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Neighbourhood Estate Guide: Rediscovering Jurong East, The Regional Centre Of The West

On the other side of Singapore, which doesn’t require a passport to travel.

Much like the fabled novel “Journey to the West,” heading to the western region of Singapore, particularly Jurong East, was a long and hard journey in the past. Public transport connectivity was poor and amenities were sparse.

But all that changed with the transformation of Jurong East as a regional centre of the west in 1991. Today, it has become a vibrant town, offering the trifecta of work, live, and play factors in one place, making it a sought-after neighbourhood.

In a bid to further revamp its old industrial image, the Jurong Regional Centre was renamed Jurong Gateway in 2008. This is in line with the vision of developing Jurong as the second Central Business District (CBD) by 2040, along with other major investments in the west, such as the Jurong Innovation District (JID) and Tuas Port.

Could this neighbourhood with its unrealised potential, be your next home?

[Editor’s note]: Check out the other neighbourhood estate guides that we have written on: Ang Mo KioBidadariBukit MerahChoa Chu KangEast CoastHougangJurong WestKallangPasir RisQueenstownSengkangSerangoonSentosa Cove,  Tanjong PagarTengahToa PayohWoodlandsYew Tee, and Yishun.

Singapore’s Industrial “Revolution” Town

Once a remote swamp with crocodile-infested waterways, Jurong transformed into a key industrial town in the 1960s — a solution to Singapore’s growing unemployment and declining entrepot trade problems.

Under the influence of then-Finance Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee, Jurong, which had a deep coastal harbour, became Singapore’s primary industrial centre. Tasked initially by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and later Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), Jurong became a hub of factories and industrial activities, housing 264 factories that employed 32,000 workers by 1970. Moreover, the township also saw the development of HDB flats, and eventually amenities, attracting a population size of about 16,000 in Taman Jurong by 1969.

Today, Jurong East is a new town comprising of 10 sub-zones: Yuhua West, Yuhua East, Toh Guan, Jurong Gateway, International Business Park, Lakeside, Teban Gardens, Jurong River, Jurong Port, and Penjuru Crescent. It has more than 80,000 residents and approximately 24,000 HDB flats.

Shaping To Be The Second’s Largest Business District

When Jurong East was earmarked to be the regional centre of the west, JTC was tasked with bringing jobs closer to home. It established the 37-hectare (ha) International Business Park in 1992 near Jurong East MRT station, followed by the JTC Summit in 2000. These spaces were meant as a hub for corporations to base their regional headquarters, innovation centres, and other operations.

Additionally, other commercial and retail projects in Jurong East began to flourish in the 1990s. Some notable ones include the former Jurong Entertainment Centre and International Merchandising Mart (IMM) Mall, a 5-storey facility encompassing 960,000 square feet (sq ft) of retail space. In recent years, Jurong East has seen the rise (and fall) of more retail malls, including newer ones like Jem and Westgate.

As initially unveiled in the 2008 Master Plan, the Jurong Lake District (JLD) is envisioned to be the largest business district outside of the central area. The 360-ha site will have flexi-use sites interspersed with business park uses, allowing companies to locate all their activities and teams in one place. It is expected to provide 100,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes. As part of this development, the Jurong Regional Centre was renamed Jurong Gateway and is intended to be an integrated commercial and transport hub.

Read Also: Guide To Jurong Lake District: Singapore’s Second CBD Where You Can Live, Work, And Play

Boosting Connectivity In The West With Two New MRT Lines

As a regional centre, the Jurong East MRT station serves as a key transport node for the town. The integrated transport hub serves as the MRT interchange station that connects to the North-South Line (NSL), East-West Line (EWL), and the future Jurong Regional Line (JRL), which is expected to be completed by 2029.

Furthermore, the JLD will also be accessible via the Cross Island Line (CRL), which, when completed by 2032, will offer more convenient travel to the eastern regions, including the Punggol Digital District and Changi Airport.

