New Private Residential Projects at Canberra Drive – The Commodore & The Watergardens at Canberra
Canberra Drive Site Overview
Sembawang, a vast hilly northern frontier in district 27 sandwiched between Mandai and Yishun, and stretching far out into the Straits of Johor, has seen rapid urbanisation since the opening of North South Line (NSL) Woodlands extension in 1996 from a semi-rural countryside to one of Singapore’s fastest-growing new towns today.
Just in 2020 alone, Sembawang saw the launch of Parc Canberra Executive Condominium (EC) prior to COVID-19 circuit breaker and there are at least 2 more confirmed private residential projects due for launch in its Canberra precinct, which are Canberra Drive Parcel A & Parcel B.
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*Disclaimer: all dates mentioned in this review may subject to changes due to COVID-19 pandemic
Reasons for considering Canberra Drive site
1. Canberra Drive Site is situated at low density Sembawang Springs Estate.
2. The newly-opened Canberra NSL MRT is within a 150m walk from Canberra Drive Site and the future North-South Corridor is a 3-minute drive.
3. There is potential upswing as Canberra is the newest and expanding neighbourhood in Sembawang.
4. Canberra Drive Site could probably the lowest entry price condo in year 2021.
|Project Details||Private residential projects at Canberra Drive|
|Parcel A -The Commodore||Parcel B -The Watergardens at Canberra|
|Developer||Oasis Development||UOL-controlled United Venture Development|
|Site Area||Approx. 13,315.3 sqm/ 143,326 sq ft||Approx. 27,566 sqm/ 296,611 sq ft|
|No. of Blocks/Storeys||A maximum building height of 35 to 40 metres or five storeys, whichever is lower.||A maximum building height of 35 to 50 metres or five storeys, whichever is lower|
|Total No. of Units||est. 220 units||est. 455 units|
|Tenure||99 years||99 years|
Named after the Sembawang tree, Sembawang was already a lively countryside by the 1900s dominated by gambier and rubber plantations owned by Seah Eu Chin and later, rubber and pineapple plantations owned by Lim Nee Soon. Besides these plantations owned by pioneering Teochew businessmen, Sembawang also has a rich colonial history, with many black and white colonial houses dotted near the end of Sembawang, overlooking the breezy coastline. What stands these colonial houses apart from their compatriots elsewhere in Singapore is the roads built in this part of Sembawang: the roads are named after Commonwealth countries and/or cities. By 1938, the British opened the Singapore Naval Base (now split into Sembawang Camp and Sembawang Shipyard), taking over the Sembawang coastline after a long delay but in time before World War 2. These colonial houses became accommodations for the British military personnel serving at the naval base and nearby Royal Air Force (RAF) Sembawang (now Sembawang Air Base), and their families.
Public housing immediately began taking shape following the opening of Sembawang MRT station with its first HDB flats completed south of the station, around the former Chong Pang Village by the late 1990s. Urbanisation then moved eastwards to what is now Wellington and Montreal neighbourhoods. It is only by 2010s that Canberra started to see its significant growth to what it is today, thereby explaining the opening of Canberra MRT only in November 2019.
Originally slated for sale as a single 4.09ha plot, this 99-year leasehold site at Canberra Drive was split by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) when launched for tender in November 2019 under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme. The smaller and squarish plot (143,325 sq ft) is now Parcel A, the bigger and irregular shape plot (296,611sqf) is now Parcel B.
While its address is at Canberra Drive, its actual location is in Sembawang Springs Estate. Developed by the established and award-winning Bukit Sembawang Estates Ltd around 1970, Sembawang Springs Estate is a suburban semi-detached landed development within a cul-de-sac, which was unique then considering its surrounding were mostly villages.
After a conservative and lukewarm response for both sites, the bid for Parcel A (The Commodore) was successfully awarded to Oasis Development Pte Ltd, a joint-venture (JV) company by majority stakeholder JBE Holdings Group and minority Keong Hong Holdings Ltd. JBE Holdings is a 12-year-old boutique developer with a diverse portfolio including nearby Skypark Residences EC and terrace houses Sembawang Greenvale Estate, and The Luxe in Dhoby Ghaut. While its main business is in Hong Kong, Keong Hong Holdings is a building construction and hotel/property developer/investment company that still has market presence in Singapore through JV projects such as Skypark Residences EC. Parcel B (The Watergardens at Canberra) fetched four bids, with UOL-controlled United Venture Development placing the highest bid of $270.2 million or $650 psf ppr.
