The new terminus for the high-speed rail to Kuala Lumpur will be built in Jurong East on the plot of land currently occupied by Jurong Country Club. As the area develops into what is envisioned as Singapore's second Central Business District, The Straits Times speaks to 40 residents and businesses on what they look forward to or fear about changes to their neighbourhood.
WITH the high-speed rail (HSR) terminus being built in their backyard, residents of Jurong East are excited that a trip to Malaysia will soon be as convenient as going shopping in Orchard Road.
For Mr Salrizuan Salman, taking his three young children for a holiday to Malaysia will be a lot easier. "I want to take them to places like Malacca and Kuala Lumpur, but you know young children, they cannot keep still on buses. If there's a train, it won't be so tiring for them," said the 31-year-old port worker.
The Jurong East resident currently travels to Johor Baru every week by bus to visit his in-laws.
Frequent travellers like him are cheering the move to situate the terminus in Jurong East.
Technician V. Sankaranarayanan, 47, said: "Travelling to Malaysia will now be so much easier. You can just say, let's go to KL for a meal, and be there in 90 minutes."
The 12ha terminus will be built on a 67ha space now occupied by the Jurong Country Club (JCC). The terminus will sit about 600m from the current Jurong East MRT station and be developed along with a mixed-use precinct that includes offices, hotels, retail and family entertainment facilities, and possibly residential units.
Although the terminus will be ready only after 2020, MPs for Jurong GRC said the announcement is still cause for excitement. "(The HSR) will further add buzz and life into the Jurong town. Over the years, there has been much development in Jurong... Residents can leverage on these enhanced amenities for work and leisure," said MP David Ong.
MP Ang Wei Neng said: "The greater traffic will benefit businesses in the area, and on top of that, residents can benefit from more variety (in amenities), job opportunities and enjoy the convenience of going to KL."
Property analysts also noted that prices in the area would rise.
"A bulk of the homes in the area are HDB flats. It's quite a given that HDB resale prices will go up with the new terminus," said Mr Ong Kah Seng, director of R'ST Research. He said that prices might go up by about 10 per cent before the station is completed. He added, however, that prices will not rise by much after that.
"If prices keep increasing, tenants and buyers might find it'll breach their affordability."
This article was first published on May 13, 2015.
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