Tengah at a size of around 700 hectares, is HDB’s 24th and the newest town. It is bounded by Choa Chu Kang to the northeast, Jurong East and West to the south, Bukit Batok to the east and the Western Water Catchment to its west and north.
The History Of Tengah
Up until the 1980s, it was known as Hong Kah Village, a Chinese kampong before the villagers were resettled to the other towns in the west. Subsequently, it became a military restricted area until 2015, when the site was reserved for future housing development as part of the Tengah Town.
Tengah is envisioned to become Singapore’s first smart and sustainable town with green features and smart technologies. Planners aimed to incorporate the existing ecosystems with the new developments so as to create a sense of being “At Home with Nature” experience for the residents. Dubbed as the “forest town”, Tengah will incorporate some first of its kind designs and many eco-friendly features within the housing unit and the around town to create a unique town identity.
The town is divided into 5 districts, each having its own unique features. The first district to be developed is the Plantation district. It will feature waterfront housing and a community farmway. The second is the Garden district, which will be designed with a picturesque garden-theme that will incorporate gardens, play areas and community farms within the housing estate. The third is the Park district, which will act as the heart of the forest town with a market place and a Central Park and will serve as a vibrant town centre. The fourth is Brickland district. The designs for the housing developments in this district could be inspired by the brick factories that used to be in that area and will provide residents with an unobstructed view of the forest corridor. Finally, the fifth district is the Forest Hill district. Housing developments in this district are expected to bring nature to residents’ doorsteps as it is bordered by the forest corridor and Central Park.
Enveloped By Jurong Innovation District, Jurong Lake District And Tuas Port
The south-west of the town is enveloped by a part of the Jurong Innovation District (JID), a new hub for advanced manufacturing in Jurong West. The 600-hectare district, inclusive of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is envisioned to become a hub for companies in the key growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, urban solutions and smart logistics and will also play host to an advanced manufacturing campus and factories of the future.
The JID is expected to account for more than 4,500 jobs within the next 18 months, with the creation of around 1,200 new jobs in the abovementioned industries and the remaining 3,300 jobs coming from the relocation of some factories into the area. Some of these big-name companies that will be setting up their operations include urban and infrastructure consulting firm, Surbana Jurong and manufacturing plant, Shimano. When the advanced manufacturing hub is fully developed, it will create over 95,000 jobs.
The Tengah town is also close to the 360-hectare Jurong Lake District (JLD), which has been positioned as the largest commercial and regional centre outside Singapore’s city centre. The Government had in 2019 announced plans to set up a 7-hectare integrated tourism development by 2026 that will bring large-scale leisure options to Singapore’s heartland business district. The development will feature a hotel, attractions, eateries and shops. Apart from that, the district is also set to create more than 100,000 jobs when fully developed over the next 20 – 30 years, in the maritime, infrastructure and technology sectors.
Lastly, residents at Tengah can also look forward to more employment opportunities from the third and final mega project in the west, the Tuas Port. The new Tuas Port when fully completed in 2040, will become the world’s largest fully automated terminal, boasting features as such automated wharf and yard functions and full-electric guided vehicles. This next-generation port will be able to handle 65 million 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) and will be capable of handling the demands of the world’s largest container ships. Eventually, the Tuas port will provide over 170,000 job opportunities through the various companies within the maritime ecosystem.
These new developments in the Western region will open up exciting job opportunities for everyone and more so for the residents of Tengah who are set to benefit by being in close proximity to these major employment nodes.
Access To 4 New MRT Stations And 3 Expressways From Tengah Town
Tengah Town will contain four new MRT stations that forms part of the Jurong Regional Line (JRL) network. For now, the construction work for only one of these stations has been planned for completion. The Tengah Park station will be situated near the plantation district and is opposite to the Dulwich College (Singapore). It is expected to be completed sometime around 2028 and residents can expect shorter journey time from Tengah to Pandan Reservoir.
Apart from the Tengah Park station, residents can also expect to be served by the Tengah MRT station and Tengah Plantation MRT station. Both of these stations will serve as the backbone of the rail transportation for Tengah Town residents to get to other parts of Singapore such as Jurong East, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang seamlessly. The North-South Line (NSL) at Bukit Batok, will also make commuting to the northern region such as Woodlands and Yishun more seamless. There are also many buses along the existing Bukit Batok Bus Interchange that provides an alternative commute to other parts of Singapore.
