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Turf City lease expires end-2023 to make way for housing. Here's what it's like to live there

Turf City lease expires end-2023 to make way for housing. Here's what it's like to live there
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and URA announced on Sept 30 that tenancies at Turf City will be extended till Dec 31, 2023.

This marks the final lease extension before the land is prepped for future residential developments. While the land has been designated for residential use since 1998, SLA has been leasing out the land for lifestyle and recreational use.

Background of Turf City

The site was previously home to Singapore Turf Club from 1933 to 1999 when it moved to Kranji. According to SLA, the plot of land has been designated for future residential use since the Master Plan 1998, after it was announced in 1993 that the Turf Club would be relocated.

According to Straits Times, the site spans 140ha, or about the size of 200 football fields.

Since then, SLA has taken over the place for “interim use” and has been managing the site, including renting it out for lifestyle and recreational use.

It’s currently home to several retail, F&B, sports and recreational facilities, childcare and vehicle showrooms. This includes the shopping mall The Grandstand. The site is also known for hosting various sports activities, such as rugby, cricket and horse riding.

The original lease was supposed to expire on Dec 31, 2020. After the tenants petitioned for an 18-month extension, SLA granted the extension in 2019.

Fast-forward to 2021, SLA has announced that there will be a final 18-month extension for tenants, allowing them to make transition plans. At the same time, development plans for the site are being studied.

In addition, the agencies have also required a tenant, Bukit Timah Saddle Club (BTSC), to return about 0.8ha of land within its premises from H1 2023, as the land is needed for a worksite to support tunnelling works for the Cross Island Line.

What it’s like to live on the site of Turf City

Given that there are plans on redeveloping the site of Turf City for residential use, we thought we’d take a look at it and see what it’s like to live there.

For the uninitiated, the plot of land is located off Dunearn Road in the Bukit Timah area. In fact, it’s right next to the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) areas of Binjai Park, Swiss Club Road, Eng Neo Avenue and Raffles Park.

The area itself is very exclusive. So we’ll probably see a mix of landed properties and luxury condos here. Here’s also where you can expect unblocked views.


Location wise, we think the future homes at the site of Turf City will be most suitable for those who drive. This is despite the fact that the nearest MRT, Sixth Avenue MRT, is around 10 minutes walk away.

Turf City isn’t the most accessible area by public transport, even after the Downtown Line opened and started running through Bukit Timah end-2015 onwards. Even with the MRT nearby, most people would get there either by car or by the shuttle bus that stops by the nearby stations.

So if you’re eyeing to get a place to live here in future, it’s best to get a car too (if you haven’t already).

The good news is that Turf City offers pretty good connectivity for drivers. For instance, Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) is just a few minutes drive away, via Eng Neo Avenue, allowing a faster commute to other parts of the island.


If you’re looking to enrol your child in a popular school in future, you might want to keep tabs on the future developments here.

Given its location in Bukit Timah, one of the main highlights of this site is that it’s located close to many prestigious and popular schools. This includes Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Girls’ High School and National Junior College. You can reach any of these schools in three to seven minutes by car.

Other schools nearby include Methodist Girls’ School (Primary and Secondary) and Nanyang Primary School situated off Bukit Timah Road, and Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School at Pei Hwa Avenue.

The area is also home to a variety of international schools. Chatsworth International School, Swiss School and Hollandse School are all around a 10-minute drive from the site.

Food and retail amenities

Several malls are located in the vicinity, with the nearest ones being Coronation Plaza, Cluny Court, KAP Mall, Raffles Holland V Mall and The Rail Mall. They can be reached in around five to 10 minutes by car. A little further away is Clementi Mall.

Currently, you can find a number of restaurants along Bukit Timah Road as well. For even more options, you can always head to the nearby Upper Bukit Timah Road and Holland Road.

And while Bukit Timah is known for being the poshest neighbourhood in Singapore, you can still find hawker fare close by. For instance, Adam Road Food Centre and Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre are just around a five- to six-minute drive away.

Recreational amenities

Love going for scenic walks and hikes? Another perk of living here is that you’ll be close to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, MacRitchie Reservoir and Botanic Gardens. These parks are all within a 10-minute drive from the Turf City site.

What’s more, the site is within a 10-minute drive to country clubs such as Swiss Club and The British Club, which offer exclusive facilities, restaurants and events for its members. It’s also why we see lots of expats staying in Bukit Timah, as it’s where they can meet and socialise with their peers.

Healthcare facilities

For any minor ailments, there are a few clinics available here as well. This includes Bukit Timah Family Clinic & Surgery, Elements Dental, and Binjai Medical & Paincare Clinic, which are all within a short drive away.

However, keep in mind that hospitals aren’t as accessible from the Turf City site. The closest ones, Mount Alvernia Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital, are both around a 10-minute drive away.

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