History of Boon Lay

Boon Lay is located in the West region of Singapore and falls under the town of Jurong West. It is bounded by Jurong West in the North, Jurong East to East, Western Islands to the South and Pioneer to the West. Boon Lay was named after a prominent businessman called Chia Boon Lay and the area was once a gambier and rubber plantation estate. In the 1940s and 1950s, the colonial government acquired land for settlement which led to the birth of Boon Lay Village.

During the 1960s, Singapore’s period of industrialisation saw the rapid development of industrial estates in Jurong. In order to attract workers, JTC had built low-cost flats nearby. By 1975, an estimated 10,000 housing units had been built in Taman Jurong. Home to some of the earliest housing estates in the area, the flats were subsequently demolished under an en-bloc exercise to make way for new public housing projects that were spearheaded by the HDB in the late 1990s to mid-2000s.

Today, Boon Lay is slowly transforming into a vibrant township that is served by two MRT stations, namely, Boon Lay and Lakeside, a bus interchange, a shopping mall, condominium developments and Jurong Lake Gardens. Under the URA Draft Master Plan for 2008, Boon Lay is set to be even more buzzing with the development of Jurong Lake District, Singapore’s largest commercial and regional centre outside the city centre. It will also be supported by Jurong Innovation District (JID) which was announced under Budget 2016. To further serve workers in the industrial areas, Boon Lay witnessed the opening of the Tuas extension MRT in 2017 whereby six new stations were added to the East West Line.

What’s in Boon Lay

Boon Lay is a very mature estate as it was developed during Singapore’s rapid industrialisation era. As such, it boasts hawker centres where you can find some of Singapore famous dishes, wet markets, community clubs, a bus interchange, MRT stations, shopping malls, recreational parks and many more.

Boon Lay is served by two main shopping malls, namely Boon Lay Shopping Centre and Jurong Point. Boon Lay Shopping Centre is the oldest shopping mall and it was upgraded in 2012 with a colourful new facade. Known as a hub for bus coaches to Malaysia, Boon Lay counts for several bus operators and tour agencies as some of its tenants. There are also a number of bakeries, eating establishments, stationary shops, convenience stores, departments stores and money changers located here.

Meanwhile, Jurong Point is located next to Boon Lay MRT and is integrated with Boon Lay Bus Interchange. This sprawling 750,000 sq ft shopping complex features around 450 stores offering entertainment, food & beverage, fashion, telecommunications, electronics,  supermarkets, department stores, medical, banking and educational options for residents. Residents can also enjoy Japanese cuisines at its Japanese food street located at the basement level before heading upstairs to a specially dedicated Mongkok lane reminiscent of Hong Kong.

To get in the pink of health, the entire family can enjoy leisurely activities such as jogging at the nearby Jurong Central Park or enjoy kayaking by the lake at Jurong Lake Gardens. Meanwhile, active and reservist NSmen and their families can get fit at SAFRA Jurong which boasts a gym, a swimming pool, a Futsal court, a tennis court and a dance studio.

Boon Lay in the next 10 years

According to the URA Master Plan 2019, the authorities will continue to develop the West as Singapore’s manufacturing hub with the aim of turning it into a gateway district. Three main districts are currently being developed and that will take Boon Lay forward in the next 20 years and provide employment opportunities for all. They are namely Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District and Tuas Terminal.

Jurong Lake District was first announced under the URA Draft Master Plan 2008. The master plan envisages it as Singapore’s second central business district outside the city centre with a commercial hub along with retail malls and hotels in the next ten to fifteen years. Offering almost 500,000 sq m of office space, 200,000 sq m of retail, F&B and entertainment space with plans for 2,800 hotel rooms, Jurong Lake District is now buzzing with life with the opening of Jurong Gateway, JCube, JEMS, a new Grade ‘A’ office tower called Westgate and Genting Hotel. With the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project to be sited here, this will add a finishing touch to Jurong Lake District grand master plan that will connect Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in 90 minutes flat.

Meanwhile, Jurong Innovation District (JID) will be a hub for advanced manufacturing start-ups and clean technology industries. Located near to Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the industrial district will enable businesses to tap into an ecosystem of manufacturers, technology providers and researchers as a test-bed prior to their commercialisation. Jurong Innovation District will be serviced by six MRT stations under the future Jurong Region Line (JRL).

Last but not least, the closure of containers terminals at Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Brani will see the consolidation of Singapore’s port operations at Tuas Terminal. The mega port will be developed in four phases over 30 years. It will commence its first phase of operations in 2021 and is targeted to be fully operational from 2040.

Get the Guru View

Boon Lay might seem like a far-flung area and could be a deal-breaker for potential home buyers. However, with the development of Jurong Lake District that is now fast taking shape, Boon Lay is slowly transforming into an attractive gateway district complemented by commercial, residential, recreational and industrial precincts. In addition, the upcoming Jurong Regional Line (JRL) will see the addition of five new MRT stations to better serve residents of Boon Lay. The new line will also be connected to the future KL-Singapore High Speed Rail via Jurong Town Hall MRT station.

Being located at the western end of Singapore, Boon Lay will appeal to three groups of buyers – those who are working or studying at Nanyang Technological University, workers at the nearby industrial estate and Jurong Lake District and those who travel to Kuala Lumpur often. It is also worth noting that by 2026, Jurong Lake District will welcome a new integrated tourism development that will act as a further catalyst for the property market in Boon Lay.