As announced by the Housing Development Board (HDB), Sport Singapore and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Farrer Park Field is the latest brownfield site in Singapore to be redeveloped into a housing estate.
The 10-hectare Farrer Park site is bounded by Dorset Road, Keng Lee Road, Hampshire Road, and Race Course Road. It will yield about 1,600 new HDB flats and will be launched for sale within the next three years.
The new public housing development in Farrer Park Field will be designed with a uniquely thematic concept that preserves its rich sporting history. It will be integrated with comprehensive sports and recreational facilities that will be open to all to enjoy.
Here are 6 things to know about the new development at the Farrer Park site.
#1 History Of The Farrer Park Field
According to the government microsite, Roots, the Farrer Park Field, which is currently managed by Sport Singapore, was the site of Singapore’s first racecourse. Established in 1843, the racecourse was also used as a golf course, grazing pasture, and rifle range on non-racing days.
In 1933, when the racecourse was moved to Bukit Timah, the Farrer Park Field was eventually opened to the public for leisure sporting activities like football and rugby matches.
Before the establishment of the Singapore Sports Hub, Farrer Park Field was the unofficial sporting hub. It was surrounded by other clusters of sports facilities like a swimming complex, a boxing gym, a tennis centre, and a track and field stadium. Hence, it served as the training ground for many of the past and present national athletes.
#2 Unique Thematic Concept Development
Source: HDB – Conceptual plan for Farrer Park site
The future Farrer Park BTO estate will be designed with a thematic (sports) concept, something that is uncommon for HDB estates. Hence, this project may appeal to the sports-enthusiastic homebuyers.
Around 20% of the site will be set aside as open space for sports and recreational uses. The current boxing gym will be retained and converted to a multi-purpose community sporting space. Unfortunately, the current swimming pool will not be retained. In its place, a new sports centre will be built that will house the swimming pools and other sporting facilities.
Residents can also look forward to the 3-Generation playgrounds and fitness corners, as well as a jogging track that will weave through the entire new housing estate. These sports facilities will be open to all to keep fit and stay active.
Other than these sporting facilities, residents will also have access to precinct shops and a childcare centre all within the housing development to meet their daily needs.
#3 Access To Amenities And Connectivity
One of the biggest plus points of the new housing project is its location and connectivity to other major nodes of employment and leisure.
The site is near the Little India and Farrer Park MRT stations, which are part of the North-East Line. Aside from public bus services (Service 131) that take 30 minutes to reach the Central Business District, the site is also well connected to major expressways such as the Central Expressway (CTE) and Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).
Residents will also have convenient access to the many surrounding amenities. From shopping malls like Mustafa Centre and City Square Mall, to hawker centres like the Tekka Market and Pek Kio Market and Food Centre. There is even the Kallang Polyclinic to serve the residents’ medical needs. All these are within approximately 1 km of the housing site.
#4 Price Of Surrounding Resale HDB Flats
The information on the types of HDB flats that will be made available and the launch prices for the new Farrer Park housing estate are currently unknown.
However, as the new Farrer Park site falls under the Kallang/Whampoa precinct, we could use the median prices transacted in that town as our reference. Unlike in other residential towns, there are not many HDB flats that are built in Farrer Park. Nonetheless, we have chosen a few nearby HDB estates to gauge the potential price range of future BTOs at Farrer Park.
|Median HDB Resale Prices|
|Location||3 – room||4 – room||5 – room|
|671A – 672B Klang Lane||–||502,500||670,000|
|11 – 15 Farrer Park Road||532,888||695,888||793,500|
|49 – 50 Dorset Road||390,444||590,000||655,000|
Source: HDB *Prices are accurate as of 1 May 2022.
Based on the past transacted prices of surrounding HDB blocks (4-room and 5-room units) near the Farrer Park site, they are still slightly lower than the median prices recorded for the Kallang/Whampoa town. This could mean that prices for the new BTO project may still be in an affordable price range for most first-timers, as they are usually priced around 15-20% cheaper than neighbouring resale HDB flats.
However, given a small supply of HDB flats in the area, demand for new housing could be rather high, which may affect future pricing.
#5 Commercial Developments In Farrer Park
Source: Centrium Square
Though the predominant commercial activity in Little India and Farrer Park occurs within the large cluster of shophouses, there have been other notable commercial developments taking shape in recent years. These new commercial developments could add to the vibrancy and rejuvenation of the area. Some of these include the following:
The former Serangoon Plaza was redeveloped into the 19-storey Centrium Square, a mixed-use complex consisting of 143 offices, 39 medical suites, and 49 retail stores. Additionally, the adjacent Fortuna Hotel is expected to be sold, and analysts believe the new owners could re-build the hotel with more (smaller-sized) rooms than the current 106-room hotel. In April 2022, it was reported that Fragrance Group’s chief executive had bought Verdun House for $55 million.
Additionally, the eagerly awaited Piccadilly Grand, a private residential project for 2022 by City Development and MCL Land, will be launched soon near the Farrer Park site. The 405-unit mixed-development project could raise the residential profile in the area.
These new developments show that commercial interest in the area remains strong, making it a viable location to work, live, and play.
#6 May Not Appeal To Everyone
There are at least two downsides to the new housing project that may not appeal to future flat buyers.
Migrant workers from the Indian subcontinent make up a large demographic that frequents the Little India enclave, especially over the weekends. Due to the many restaurants and shops that cater to their needs, it’s a place for them to gather and socialise. There were reports in the past of anti-social behaviour from this group of visitors. Though police patrols have been stepped up in the area to curb these problems, future residents must accept the realities of the location.
Source: HDB – Artist’s impression of the community sports facilities
Another reality that future residents must accept is that the estate’s sporting facilities are not exclusive to them and are open to the public. Therefore, it may attract a large group of people on a regular basis. This may affect the privacy and exclusivity of the estate, which may not suit residents who value such factors.
However, if potential buyers are able to look past these issues, then the development at the Farrer Park Site could be an attractive housing option.
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