Tiong Bahru was developed in the 1920s as Singapore’s first public housing estate by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), the predecessor of the Housing and Development Board. It is still a coveted location today, as evidenced by the strong sales at Keppel Land’s Highline Residences, the newest condominium in Tiong Bahru. Homebuyers snapped up more than 200 of the 270 units that were released when Highline Residences was officially launched in 2Q2016, according to Keppel Land. Since then, the 500-unit condo has seen strong demand, with less than 40 units still available.
Tiong Bahru has been named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by American fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue and travel websites Skyscanner and Traveller. It was also one of the stops on the itinerary of Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, during their official visit to Singapore last month, when they visited places related to their interests in the arts and heritage conservation. Within the estate, the royal couple also visited the Tiong Bahru Community Centre and Tiong Bahru Market, which are close to Highline Residences by Keppel Land, the newest condo in the estate.
In 2003, URA gazetted 20 blocks of pre-war flats and 36 units of shophouses built by SIT in Tiong Bahru for conservation. “This is possibly the only intact public housing scheme from the [pre-war] period to be found in Southeast Asia today,” according to URA. Owing to its conservation status, the area is expected to retain its low-density character. This means the view from Highline Residences that overlooks the picturesque SIT flats is likely to be preserved.
The Tiong Bahru Community Centre is located within the conservation area, across the street from Highline Residences. It was originally built in 1951 and was Singapore’s first community centre. It reopened on July 23 after a two-year facelift with new features and activities, including zumba and trampoline classes for fitness buffs and coding classes for children.
Located beside the conservation area and within a five-minute walk of Highline Residences is the Tiong Bahru Market, which first opened in 1951 and was redeveloped at a cost of $16.8 million about a decade ago. This year, it underwent a three-month renovation that was completed on May 20, and houses 259 market stalls and 83 hawker stalls. In addition to popular food stalls at the market, such as Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice and Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee, which have received the Michelin Bib Gourmand, the trendy cafés and eateries in Tiong Bahru such as Creamier, PS Café, Forty Hands as well as PoTeaTo bistro and café are also popular with foodies.