History of Novena
Today, Novena is mainly an upmarket residential area located within Singapore’s Central Region. Most of those residential properties consist of mid-level to high-end private condos and landed homes, with very few public housing units. Consisting of five sub zones, namely Mount Pleasant, Moulmein, Thomson, Malcolm and Balestier, Novena covers a total of nine square kilometres and is home to just under 50,000 residents.
Novena owes its name and much of its earliest development to Novena Church (or the Church of Saint Alphonsus – to give it its correct name), situated overlooking Thomson Road. Originally completed in 1950, the church has undergone several additions and development phases, the last being in 2014.
Over the last two decades, the area has been transformed with the addition of several modern and impressive shopping malls, making it a genuine destination for shoppers from across the island.
What’s in Novena
Other than the aforementioned church, two other notable landmarks of the area are the Inland Revenue Authority Building and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, one of Singapore’s largest hospitals. It is also one of its oldest and has been on its present site since 1909. The Thomson Medical Centre also calls Novena its home.
The area is probably best known today for its shopping malls. United Square, Goldhill Plaza Mall, Square 2 and the sports themed Velocity are all grouped around Novena MRT and offer shoppers a huge range of retail choices along with the F&B outlets that come hand in hand with them.
To the west of Novena, on Balestier Road you will find Balestier Plaza and Shaw Plaza plus the Whampoa hawker centre and wet market.
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Novena in the next 10 years
The URA masterplan for Novena has brought good news for its residents, future residents and those with investment properties in the area. Following the creation of the ground-breaking Zhongshan Park, more park connectors will be built within Novena, giving residents access to Toa Payoh Town Park and Kallang Riverside. Several commercial developments have either recently been finished or are in the process of being built, bringing in more employment opportunities to the region. However, the biggest changes are in transport and healthcare.
The Health City Novena master plan will create the largest single healthcare complex in Singapore. As well as the existing Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the project, which will cover a total of 600,000 square metres, will also include a new community hospital and the Dover Park Hospice in an integrated intermediate care hub. It is set for completion by 2030.
In terms of transport, Novena has seen three new stations open in the vicinity on the Downtown Line 2 at Newton, Stevens and Botanic Gardens in the last three years, with two on the Thomson Line – Mount Pleasant and Stevens coming online by 2021. The North-South Corridor will also come through Novena, providing quicker access to the south but particularly the north of the island.