The Jurong East MRT station will also be linked to the upcoming Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub (ITH), which is slated for completion in 2027. In addition to a fully air-conditioned bus interchange, the Jurong East ITH will feature a 27-storey block connected by a sky bridge to another eight-storey block. Both blocks will house offices, retail spaces, and other public facilities.

The current Jurong Town Hall Bus Interchange has 31 bus services plying mainly around Jurong East, Bukit Batok, and Clementi. This includes cross-border connectivity via Tuas Checkpoint operated by Causeway Link.

Jurong Town is also well connected to major expressways, such as the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) that goes to Changi Airport and the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) that goes to the heart of the city centre of Marina Bay.

Read Also: How The Jurong Region Line (JRL) Is The Connecting ‘Artery’ To Build Singapore’s Second CBD

Mature Public Housing Flats At Affordable Prices

Public housing in Jurong East is typically more affordable than in neighbouring towns, as many of the HDB flats were constructed during the 1970s to 1980s. As such, their shorter lease balances and less central location contribute to a lower median price.

Comparing the median resale prices for 3- to 5-room HDB flats across all towns, flats in Jurong East are around $40,000 to $100,000 cheaper than the average prices. The 4-room flats in Jurong East exhibit the largest price difference, with a price difference of approximately $90,000 to $100,000.

While the prices for 3- and 4-room flats in Jurong East are lower than those in the neighbouring town, Jurong West, the prices for its 5-room flats are about $70,000 higher.

HDB Median Resale Price
Location 3-Room 4-Room 5-Room
Bukit Batok $380,000 $591,500 $748,900
Clementi $390,000 $600,000 *
Jurong East $368,000 $483,400 $646,500
Jurong West $370,000 $495,000 $580,900
Overall HDB Average $400,000 $580,000 $700,000

Source: HDB Resale Statistics – 1Q2024
*Insufficient transactions data

On the private property front, aside from Ivory Estate – one of the small remaining handful of Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) developments – Jurong East offers a handful of developments for those who prefer it.

However, unlike the HDB flats, these developments, particularly those in the Jurong Gateway, are generally higher at a median per square foot (PSF) price of $2,353. On the other hand, those projects near Lakeside have an average psf of $2,085, while those in Yuhua have a psf of $1,070.

Read Also: HDB Price Guide: 5 Cheapest HDB Estates For 2024

Close To Good Schools And Universities

While the West is home to a number of prestigious schools, including Singapore’s two top universities, Nanyang Business School (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the small town of Jurong East has only a few learning institutions within the estate. In total, there are only three primary and three secondary schools.

The list below states the different types of learning institutions available in Jurong East:

MOE Primary School
Name Location
Yuhua Primary School 158 Jurong East Street 24, S609558
Jurong Primary School 320 Jurong East Street 32, S609476
Fuhua Primary School 65 Jurong East Street 13, S609647
MOE Secondary School
Name Location
Commonwealth Secondary School 698 West Coast Road, S608784
Crest Secondary School 561 Jurong East Street 24, S609561
Jurongville Secondary School 202 Jurong East Avenue 1, S609790

Source: MOE SchoolFinder

Best Of Two Halves: The Orchard Road Of The West & Home To First National Gardens In The Heartlands

In most neighbourhoods where you are likely to have one or, in the rare case of Tampines, three shopping malls, Jurong East trumps them all. It has four shopping malls—Jurong Gateway, Jem, Westgate, and IMM—each offering a different retail experience for shoppers, thus earning the title “Orchard Road” of the west. Combined, these malls provide most of the retail offerings that can be found at the heart of Singapore’s shopping belt.

Beyond the retail experience, Jurong East is a paradise for nature lovers with the development of the 90-ha Jurong Lake Gardens – Singapore’s third and newest national gardens. It offers a variety of activities, such as nature-themed and water play areas, sports facilities, and even F&B outlets.

For additional recreation activities, there’s the new science centre to look forward to, which will be opened in the Jurong Lake District in 2027. It will be a one-stop destination for the public to access science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and experiences. These are some of the unique recreational options that can be enjoyed in Jurong East Town.

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