History of Punggol
Punggol is located in the North-East region of Singapore and is bounded by Sengkang to the South and Pasir Ris to the East. It was once known for its seafood restaurants and numerous pig and orchid farms. By the 1990s, the seafood restaurants and pig farms had closed.
In 1996, the government announced the Punggol 21 initiative to transform the sleepy area into a new residential town, but the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the economic slowdown in 2003 soon put a dampener to the plan.
Punggol 21-plus was introduced in 2007 to turn the area into a waterfront town with seven sub-zones. Under this plan, numerous new HDB flats were completed and Punngol Waterway Park and Coney Island were opened to the public.
What’s in it?
As one of the newer housing estates in Singapore, many assumed it has limited amenities. While it is true that Punggol does not have as many amenities as a mature estate, it does have sufficient amenities to keep the residents happy.
Punggol has two main shopping malls, namely Punggol Plaza and Waterway Point. Punggol Plaza is the first mall to open in the area. The mall has a wide variety of offerings, with NTUC FairPrice and Koufu as anchor tenants. Punggol Plaza also has tuition centres, clinics, fashion stores, F&B outlets and a wet market. It is also conveniently located near Coral Edge LRT station.
The recently opened Waterway Point is the second mall for the location. It opened to much fanfare in April 2018. Located conveniently next to Punggol MRT station, it is the first mall in Singapore to be integrated with a town square and visitor centre. The mall has numerous tenants with a wide variety of offerings. Visitors to the mall can buy their daily necessities from FairPrice Finest or Watsons, fill their belly in BreadTalk or Din Tai Fung, and grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks before heading to Shaw Theatres to catch the latest blockbuster.
For some wholesome family-friendly leisure activities, residents can pop over to SAFRA Punggol which opened in 2016. The five-storey club features an indoor water playground, a large pre-school and a number of educational centres offering a variety of programmes ranging from linguistics to the Arts. In addition, the club has a gym, a bowling centre, yoga studios, swimming pools and badminton courts.
If they want to enjoy some greenery and fresh air, residents can visit the Waterway Park which is located just beside SAFRA Punggol. They can enjoy the river view from My Waterway@Punggol which runs through the park. Alternatively, they can go to Coney Island for a hike and enjoy the rich diversity of fauna and flora found there.
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Punggol in the next 10 years
According to the URA Master Plan 2014, Punggol will be transformed into an eco-friendly residential town where residents can look forward to more retail, education, transport, community and leisure amenities. Residents will also have more job opportunities closer to home.
In January 2018, the government announced plans that would transform Punggol North into Singapore’s Silicon Valley. Known as Punggol Digital District, the 50ha area will have a business park specialising in digital and cyber security located alongside the Singapore Institute of Technology, which is Singapore’s fifth autonomous university.
When completed in 2023, the business park and university are expected to attract some 28,000 IT professionals and 12,000 students respectively. Cutting edge technology and innovation can be expected from collaborations between the students and IT experts.
However, Punggol will not just be all about bytes and pixels as residents of the neighbourhood can look forward to living in a town that is integrated with nature and is car-lite.
Punggol Northshore is slated to be Singapore’s first nature-centric housing district. Its first HDB flat was launched in 2015. Since then, about 5,700 flats spread over eight BTO projects have been launched for sale. The flats will be completed progressively from 2020.
In addition, residents of Punggol will have nature right at their doorstep. They can enjoy leisurely strolls or cycles around Punggol Waterway Park. They can also bring their children to Coney Island and teach them more about the native flora and fauna of Singapore.
In addition, Punggol residents can look forward to more family-friendly amenities as a 42,300 sq m integrated hub is set to open in their town by 2021. The new Punggol Town Hub (PTH) will include a hawker centre, public library and childcare centre. Situated opposite Waterway Point, PTH will be connected to Sam Kee LRT station, Punggol MRT and Punggol Town Square.
Construction work has also started on Punggol’s first fire station, which will be integrated with a neighbourhood police centre. To be completed by mid-2020, the five-storey facility will feature eight fire engine bays, two firefighter slides and a 25m training maze.
Connectivity of Punggol will also be improved with two new MRT connections. There will also be improvements made to Punggol Way and Punggol Road and new roads will be constructed.
Get the Guru View
Many dismiss Punggol as a housing location because they think there is a lack of amenities. This notion is outdated. The government’s plans to turn Punggol into Singapore’s Silicon Valley means that there are plans for more amenities to be built. Connectivity and transport infrastructure will also be improved.
There are two groups of people who should seriously consider building their nest in Punggol. Nature lovers will find Punggol the ideal housing location due to its proximity to the beautiful Punngol Waterway Park and the rustic Coney Island. The upcoming Punggol Digital District will offer IT professionals many job opportunities and living near their workplace will make their daily commute a breeze.