Tengah Town is also uniquely positioned to be advantageous to car owners as it is located near three major expressways, such as the Kranji Expressway (KJE), Pan Island Expressway (PIE) and Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE). These expressways enable residents to travel to other parts of Singapore more quickly and seamlessly. The expressways also connect directly to the Central Business District (CBD), Marina Bay and the shopping belt of Orchard Road within a 30-minute drive.
Apart from the traditional modes of transportation, Tengah Town also features many green modes of transport to reduce the carbon footprint, keeping in line with the goal of the government to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. The Tengah Town Centre will be the first car-free Town Centre in a HDB town. The Town Centre will have roads beneath it, whilst the space at ground level is used for communal space and greenery. The roads in Tengah will come with demarcated walking and cycling paths on both sides of the road making it much safer and easier for residents to walk and cycle around the town.
Where To Live In The Smart Forest Tengah Town
Tengah Town will accommodate a total of 42,000 new homes when all of its five districts are fully developed. More than 70% or 30,000 housing units, will be made up of HDB flats and the remaining 12,000 will be contributed by private housing units.
Since the first Build-to-Order (BTO) was launched in 2018 to now, over 10,000 units have been released by HDB. They consist a good mix of 2-room to 5-room flats. The past few launches were well received by home buyers with generally more applications received than available units. This shows strong demand for public housing in Tengah Town. Moreover, the starting prices for these BTO flats are at least around 20% cheaper than nearby resale units before including grants. First-time buyers and upgraders can look forward to another two projects in Tengah during the November 2021 BTO sales launch that will yield a total of 2,120 units. Based on the estimated pricing for these projects and comparing to nearby estates of Jurong West and Bukit Batok, we can see from Table 1, that applicants will be getting a huge discount as early movers to the new Tengah Town.
Table 1: Comparison of HDB Selling Prices
|Flat Type||Selling Price
|HDB Resale Prices
(Median Prices based on 2nd Qtr 2021)
|Tengah Nov Launch Prices||Bukit Batok||Jurong West|
|2-room Flexi||Frm: $108,000||Frm: $28,000||–||–|
|3-room||Frm: $194,000||Frm: $119,000||$313,000||$298,000|
|4-room||Frm: $288,000||Frm: $228,000||$417,500||$418,000|
|5-room||Frm: $394,000||Frm: $349,000||$591,500||$501,900|
The public housing projects in Tengah Town are built with certain features as part of the smart and sustainable town concept unlike the HDBs in other towns. These features include:-
#1 Smart Planning: computer simulation and data analytics were used to refine the planning and designing of the HDB towns and precincts so as to optimise wind flow and minimise heat.
#2 Smart Energy Management: residents will be able to monitor their energy usage effectively using the MyTengah app, developed by SP Group. Through this app, residents can get a breakdown on their household energy consumption and make informed decisions to make lifestyle adjustments to improve their energy usage.
#3 Automated Waste Collection: the use of Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS), an automated waste collection system that uses high-speed air to transport household waste to a centralised collection location will also be used for the housing projects in Tengah Town.
#4 Centralised Cooling System: HDB will pilot a centralised cooling system at Tengah’s Plantation, Garden and Park districts to regulate temperature within residents’ flats. This system is expected to save around 15 – 20% upfront costs and up to 30% life cycle costs compared to conventional air-conditioning systems.
#5 Smart Lighting: smart lighting system will be used to manage the lighting levels based on human traffic within the precincts.
On the private housing front, the recent tender for executive condominium (EC) at the Tengah Garden Walk site from the Government Land Sales (GLS) exercise, saw a record bid of $603 per sq ft per plot ratio (psf ppr). The winning developer, intends to build around 620 EC units with analysts estimating the selling price to start from $1,200 psf. This tightly contested exercise, shows developers are confident about the demand for private housing projects in Tengah Town. With a high benchmark set against the backdrop of an overall strong demand for housing, we could see further record bids as more GLS sites are released for private housing units in the Tengah Town.
Education Options In Tengah
Currently, the few developments that are under construction are for housing. Nonetheless, based on the draft Master Plan, there are 12 plots of land zoned for educational institutions within the Tengah Town. As of now, there has been no news or plans revealed on what type of schools will be made available for the residents. Moreover, it may take some time for demand for these schools to kick-in, before we can expect construction of these education institutions to take place.
