The Casa Clementi precinct made the news in June when a five-room flat there was sold for $960,000. Source: BCA
To some, Clementi is an older town offering little beyond public housing and kopitiams. Yet it is seeing continual growth and change, promising new and exciting things for its residents.
by Cheryl Marie Tay
A mature estate in the easternmost fringe of the western region of Singapore, Clementi is a residential town and planning area that is close to other estates such as Jurong East, Queenstown, West Coast, Bukit Batok and Bukit Timah.
Clementi has been inhabited since colonial rule in Singapore, and colonial influences could be seen in the names of some of its roads and neighbourhoods. One of these was Sussex Estate, which used to be located at Clementi Avenue 1.
Established in the mid-1950s to provide accommodation for British senior non-commissioned officers and their families, Sussex Estate was the sole colonial feature of Clementi to survive the latter’s major redevelopment in 1975. It continued to be a part of the estate for slightly over two decades, before it was demolished in 1997.
One feature that did not survive Clementi’s transformation was a military setup known as Colombo Camp, which stood where Clementi New Town is today.
Troops from the Singapore Guard Regiment were stationed there until the regiment was dissolved in 1971. The camp remained there until it was demolished in 1975.
Once Colombo Camp had been demolished, Clementi as we know it today began to take shape. From 1975 to 1979, Clementi New Town was built on the plot of land where the camp had stood, gradually being transformed into one of Singapore’s many self-sustaining residential estates.
In line with these plans, the HDB started clearing the area one year prior to the commencement of its redevelopment, and saw to it that the affected villagers were resettled.
Today, Clementi New Town forms the main residential component of Clementi, with a mix of HDB neighbourhoods and landed housing enclaves, the latter concentrated in the west of the estate.
It is served by Clementi MRT station, and the arterial road after which it is named, Clementi Road, is still in use; it stretches approximately 5km from Jalan Anak Bukit (around the Bukit Timah area) to the West Coast Highway.
Apart from Clementi Road, the two other arterial roads serving Clementi are the West Coast high and the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Geographically, Clementi also includes Sunset Way Estate, as well as the residential areas near the MRT station and at Commonwealth Avenue West. Its current population stands at approximately 72,500.
Convenient living in Clementi
Like most residential estates in Singapore, Clementi has plenty of amenities that make its residents’ lives easier. Right next to the MRT station are two shopping malls, CityVibe and The Clementi Mall. There is another mall, 321 Clementi, not far from the Clementi Sports Hall. Slightly further away is West Coast Plaza, situated along West Coast Road.
Retail malls aside, there are the Clementi Neighbourhood Police Post and Clementi Polyclinic at Clementi Avenue 3, and the Clementi Fire Station at Commonwealth Avenue West. In terms of recreation, the estate has the Clementi Swimming Complex, Sports Hall and Stadium, as well as Clementi Woods Park and West Coast Park.
Clementi also has a good number of primary, secondary and tertiary schools, including Nan Hua Primary School, Nan Hua High School, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Polytechnic, SIM University and The Japanese School Singapore (Singapore Nihonjin Gakko).
KB Tan, 38, a software engineer who spent his early adulthood in Upper Serangoon and has lived in Clementi for a collective 23 years, says of the estate: “Clementi is an old district in the obvious process of a makeover. Many of the places I frequented as a kid are gone, replaced by fancy new constructs. They’ve torn down the really old buildings and built new malls, but unlike Serangoon, it’s pretty quiet after dark.”
He does, however, appreciate that it is quiet and serene for the most part, only getting “rowdy when something is happening in Clementi Stadium”.
When it comes to food options in the area, he says, “Daisy’s Dream Kitchen is a quaint little place off West Coast Road that serves Peranakan cuisine. The curry fish head on the top floor of West Coast Plaza is pretty decent, too, and there’s a nice lechon place next to Clementi MRT station.
“On the same stretch, next to the NTUC, there’s a stall that sells really delightful barbecued wings. There’s also Clementi Market, West Coast Market and Ayer Rajah Food Centre — I don’t have to elaborate there.”
The three aforementioned malls aside, shopping in Clementi encompasses mostly “cheap household supplies”, though there is also “a nice Art Friend next to Clementi Polyclinic, and a wealth of aquarium supplies and pet stores around Clementi Avenue 2 to 6”.
Tan cautions: “There is just one cinema in Clementi, the woefully limited WE Cinemas at 321 Clementi. The tickets are slightly more expensive than average, even on weekdays.”
Coming to Clementi
Clementi has seen more modern developments in recent times, including condominium projects like The Trilinq and Parc Riviera.
The former is a 99-year leasehold, 755-unit development by IOI Group. Located on Jalan Lempeng, it is near schools such as Nan Hua Primary and Clementi Town Secondary, as well as The Clementi Mall and Clementi MRT station.
The latter, also a 99-year leasehold project, is situated at West Coast Vale. Developed by EL Development, it features 752 units and is expected to achieve its TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) in 2020.
Damian Chia, Senior Marketing Director (Resale Division) at Edmund Tie & Company Property Network, says: “The Trilinq is close to Clementi MRT station, shopping malls, markets, schools and offices, and also one train stop from the future second CBD.
Wong Xian Yang, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee.com, concurs: “The Trilinq is within walking distance of the MRT station and is centrally located, meaning easy access to many amenities.
“Parc Riviera, on the other hand, is located along the fringes of Clementi and is therefore harder to access via public transport. Still, it is in closer proximity to amenities available in the neighbouring Jurong East.”
Clementi’s attractiveness, condos notwithstanding, is easy to pinpoint.
Chia says, “Clementi is mature estate and very well developed, with public transportation and other amenities everywhere. Another attractive aspect is its close proximity to offices and educational institutions, from primary to tertiary and even international schools.”
According to Wong, “Clementi is a mature estate with plenty of amenities and good transportation links. Notable schools in the area include NUS, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Ngee Ann Polytechnic, as well as numerous secondary and primary schools.
“The residents of Clementi are able to shop at heartland malls such as CItyVibe, 321 Clementi, and The Clementi Mall, which is located right next to the MRT station. Various dining options are also available, ranging from coffee shops and hawker centres to restaurants.
“Groceries and daily necessities can be purchased from the 24-hour NTUC supermarkets located at Clementi Avenues 2 and 3. There is also a polyclinic in the same area. The integrated transport hub (with both an MRT station and a bus interchange) is centrally located, providing ease of access and facilitating the daily commute of various residents.”
An optimistic outlook
Overall, Clementi’s prospects look positive. Home price appreciation for the area will likely be good, given its maturity and limited land.
Wong believes Clementi’s good locational attributes, as well as high demand amid limited supply, will prop prices up “despite strong economic headwinds. The positive effects from the development of Jurong East and one-north will also spill over into Clementi”, which is situated between the two growth centres.
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