A plot of serenity on the edge of bustling city

A plot of serenity on the edge of bustling city
Autobahn Motors (centre), which has been in the area for 18 years, used to stock sedans from Mercedes-Benz and BMW but now handles high-end models such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches, as the property prices of the area increased and the people became richer.

For a place just on the fringe of the city, the wedge-shaped slice of land, bordered by Bukit Timah Road and the Central Expressway, is surprisingly serene.

Colonial-era "black and white" houses sprawl next to pre-war terraced houses with colourful metal gates and wooden shutters.

The Rochor River runs at an angle to the small estate, closing the neighbourhood near the popular Newton Food Centre off to the outside world.

One road in the area is Makepeace Road, named after journalist Walter Makepeace, who managed the Singapore Free Press until 1926. Makeway Avenue, its less-famous "twin", runs parallel to it.

"What you see is what you get... It's a small road with very few houses, so not many people come here," said Mr Victor Tan, adding that the quiet street, with its double row of refurbished terraced houses, was what attracted him to the estate almost a decade ago.

Mr Tan, who is in his 70s, has lived in a refurbished terraced house in Makepeace Road for nearly 10 years. He says he treasures the area also for its proximity to town. "It's very, very rare to get a landed (property) in the central area," he said.

Retired teacher Chan Yut Ming has lived in the neighbourhood for most of her life.

When she was 22, she moved into her in-laws' house in Jalan Aruan, which is near the river. "But I wanted my own place," said the 73-year-old. So when the opportunity arose in her 40s, she moved again, just down the street.

"It's very quiet here, very peaceful," said Madam Chan, adding that her only gripe - a very Singaporean one - was the lack of parking spots in the estate.

"People who are not residents park here all the time and there are not enough parking spaces for us."

While the neighbourhood is probably familiar only to its residents, the stretch facing Bukit Timah Road is known for a branch of the famous Teck Kee Tanglin Pau.

The area is also home to the 169-year-old Chui Huay Lim Club - an exclusive recreation venue for Teochews only, and car dealership Autobahn Motors.

The latter has probably caught the eye of more than a few car enthusiasts with its stock of exotic luxury cars.

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