Hence, new residents have to look at the neighbouring towns for their children’s schooling needs. Here is a quick list of education institutions at Bukit Batok, the town nearest to the Plantation and Park districts.
|No||Name of School||Location|
|1||MOE Kindergarten @ Dazhong||35 Bukit Batok Street 31, Singapore 659441|
|2||MOE Kindergarten @ Princess Elizabeth||30 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3, Singapore 659163|
|MOE Primary School|
|No||Name of School||Location|
|1||Bukit View Primary School||18 Bukit Batok Street 21, Singapore 659634|
|2||Dazhong Primary School||35 Bukit Batok Street 31, Singapore 659441|
|3||Keming Primary School||90 Bukit Batok East Avenue 6, Singapore 659762|
|4||Lianhua Primary School||2 Bukit Batok Street 52, Singapore 659243|
|5||Princess Elizabeth Primary School||30 Bukit Batok West Avenue 3, Singapore 659163|
|6||St. Anthony’s Primary School||30 Bukit Batok Street 32, Singapore 659401|
|MOE Secondary School|
|No||Name of School||Location|
|1||Bukit Batok Secondary School||50 Bukit Batok West Ave 8, Singapore 658962|
|2||Bukit View Secondary School||16 Bukit Batok Street 21, Singapore 659633|
|3||Dunearn Secondary School||21 Bukit Batok West Avenue 2, Singapore 659204|
|4||Hillgrove Secondary School||10 Bukit Batok Street 52, Singapore 659250|
|5||Swiss Cottage Secondary School||3 Bukit Batok Street 34, Singapore 659322|
|6||Yusof Ishak Secondary School||8 Sumang Walk, Singapore 828676|
|1||Millennia Institute||60 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8, Singapore 658965|
Recreation For Tengah Residents
There will be no shortage of recreational options for the residents at Tengah Town dubbed the forest town. Nature lovers will be able to enjoy a 100m-wide, 5km-long forest corridor that will run along the town’s periphery. It will form part of the larger network of greenery that connects the Western Water Catchment Area and Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This forest corridor will be planted with rainforest tree species to transform it into a rich forest habitat. Other amenities such as hiking trails will also be incorporated in the corridor for the community to get close to nature and enjoy the rainforest.
At the heart of the town, will be the Central Park at a size of around 20 hectares, or of a similar size as the Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. It will be integrated with ponds and canals to provide a picturesque space for recreation. It will also include a forest amphitheatre for communal events.
Residents can also look forward to rooftop garden courtyards with fitness stairs and sky community parks. Residents can also grow their own edibles and ornamental plants or buy these organic produces directly from other gardeners. For the more active residents, they can head to the sky sports park for their routine workout sessions.
Residents can also look forward to a new neighbourhood centre and community club at Tengah’s Plantation district. It is designed as a linear pedestrian mall and will be flanked by eateries and other wide range of shops and services. There are plans to incorporate a polyclinic and sports centre within the neighbourhood centres as part of the overall amenities that will be available to all the residents of Tengah Town.
Residents will also have more recreational options from the nearby Jurong lake gardens and from the further development of the Jurong lake district.
We will skip the usual ratings table that we normally do for our Neighbourhood Round series as Tengah is a new town with all of the developments currently under the construction stage. Nonetheless, here’s a quick summary for the reader looking to reside and make Tengah their new home.
The Tengah Town has been planned with the vision of being a new age, model town that will incorporate the best of green technologies to deliver a smart and sustainable town. Young and eco-conscious residents may stand to benefit and will appreciate the many initiatives and plans to integrate the environment with our daily lives. The town stands to provide a unique lifestyle living with its “At Home with Nature” concept.
Moreover, Tengah is near to other multi-billion-dollar transformation projects such as the Tuas Port, Jurong Lake District and Jurong Innovative District that is set to revitalise the West region, with more jobs of the future and better recreational options. This should serve well for the future residents of Tengah as they can work, study and play close to their homes. This also bodes well for the future price appreciation of the properties in the Tengah Town as they will be continually sought after for these reasons.
The downside for now is that we are at the early stages of the transformation of Tengah new town and the other mega projects. Most of these concept plans may take another 10 – 20 years to be fully implemented. Hence, there is always a risk of these projects either getting delayed or changed, just like what happened with the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project.
Moreover, early-movers would have little choice than to live with some inconveniences from the constant construction activities around the town area. Adding to this inconvenience, would be the possible noise pollution from the military airplanes from the Tengah air base.
Due to these inconveniences, the HDBs at Tengah are currently priced attractively and may suit young couples looking for affordable housing with a great upside potential in the future. Concluding, comparing the hassle of living in a developing town to the prospect of eventually living in a smart and sustainable town with a unique lifestyle living, at these current prices, in our opinion, may just might be worth it for that early mover advantage.
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