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'Coastal' Punggol next big draw?

As published in The Electric New Paper
01 February 2009 (Sunday)

GETTING READY: Construction of the homes has yet to begin, but work is already underway to flatten the ground. --TNP PICTURE: KUA CHEE SIONG

IT LOOKS like a desolate wasteland now. On one side, the ground is dry and cracked; on the other is a small marsh covered in vines.

It's hard to imagine at the moment, but this site is set to transform into one of Singapore's premier waterfront estates in 2011.

Welcome to Punggol 21-plus, touted as one of the first public housing projects where residents can live close to water.

The major feature will be a 4.2km Punggol Waterway flowing through the eastern and western parts of Punggol.

It is slated to have water sports facilities, as well as scenic landscaping with alfresco dining.

With such attractive features, it's no wonder that the demand for flats in the area has exceeded the supply by more than three times.

High demand

According to the HDB website, 2,403 applications were submitted for 750 Punggol Arcadia units by the deadline last November.

Punggol Arcadia is one of four premium housing developments in Punggol launched last year under HDB's build-to-order (BTO) scheme.

While the mixed commercial and private residential units in the town centre are yet to be launched, demand is also likely to be high if the huge response to Punggol Arcadia is anything to go by.

Within Punggol itself, 23,000 HDB units are due for completion by the end of 2011, with another 21,000 units planned in the long term.

With these 44,000 units, the Government hopes to transform Punggol into a 'Waterfront Town'.

With construction scheduled to begin next month, nearby residents are excited.

Punggol resident and kiosk owner, Madam Hoon Yin Guat, 50, said she and her daughter are looking forward to jogging along the scenic paths.

'This sure beats walking along the ground floor of my block. My children will probably make use of the water sports facilities as well.

'The project timing is good. With many young families moving into the new homes in the area, I think they are more likely to take advantage of the new facilities,' she said.

Another Punggol resident, Ms B P Ho, 36, a clerk, said she would visit the new development since the area will have two LRT lines, with a total of 14 stations, with Punggol MRT station in between.

Only the Punggol East line is almost fully operational now, but when both LRT lines are running, passengers can alight at any of nine LRT stations situated within walking distance of the waterway.

Coastal attraction

Those living in nearby Sengkang are also keen to visit the Punggol Waterway once it's open.

Madam Gan Toh Chin, 56, a tutor, said: 'It's close to my place, so I don't mind going there since the scenery is expected to be nice. I hope there will be good food and entertainment.'

Another Sengkang resident, Mr Poon, who's in his 60s, checks out the site when he cycles in a wooded area there at least once a week.

Some even feel that Punggol may become the new coastal attraction.

Mr Chia Kok Yuen, 46, a taxi driver who lives in Jurong, said: 'With this project, there will be more places I can recommend to tourists rather than just the usual places of interest.

'I noticed that sometimes people from the east choose to go to West Coast, rather than East Coast because they find it crowded, so it may be the same with this new place.'

- Han Su-Ying, newsroom intern


What's in store...

Some features of Punggol 21-plus:
▪ New Punggol and Sengkang Reservoirs for water sports
▪ Sengkang Park
▪ Golf driving range
▪ Horse-riding centre
▪ Alfresco dining
▪ Jogging and cycling tracks
▪ Park connectors
▪ Sengkang floating island
▪ 10km cycling trail
▪ Mini waterfall
▪ Punggol waterway
▪ Rustic park on Coney Island (Pulau Serangoon)

HDB developments under construction
Punggol Vista
▪ Coralinus Phase 1
▪ Coralinus Phase 2


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