The ‘Lake District’ just gets bigger…

IN APRIL, they learnt how nearby Jurong would be transformed into a “lake district” and Singapore’s largest commercial hub outside the city centre.

Yesterday, residents of three estates located a stone’s throw away – including one that made history by being the first to reject upgrading – found out they would be part of the rejuvenation, too.

The 30-year-old public housing neighbourhoods of Teban and Pandan Gardens, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, can expect “attractive waterfront housing”, a feature that has been given top billing elsewhere, such as in Punggol.

With Pandan Reservoir and Sungei Ulu Pandan in the vicinity and water-based activities expected, space for private housing fronting the river has also been set aside at nearby Faber Terrace and Faber Hills.

And to top off the effect of the Jurong Lake District, which promises leisure infrastructure and should be fully developed by 2020, it was announced yesterday the authorities would expand the nearby International Business Park (IBP) so that more jobs and homes go hand-in-hand in the former swampland-turned-industrial town.

JTC Corporation (JTC), which manages the 25-hectare IBP, will add five hectares or 125,000 sq m of business space to the area, which, in its current size, had been fully allocated by the middle of this year.

There is potential to “create synergy” between IBP and the proposed developments in the Jurong Gateway, the 70-hectare commercial precinct (500,000 square metres of office space) of the Jurong Lake District, said JTC.

“We’re expecting a surge in demand for Business Park land in this area in the next economic upturn, which land intensification on existing IBP land alone would not be able to address,” said a JTC spokeswoman.

Tenants of the IBP engage broadly in data centre, engineering, software R&D, info-comm and telecommunication (ICT) activities. It is too early to say if rent at IBP will increase, which would depend on the market, the spokeswoman added. Expansion will start with a site survey next month and site preparation works in March, which will include two road linkages to direct traffic to the Ayer Rajah and Pan-Island Expressways. The targeted completion date is within three to four years.

Across the AYE, road improvement works will also be carried out at Faber Terrace and Faber Hills to support future growth in low- and medium-intensity density housing while more housing choices will be provided in Teban and Pandan Gardens through the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers). The latter estate rejected upgrading works in 2003.

But this time, residents Today spoke to said they were pleased to hear about the coming developments, which in the case of Teban Gardens, already includes two Sers sites. More details will be made known at a later stage, but residents such as clinical nurse Farida Abdul Talib, 46, has her wishlist ready.

She said: “(There’s) not much variety now. I would definitely like to see more shops to liven up the place.”

Source : Today – 30 Dec 2008

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