Out and About
My Treasures of Tampines
Tampines is a town close to my heart, having attended school there at one point in my life. I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous changes in its landscape. Today, the town is a bustling regional hub, packed with malls, office complexes and recreational facilities. Still, there are ‘hidden treasures’ that not many are aware about!
Tampines is home to nearly 240,000 HDB residents
For starters, the area is still slated for further expansion. Those familiar with the town might find this surprising, not aware of plans up ‘north’. Indeed, the northern part of the town will undergo a transformation.
Tampines North can be seen as an extension of the mature town – it will house new BTO projects such as the Tampines GreenRidges, as well as the Tampines North Hub, a mixed-use residential and commercial development comprising a new bus interchange.
A perspective of what the completed Tampines North area will look like
The second ‘treasure’ of Tampines is its megastore shopping cluster, also situated in the north. Retail is largely clustered at Tampines Central, with malls such as Tampines Mall, Century Square and Tampines 1. Less well-known might be the enclave at its fringe, made up of a trio of megastores selling home furnishings and household products. My family and I have spent some of our weekends shopping and dining at these one-stop shopping destinations 🙂
Our Tampines Hub
While most of the new developments are focused on the northern part of Tampines, Tampines Central has not stalled in developments. The area will welcome the new Our Tampines Hub, located at the site of the former Tampines Stadium and Sports Hall.
Our Tampines Hub is the new addition to Tampines Central
(Artist’s impression courtesy of the People’s Association)
Our Tampines Hub is the first integrated community and lifestyle hub. Once ready later in the year, it will host a new community club, hypermarket, hawker centre and a slew of other recreational facilities.
Of course, Tampines is not just about the swanky malls. It is also home to this treasure trove of a park – the Tampines Eco Green Park. Opened in 2011, the Tampines Eco Green Park boasts various natural habitats, including freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest. I stumbled upon it last month and was thrilled by the rich biodiversity of this area.
Eco Green Park: Tampines’ version of Coney Island, without the water 🙂
(Photos courtesy of the National Parks Board)
There are also several hiking trails within the park, attracting nature lovers, hikers and joggers who frequent the area. It is a park offering as rustic a charm as Punggol’s Coney Island!
Icons of the Past
My final treasure of Tampines is an iconic HDB development of yesteryear. The red-bricked Block 497 in Tampines was famously featured on MediaCorp’s primetime Channel 8 comedy series, ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. The programme was screened in the late 1990s and the housing development was prominently featured as the setting for the characters’ home.
This HDB block of flats lies within an area I am familiar with because it was next to my old secondary school. After class, my peers and I would gather here to play basketball or football. 🙂
Are you looking forward to new developments in your estate or feeling nostalgic about your town? Share your memories and photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on our Facebook page.
By Bertrand Teo
July 7, 2016
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