Journey to the West(wood)

In the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, the main characters embarked on a long arduous mission to retrieve holy Buddhist scriptures from the far flung ‘Western Paradise‘. Surprisingly in Singapore today, many locals still consider Jurong West to be that ‘Paradise’. It seems to them that venturing any further than that would result in falling off the map into the Milky Way. Therefore, I present to you ladies & gentlemen, this tiny corner of Jurong West known as Westwood.

Westwood MapAbout Westwood

Located 3 bus stops away from Boon Lay MRT or 15 minutes by foot, Westwood neighbourhood was first completed around 1997 and sees a mixture of 99-years Terrace & Semi-Detached houses. The neighbourhood is made up of Westville & Westwood Park, they are currently served by a SHELL petrol kiosk, Gek Poh Community Centre, Gek Poh neighbourhood mall & Jurong West Police Headquarters.

SBS Bus services 181(Feeder Bus from Boon Lay Interchange) & 185 stop directly along Jurong West Avenue 5 and the latter takes you to Holland Village(Buona Vista bus terminal). Nanyang Technological University(NTU) is also a couple of bus stops away via Jalan Bahar. Within the estate, The Floravale, an Executive Condominium(EC), sits on the top of the slope of Westwood Avenue. The Floravale was completed in 2000 and has a shuttle bus service to Boon Lay MRT.

Westwood 2 newAerial view of Westwood neighbourhood. The Floravale EC on the far left.

Westwood 1View of terrace houses in Westwood Park

Recent Activity

Westwood Park Historical transactionsAs Westwood estate matured over the years, coupled with our burst in national population, significant improvements were made to surrounding amenities for residents. As with any other landed estate, there comes a period in time where residents begin to relocate. Many of the first batch of residents here have been replaced by new owners(or even 3rd owners) and one can easily tell from the amount of construction & renovation work going on when passing by newly sold houses. According to lodged caveats, 82 transactions were made in this estate since Jan 2011. That’s about 16% of the total number of houses here.

What’s going on

Launched for sale around 2011, The Woods is a 93-units Cluster housing project developed by Chappelis Pte Ltd (Kheng Long Co. Pte Ltd) and will be completing soon. Emerging right across from The Floravale, The Woods brought about a slight flurry of excitement for the Westwood estate when it was launched for sale. I always believe that when developers bid for a piece of land parcel, they must have had done ample research and see the potential value of developing real estate on that land.

In fact, a vacant plot of land currently sits next to The Floravale, and it is slated to be tendered as part of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme in October 2013 (estimated). This plot of land will be used for Executive Condominium. Personally, I foresee a huge demand for this EC from those living in the area, since EC is probably the hottest item in the residential market now.

Westwood new ecDue to be released for tender for a new Executive Condominium. The Floravale in the background.

New Developments Nearby

Westwood MasterplanWhy then is there a renewed interest in Jurong West? If you refer to the map provided at the beginning, next to the PIE where the historical Dragon Kiln is, there has been a conversion of the forested area into CleanTech Park by JTC Corporation. With plans for continual development till year 2030, this will see the birth of a whole new industry in Singapore that caters for environmental sustainability. Its 1st building, CleanTech One, was opened in October 2010. Over at Jurong West Street 22/23, construction work on a massive scale has also taken place over the past couple of years.

Google newsOne of the 2 main industrial buildings being completed soon certainly seems to be Google, which has stated before that it intended to set up a facility in Jurong West. According to the URA Masterplan 2008 (thumbnail above), the entire vicinity around here, all that magnificent land, is zoned under Business 2 usage.

For more details on what Business 2 usage is by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) standards, you can, well, Google it. With the completion of all the industrial complexes and offices, there will be a huge influx of white collar employees to this area and chances are, if they don’t own a home here they will be looking for rental accommodation nearby. Bingo, the HDB, Westwood landed & EC will be prime choices.

westwood 3Construction of Industrial building in far background

Gek Poh 4View of Gek Poh mall from bus stop

Living around Westwood

Across from Westwood estate along Jurong West Avenue 5, Gek Poh neighbourhood mall serves the nearby residents sufficiently with services such as hair salons, hardware stores, bakeries, clinics, and a nicely furnished food court, amidst others. There is also a Prime supermarket for convenient grocery shopping, although a 24-hours NTUC is also available at Jurong Point shopping centre (Boon Lay MRT).

Gek Poh 1 newThere was a big crowd at the food court when I visited, mainly because it was lunchtime and the office crowd was present. I’d assume that some of these office dwellers came from as far as Tuas to dine over here. Generally in clean condition and brightly lit, most of the choices seem equally popular with diners! My Fried Hokkien Mee that day was easily above average, quite a find in this part of Singapore!

Gek Poh MeeFried Hokkien Mee from Gek Poh mall food court.

Gek Poh 3View of HDB Blk 857 Jurong West St.82 from entrance of Gek Poh Mall

HDB transactionsIt was a rather warm, humid day when this picture was taken (then again that’s 50% of our weather) and the it was fairly quiet at lunchtime, given the density of housing here. While Jurong West may not be as big a town as Tampines or Toa Payoh, one can still find some breathing space here.

Just out of curiosity, I did a quick check and a 5-room at Blk 858, which is right next to Blk 857 and has a bus stop at its foot, sold for just $476,000 (inclusive of COV). Certainly value for money, especially if your children have plans to spend the next 3/4 years in NTU / National Institute of Education (NIE).

Conclusion

At the end of the day, I think most of us are quite used to our own environment, and residents over at Westwood or Jurong West would probably have a deeper appreciation & sentimental attachment to the area. I find this a rather convenient neighbourhood, accessible enough to PIE by car, or to Boon Lay MRT by bus. Furthermore, it’s not very often in Singapore today that one can still find a landed property going for around $1.5 million.

Tags: , , ,

Categories: District 22

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: