View of the Thanggam LRT station in Fernvale. (Photo: Christopher Chitty)
Fernvale is the Sengkang area’s newest neighbourhood, and it shows.
By Joanne Poh
Pristine new HDB flats reach for the sky, and the new Seletar Mall, opened just three years ago, proudly boasts the very first cineplex in Sengkang, making Fernvale an entertainment hub for residents in the area.
Fernvale is sandwiched between Jalan Kayu and the Punggol River, and lies in the western part of Sengkang, which is in northeastern Singapore and bordered by Punggol and Buangkok.
History of Fernvale
Sengkang, the neighbourhood to which Fernvale belongs, received its name from a road previously named Lorong Sengkang. Fernvale is one of seven sub-zones in Sengkang New Town, the others being Rivervale, Compassvale, Anchorvale, Sengkang Town Centre, Sengkang West and Lorong Halus North.
The development of public transport infrastructure in the area has been pivotal to its growth, and Sengkang is Singapore’s first satellite new town to spring up together with its public transport infrastructure.
The area on which Sengkang stands used to be home to a fishing port, as well as pineapple, rubber and pepper plantations. A fishing village arose in the area, going by the name of Kangkar, loosely translated as “foot of the port”.
For a long time, most of the public housing in the vicinity was located in Punggol. It was only in 1994 that the Housing Board began work on the residential new town that would become Sengkang.
Present-day Sengkang has been designed to reflect its seafaring past, and subtle nods to the houses on stilts that were common in the former fishing village can be observed in the architectural design of HDB blocks in the area.
Fernvale in the present
The Fernvale of today benefits from the newness of its infrastructure, and has a lot to look forward to in terms of future development.
The area’s accessibility has been greatly boosted by the opening of the Sengkang LRT Line, which connects it to the North-East Line on the MRT network via Sengkang MRT station. The Sengkang LRT Line is Singapore’s second LRT line, with the entire loop having been completed in 2005.
Sengkang bus interchange is the other major transport node in the area, linking Fernvale and other parts of Singapore to Sengkang MRT station by bus.
Jeremy Choo, a resident of the area, said: “Sengkang is a well-planned estate with easy access to amenities such as LRT stations, schools and malls.”
He cites Sengkang Floating Wetland and Sengkang Riverside Park, which connects to Punggol Waterway Park, as some of his favourite places.
He added: “A good place for supper is the 24-hour Kopitiam Food Centre at Sengkang Square. Another place would be the famous Jalan Kayu prata shop, within walking distance from Thanggam LRT station.”
Seletar Mall is Fernvale’s main retail and entertainment centre, and is conveniently located right beside Fernvale LRT. Other than a cineplex, the mall is also home to popular eateries such as Din Tai Fung and Sushi Express, as well as a FairPrice Finest.
Other nearby amenities include Greenwich V, a mall modelled after the hip Greenwich Village in New York, and Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre.
One of the area’s newest hotspots is Seletar Aerospace Park. This industrial park, situated in Seletar and dedicated to the aerospace industry, is under various stages of development, but has already become home to several major aerospace companies including Rolls-Royce, ST Aerospace and Eurocopter.
The industrial park, whose master plan was announced in 2007, is expected to be completed in 2018. It is slated to create 10,000 jobs and boost Singapore’s aerospace sector.
Seletar Aerospace Park has also, rather unexpectedly, become a magnet for trendy F&B businesses. Oval @ Seletar Aerospace Park, which is dotted with romantic colonial bungalows, is home to trendy establishments such as restaurant and cafe Wheeler’s Estate.
It has also gained popularity amongst young parents for its sprawling green spaces, aviation-themed playground and family-friendly dining options.
Jalan Kayu, a district that has become notable for its late-night prata stalls, is also a stone’s throw from Fernvale. The area is a favourite amongst residents for its laid-back atmosphere and the availability of late-night local eateries around the clock.
The Jalan Kayu area is set to receive a facelift in accordance with the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2014 Master Plan. One development to look forward to is an improved pedestrian experience, as new pavements and additional landscaping are in the works.
As Fernvale is such a new neighbourhood, it is ripe for development.
One highly-anticipated condo development in Fernvale is Parc Botannia by Sing Holdings and Wee Hur Holdings. Launched in November, the project has sold about 230 units at an average price of $1,270 psf.
The condominium comprises 735 residential units spread over four 22-storey blocks as well as an on-site childcare centre. Other facilities include a putting green, trampoline, jacuzzi alcove and jogging track, as well as swimming pools and tennis courts. Parc Botannia will be located on Fernvale Road, a very short walk from Thanggam LRT station.
Another condo in the vicinity is High Park Residences, right next door to Parc Botannia on Fernvale Road. Residents can enjoy on-site classes, which are free for a limited period, in a range of disciplines including tennis, cooking, swimming and, for kids, violin.
High Park Residences won the Best Condo Development (Singapore) Award at the recent PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) 2017, and was praised for its focus on affordability and for catering to young families.
Riverbank @ Fernvale, a condo development located at Sengkang West Way in Fernvale, is notable for its riverfront views. The condo by UOL Development boasts features such as a clubhouse with a game and piano room, tennis courts, swimming pools and a children’s playground.
On the public housing front, many new flats can be expected as Sengkang continues its development into a major housing estate.
John Tay, a research analyst at OrangeTee, identified Fernvale as a high-potential area for investors.
He said: “The Seletar area, which is located a short distance away from Fernvale, is poised to become one of the four regional centres in Singapore. This will be in line with the government’s long-term drive towards decentralisation. Though the development of the Seletar Regional Centre is expected to be long-term, property prices in the region could rise once more concrete plans are announced.”
He added: “As the area is located in the suburbs of Singapore and still in the midst of development, residential prices are still relatively low. As the area continues to develop, prices in the area should see an upward climb over the long term.”
Did you know?
– Much of Seletar Mall’s facade is windowless, solid wall. This prevents the building from heating up, thereby lowering the mall’s air conditioning needs.
– Fernvale’s HDB residents caused an uproar when it was announced that the Sengkang Columbarium would be built in the area. In the end, the site which the columbarium had been allocated was re-submitted for tender.
– Sengkang Riverside Park is home to a man-made wetland where mangrove birds and aquatic plants thrive.
|This article was first published in the print version PropertyGuru News & Views. Download PDFs of full print issues or read more stories now!|