Expected to be completed by 2026 and subjected to COVID-19 pandemic, Parcel A can yield 220-unit, while Parcel B, almost twice as big, can yield about 455 units. Both are expected to be low rise development due to height restricted from its proximity to Sembawang Air Base.
Sharing the same boundary with Yishun means Canberra is the nearest neighbourhood in Sembawang from the city and central Singapore.
As of now, there are 2 options to travel to the city and central Singapore from this project. From Canberra Drive, motorists can head towards Yishun Avenue 2 or Sembawang Road via Yishun Avenue 7. Both roads will lead to Seletar Expressway (SLE) at Lentor and Upper Thomson flyovers respectively, and driving further south will reach Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang and Upper Thomson areas.
To ease the peak-hour congestions along Lentor Avenue and SLE/Central Expressway (CTE), a brand-new North-South Corridor (NSC) is currently under construction and ready by 2026. This 21.5km expressway linking the north from Admiralty Road West to Ophir Road/East Coast Parkway (ECP) in the city will have entry/exit into the viaduct near Sembawang Road/Gambas Avenue junction, a mere 3 minutes of driving from Canberra Drive Site.
Driving along the other direction of Canberra Drive will lead motorists to other parts of Sembawang. Beyond which, the roads will connect to nearby Woodlands, Admiralty and Senoko, and the north-western parts of Singapore and The Causeway via SLE (Woodlands Avenue 12).
Canberra Drive Site is also very accessible via public transport. The nearest MRT, Canberra station, is within a 150m walking distance from Canberra Vista HDB across the road, due for completion in 2024. While there are no immediate bus stops along Canberra Drive, there are a few bus stops each in both directions at Canberra MRT and Sembawang Shopping Centre. Most buses serve Sembawang Bus Interchange, connecting commuters living in Sembawang to Punggol, Yishun and Bukit Merah. Notably is service 858, it is the only bus service connecting Changi Airport to northern towns Yishun, Sembawang and Woodlands.
Canberra Drive Site is close to 2 industrial estates – Yishun Industrial Park A and Senoko Industrial Estate.
Located near Canberra MRT and tucked away from the residential areas of Yishun, the smaller Yishun Industrial Park A takes no more than 5 minutes of driving to reach.
Once a swampy ground enveloping the winding Sungei Senoko, Senoko Industrial Estate is now a large industrial estate in northern Singapore after the land was filled up in the 1970s, with the river straightened and canalised as Sembawang River. This coastal industrial estate overlooking Johor Bahru (JB), a 10-minute drive from this development, is famous for Senoko Energy and Senoko Fishery Port (due for consolidation into Jurong Fishery Port by 2023 due to declining patronage).
It is also a hub for food industries with major brands including Sunshine Bakeries, Yakult and Prima Taste having presence there. To complement this identity, JTC Corportation (JTC) opened Food Hub @ Senoko in 2018 – a purpose-built 7-storey food facility for an ecosystem of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry. Senoko Industrial Estate is poised to be upgraded as Senoko Food Zone in the next 15 years, forming the Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor with Woodlands Regional Centre, the future Agri-Food Innovation Park (AFIP) in Sungei Kadut and Lim Chu Kang farms.
Legacy military installations left behind by the British are now Singapore military camps.
At Admiralty Road West, the former Royal Naval Barracks belonging to Singapore Naval Base is now Sembawang Camp, home to the elite divers while RAF Sembawang at Sembawang Road is now Sembawang Air Base. There is also a new addition, Chong Pang Camp, right off the runway of Sembawang Air Base and directly opposite Chong Pang City in Yishun. All camps take no more than 10 minutes of driving from this project.
Woodlands Regional Centre
The idea of Woodlands being a regional centre since the 1990s is finally taking shape following the commencement of the 3 Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Stage 1 stations in Woodlands in January 2020. Part of the Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor ready in the next 15 years, the 100ha Woodlands Regional Centre will comprise of 2 sub-regions Woodlands Central and Woodlands North Coast.
Aim at creating campus-like and porous environment that supports collaboration, Woodlands North Coast will take shape around the current empty lands surrounding Republic Polytechnic and Woodlands North Interchange (TEL/future JB-Singapore Rapid Transit System) that includes a business park for knowledge-intensive and service-oriented activities alongside manufacturing operations.
At Woodlands Central, it will become a regional business hub with more developments added to the existing Causeway Point and Woodlands Civic Centre. Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange is currently being redeveloped into an integrated transport hub (ITH) by 2021 following Woodlands MRT becoming an interchange station while newly opened Woods Square is an Integrated office development with retail, F&B and a childcare centre.
