As the third largest new town in Singapore with an estimated population of 261,230 people in 2015, the Tampines Regional Centre is a hotbed of activity night and day. People flood in from the Tampines MRT and bus interchange from all over the island to join the denizens of this busy town in the three shopping malls that surround the MRT station.
Tampines Mall, Century Square and Tampines 1 are perpetually caught in a whirlwind of movement with people bouncing from shop to shop, queuing at restaurants or waiting to catch a movie. In between those places, arcades and grocery stores round off just a few of the things one would find in these malls.
Tampines can be daunting for people not familiar with the closeness of HDB flats, the narrow but almost always congested streets and the relentless deluge of pedestrians pouring in from everywhere but it is unmistakably lively, with buskers plying their trade near the station and the occasional pasar malam bringing some of that traditional charm back to an increasingly homogeneous environment. There may always be noise in the air, but sometimes it’s music.
But not all of Tampines vibrates at this heightened level.
In the future-named Tampines North Quarry Park, a different sort of development is occurring – one that puts nature at the forefront.
Amusingly called the ‘Green Shoot’, this new estate of which The Alps and The Santorini, along with the many newly erected BTO flats are founding members of, is expected to favor more the verdant lifestyle where fauna and flora bask under the open and fresh air. With a remodeled quarry, where the wild overgrowth is trimmed and manicured to be manageable, the new green spine is an impending dash of nature against a sea of high-rise, concrete homes.
In this new estate, shopping malls and other, more common forms of recreation take a giant backseat to a healthier and arguably more congenial alternative. Bikes trails that meander around the estate will be added with the possibility of being linked in the future with Pasir Ris New Town. Water sports in the quarry will continue, albeit with more enhancements and additions.
All of this are further accentuated by a 7.5 ha Boulevard Park rife with seasonal trees and flowers; fit for peaceful walks alone or with family and friends.
Yet all of these are works in progress. Right now, the trees grow wild around the old quarry and the dust from the construction of condominiums and flats fill the air. The road of Tampines Ave 10 is busy with heavy vehicles coming from and going to Pasir Ris while basic amenities like hawker centers and assorted shops common at HDB void decks are lacking.
Tampines Ave 10 is a diamond in the rough, and a promise for the future. The manicured green shoot that the government has decreed in their white paper has yet to see the light of day but the residential homes are springing up in place of the flowers. Tampines Ave 10 is an estate in the wings with major gentrification coming to it in the near future.
Given the affordable prices listed for projects like The Alps and The Santorini, Tampines Ave 10 is beginning to look incredibly attractive.