clusters, and schools for young families as well as Tampines' surrounding greenery.
Tampines maintain its charm as a town for work, study and play
Despite being one of the oldest regional centres in Singapore, Tampines is still an attractive location for property investors and there are strong reasons why.
Tampines functions as an important commercial hub and has been likened to the CBD of the east. At Tampines Central, the banking and finance sectors are well represented. Offices and branches of OCBC, DBS, UOB, Citibank, Standard Chartered and financial institutions like AIA and NTUC Income cluster near to shopping malls and the MRT station.
It is also closely connected to industries and manufacturing. Tampines Wafer Fab Park, Changi Business Park and Loyang Industrial Park are just nearby. Changi Airport and Changi Business Park are just a 10-minute drive away.
Retail and F&B choices add to the convenience of being situated at Tampines. Tampines Mall, Century Square and Tampines 1 carry well-established brands and product offerings. In Northeast Tampines, IKEA opened their second outlet at Tampines Retail Park in 2006, adjacent to consumer electronics and furniture retailer, Courts, and Giant hypermarket, giving residents and workers plenty of retail options.
The construction of Our Tampines Hub (OTH), which will be opened in three phases from November 2016, will add to the vibrancy of the regional centre. Situated at the former Tampines Stadium, OTH will house a five-storey regional library, 20-court badminton hall, six swimming pools, football stadium which can seat 5,000 people, a gym, a jogging track, bowling alleys, a community centre, hawker centres, retail shops and other amenities. When completed, it will serve as Singapore's first integrated lifestyle and community destination in the heartlands.
Property investors, take note. Owning a property that is close to good schools has been shown to affect the price of nearby property in the long run. This is where investors may do well to consider properties that can boast of this attribute. For families considering to make The Alps Residences their home, schools within the vicinity include Poi Ching School, St Hilda's Primary School and Temasek Polytechnic. Expatriate families will have a choice of reputable international schools such as United World College and Overseas Family School, which are close by as well.
Inter and intra-connectivity
With the Downtown Line being extended, and the Tampines bus interchange currently undergoing expansion, Tampines is set to be even more well-connected. Not only will Tampines MRT Station serve as an interchange between the East-West and Downtown Lines, two new Downtown Line stations – Tampines West and Tampines East – will be ready in 2017, connecting those areas to the rest of the island.
Motorists will be glad to have the Pan-Island Expressway, Tampines Expressway, and arterial roads that connect Tampines to the rest of Singapore. From the west of Tampines, the Tampines Ave 10 links to Pan Island Expressway (PIE), the Kallang Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), and the Marina Coast Expressway (MCE). Driving to the Marina Bay Financial Centre will only take approximately 14 minutes.
Tampines residents will have plenty of green spaces to relax. The nearby Sun Plaza Park and Tampines Eco-green provide pockets of greenery.
Tampines Eco-green, opened in 2011, showcases different types of natural habitats such as freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest.
Two new parks have been planned in Tampines North, namely Tampines Boulevard Park and Quarry Park. A tribute to its past, Quarry Park will be built with a sandy beach, reminiscent of Tampines' sand quarries of yesteryear. The parks in Tampines will be linked to a town-wide pedestrian and cycling network.
The Round Island Route (RIR), which is a continuous 150 km park connector that goes around Singapore, will pass through Tampines Town. It will be a boon to cycling enthusiasts who can easily connect to natural, cultural, historical and recreational sites along the route.
Tampines is also the first town to have dedicated cycling paths under the National Cycling Plan. The cycling paths connect cyclists to amenities such as Tampines MRT station, bus interchange, schools, and markets.
Home in on Tampines
With so much in store for Tampines, property investors can expect it to continue being a natural magnet for home buyers. Families looking for a place to set up home will appreciate the many facilities and services catering to young and old alike.
Job opportunities offered by offices and businesses at Tampines Central present residents the possibility of working near home and cutting down on commuting time. All in all, Tampines makes it conducive for achieving work-life balance and harmonious living with the environment.
(Header image: ST)