As Canberra is the newest neighbourhood in Sembawang, it will take some time before more educational facilities are built to cater the growing needs for the young families.
The nearest primary school, Sembawang Primary School, at Sembawang Drive is a 5-minute drive from Canberra Drive Site while the nearest secondary school, Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School, at Yishun Avenue 7 takes only 2 minutes of driving or 15 minutes of walking.
For foreign students, there is Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMMIS) at Jalan Ulu Sembawang, behind Seletaris. A leading international Jewish school in Singapore, SMMIS provides education from 1.5-16 years old in various curriculum including the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
Located at the foot of Bukit Canberra is the upcoming Sembawang Polyclinic. Focusing on primary care, this polyclinic will have various medical services including women’s and children’s health. By co-locating with sports facilities also allows better provision of health and social care services at its Senior Care Centre.
See Bukit Canberra for more details.
Woodlands Health Campus
Located at Woodlands Drive 17 near Singapore Sports School and directly connected to Woodlands South TEL is a 2,200-bedder Woodlands Health Campus (WHC) that will open progressively from 2023. One of the largest medical facilities in Singapore at 7.66ha, WHC comprises a fully integrated acute and community hospital, specialist outpatient clinics, and intermediate and long-term care facilities serving over half a million-population living in the north and complementing the existing Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun.
WHC takes only 10 minutes for motorists to reach via Gambas Avenue and Woodlands Avenue 12.
The star attraction in Sembawang is the upcoming Bukit Canberra, a mere 3-minute drive, its opening delayed due to the pandemic.
Bukit Canberra is a 12ha historic knoll and travelling from Canberra Road, Old Nelson Road leads visitors to the hilltop where the heritage monument Old Admiralty House stands.
Built in 1939, this Arts and Crafts architecture compound once served as the residence for the Commodore Superintendent of the Royal Navy Dockyard, commanding the nearby Singapore Naval Base. After undergoing several name changes and ownership, Old Admiralty House was gazetted national monument in 2002 and subsequently its surrounding earmarked for sports and recreation usage under the URA Master Plan 2014.
Developed around the existing terrain and buildings, Bukit Canberra will have sports facilities, a hawker centre and a polyclinic under one roof, nestled in nature and heritage park.
Landscaping will be designed in three zones across the entire site to build upon its existing biodiversity, flora and fauna. This includes a secondary forest around the periphery of Bukit Parcel And an agrarian zone consisting of food orchards and community gardens for community to grow their own plants.
Fitness buffs can also look forward to the Town Sports Centre comprising swimming pools, indoor sports hall, the largest ActiveSG cum inclusive gym and next to Old Admiralty House, an outdoor forest gym.
Within walking distances from Canberra Drive Site are 3 neighbourhood parks – Jalan Sendukok Park and Jalan Kemuning Park in Sembawang Springs Estate, and Yishun Neighbourhood Park at the junction of Yishun Avenue 2/7.
Both Jalan Sendudok Park and Jalan Kemuning Park are small parks catering for the residents in Sembawang Springs Estate. Jalan Sendudok Park, the newer of the two, is a short 5-minute walk from the project while Jalan Kemuning Park takes about 10 minutes passing by Canberra Drive Site B.
A further 15-minute walk is Yishun Neighbourhood Park at Yishun Neighbourhood 2. This 7.7ha park features an open lawn hilltop, an ideal venue for weekend picnics.
A stark contrast from the urbanised neighbourhoods, the 15ha Sembawang Park is calm, serene and full of history. One of the last remaining natural beaches and overlooking the Johor straits, the park is popular with anglers, groups renting barbecue pits for gatherings and joggers using restored pathways from colonial era.
Nestled near the beach and jetty is the famous Beaulieu House, a neoclassical mansion built in the 1910s and gazetted as national monument in 2005. Formerly a holiday seaside residence and then residences for senior commanders from Singapore Naval Base, the building has been a restaurant since 1981, not long after the park’s opening.
On the left side of Sembawang Park is Sembawang Shipyard. Converted from Singapore Naval Base in 1968, the shipyard will become a reserve site once Sembcorp Marine consolidates its Singapore operations into the new Sembmarine Integrated Yard @ Tuas by 2024.
Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Since the discovery of Singapore’s only natural hot spring in 1908, Sembawang Hot Spring has become highly sought after by nearby villages, businesses and at one point, an onsen for Japanese military during World War II. Besides selling bottled water under the brand Seletaris (hence the condo name), local soft drink giant F&N expended the area by adding a bottling plant until land was acquired to become part of Sembawang Air Base in the mid-1980s.
