Woodlands does not attract much attention from home buyers because of its far flung location and perceived inaccessibility. However, this is set to change with numerous exciting changes that will transform the neighbourhood into one of Singapore’s four regional centres.
History of Woodlands
It’s located at the northern most end of Singapore. Surrounding it are Mandai to the south, Sembawang to the east, and Sungei Kadut to the west. Woodlands is also linked to Malaysia’s southernmost city Johor Bahru via the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
In the early days, it was a rural area and home to small farms and rubber plantations. The completion of the Causeway in 1923 first brought Woodlands into prominence. Singaporeans who want to get to Johor and the rest of Malaysia will have to use its Causeway. Likewise, Malaysians coming to Singapore via land will first set foot in Woodlands before the rest of the island.
However, it’s only in the 1980s when its development really started to pick up pace. HDB started building flats here in 1981 and completed three neighbourhoods by 1989. Currently, Woodlands has about 65,000 HDB units with some 242,000 residents.
What’s in it?
Due to its location, many Singaporeans think of it as a far-flung place where nothing happens. They cannot be more wrong! Residents hardly need to step out of their estate to shop, eat and relax.
There are a number of amenities conveniently clustered around Woodlands MRT station. Causeway Point is a large suburban mall with a wide variety of shops offering all kinds of fashion, entertainment and dining options.
After eating and shopping at Causeway Point, residents can pop over next door to Woodlands Civic Centre, which has all kinds of public services and assistance conveniently gathered under one roof. The centre also houses the Woodlands Regional Library, several banks, and the Woodlands branch of the Central Provident Fund (CPF).
Meanwhile, a new 10-storey Woodlands Police Division headquarters officially opened in March 2019. Located at Woodlands Street 12, residents will no longer have to travel to other areas in Singapore to lodge police reports and follow up on cases.
In addition, residents have easy access to two beautiful parks. The Woodlands Waterfront Park is home to the longest jetty in Singapore, while Admiralty Park houses the largest nature area within an urban park.
Connectivity is not a problem as residents are well served by three MRT stations along the North South Line, a bus interchange and numerous expressways.
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Woodlands in 10 years
Exciting changes are planned for the area. Under the URA Masterplan 2014, it’s designated to be a regional centre in Singapore. This is part of the government’s plan to bring jobs closer to homes.
In line with this plan, Woodlands Central will be gradually built up and will feature more offices and commercial space. The existing MRT will be the focal point for all the upcoming developments. The first office development is Woods Square by Far East Organization who are offering office space for sale or rent.
In addition, high-value wafer fabrication plants are planned for the North Coast Wafer Fab Park and more industrial developments will be developed along Woodlands Avenue 9 and 12.
The waterfront at Woodlands North Coast will also be transformed with more greenery and enhanced connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.
Accessibility will be enhanced by the upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT Line (TEL), which will connect Woodlands and the city seamlessly when the first phase is completed in 2019.
New road and expressways, notably the North-South Expressway, will further improve its’ connectivity.
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Home buyers should not dismiss it because of its location. Woodlands may be far from the central region of Singapore, but residents do not lack entertainment, shopping and dining options. They also can immerse themselves in nature with two unique and beautiful parks at their doorstep.
On top of that, the government has designated the area as the northern regional centre of Singapore. In line with the upcoming transformation, more commercial and industrial developments will be built and connectivity will be enhanced. All these new developments will only increase its’ appeal and in turn give a boost to property prices and rents.