Located off Gambas Avenue and a 4-minute drive via Yishun Avenue 7, Sembawang Hot Spring Park reopened in January 2020 after a 2-year redevelopment. Standing at an expended 1.1ha, its new features include cascading pools and water collection point, and educational panels for visitors to learn about its history and geology.
To mimic the rustic kampongs of old Sembawang, a new Floral Walk showcasing fruit trees and edible plants and naturalised streams reminiscent of freshwater swamp are added to enhance the park’s attractiveness.
Part of the 3.2km Yishun Park Connector, this cycling path running parallel with Yishun Avenue 2/Canberra Link connects cycling enthusiasts to the larger 25km Northern Explorer Loop, leading to 11 parks and nature sites including Admiralty Park, Woodlands Waterfront, Sembawang Park and Yishun Park.
This Park Connector Network (PCN) will eventually be linked up with the other 4 PCNs in Singapore via the ambitious 150km continuous Round Island Route in future.
Jalan Malu-malu shophouses
Right behind Canberra Drive Site are the shop houses that lined part of Jalan Malu-malu. Not known to many outside Sembawang Springs Estate, this small enclave offers dining options including western Flaming Mangos and seafood restaurant Happy Village, and a frozen food wholesaler.
Bukit Canberra Hawker Centre
The upcoming Bukit Canberra Hawker Centre located at the northwestern side of Bukit Canberra will have over 40 stalls for diners to choose from at affordable prices, set against a park-like environment with dining spaces blending with the lush greenery.
See Bukit Canberra for more details.
Announced in 2015, Canberra Plaza is one of the first few new generation Neighbourhood Centres (NCs) to be built by HDB in over a decade, designed in accordance to residents’ feedback. It takes only 10 minutes of walk to get to this new kid on the block.
With direct access to Canberra MRT and Eastlink I @ Canberra HDB, this four-storey NC has an event plaza and a water playground on top of around 70 retail options and enrichment centres. Major tenants include Daiso, NTUC FairPrice, A&W, GYMMBOXX and halal food court Cantine.
Sembawang Shopping Centre
Once the biggest and only shopping centre in northern Singapore in the late 1980s, and the birthplace for the now defunct Sembawang Music Centre, Sembawang Shopping Centre saw its shine faded following the arrival of Northpoint (now Northpoint City) in Yishun in the 1990s.
After a major makeover in 2008, the mall now has a children splash park and four levels of retail, dining and enrichment centres. Major tenants include Giant hypermarket, Daiso, Burger King, Pet Lovers Centre, Anytime Fitness, My First Skool and Yamaha Music.
Sembawang Shopping Centre is a 10-minute walk from Canberra Drive Site.
Arts & Literature
Libraries and cinemas are just a station away from Canberra Drive Site in both directions at Sembawang northbound and Yishun southbound. Visitors can choose either Sembawang Public Library at Sun Plaza or Yishun Public Library at Northpoint City to pick up some good reads. Moviegoers also have the option to choose between 2 cinema operators – WE Cinemas at Sun Plaza or Golden Village at GV Yishun, Singapore’s first multiplex.
Canberra Drive Floor Plan
Canberra Drive Price, Unit Types, Sizes
|UNIT TYPE||No. OF UNITS||SIZE||PRICE|
|1 Bedroom + Study|
|2 Bedroom + Study|
|3 Bedroom Penthouse|
|4 & 5 Penthouse|
*Disclaimer: All information is subject to change at developer's discretion.
Canberra Drive Price Comparison
Based on the land bid price of $650 psf ppr, estimated breakeven price for Canberra Drive Site is about $1,150 psf. The launch price could potentially reach around $1,400psf.
In comparison with the current new launches in the north region, price ranging from $1264psf-1769psf, Canberra Drive Site could probably be the most attractively priced in the area.
1. Canberra drive site will appeal to buyers who prefer low rise developments within low density estate.
2. In comparison of the 2 sites, I will prefer parcel B, as it sits on larger site which can cater for more comprehensive facilities and landscaping area. Credentials for UOL as a developer are stronger as well. A four-time recipient of the BCI Asia Top 10 Developer Awards, UOL has yet to fail in its product delivery in recent years.
3. There are almost 10 private condos (including EC) near Canberra MRT, resale competition could be fierce. However, there’s lack of supply for bigger size units, i.e. 4 or 5 bedrooms. If budget allows, buyers should consider to upsize your purchase options here.
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