In a densely built-up city like Singapore, it becomes a challenge to find that home that ticks all the boxes – a good quality abode that is centrally located yet boasts lush and serene surroundings; that is close to public transportation nodes such as MRT stations; with a host of retail and food & beverage (F&B) amenities, as well as supermarkets and top educational institutions.
A centrally located green oasis
If that sounds elusive, you must not have heard of JadeScape along Shunfu Road in Thomson-Bishan estate. JadeScape, developed by Qingjian Realty, is minutes away from the MacRitchie Reservoir – a 12-hectare green haven that is wildly popular with nature lovers and sports enthusiasts.
The reservoir is home to the TreeTop Walk, a 250m aerial freestanding suspension bridge spanning the two highest points of MacRitchie. Those who love taking walks will have heard of the MacRitchie Trails, an 11km nature trail loop located within a tropical rainforest that is famous for its long-tailed macaque monkeys, squirrels and monitor lizards. If you are lucky, you might even encounter flying lemurs and owls. The reservoir is also a popular spot with water sports enthusiasts who love to kayak and canoe. Scenery lovers will be happy to know that most of the homes at JadeScape boast unobstructed views.
JadeScape’s proximity to nature has not compromised on its accessibility. The development is a mere three-minute walk from the Marymount MRT station along the Circle Line. The Marymount station is, in turn, just one stop away from Bishan MRT station on the North-South Line – 20 minutes from the central business district and 15 minutes away from Orchard. A future MRT station, the Upper Thomson MRT Station along the Thomson East Coast Line, is just 600m away and slated to be ready by 2020. The Thomson East Coast Line is a highly accessible rail network with stations including Orchard, Outram Park and Marina Bay.
Those who drive can reach any part of Singapore through the Pan-Island Expressway, the Central Expressway and the upcoming North-South Corridor.
A food & beverage heaven
As if JadeScape’s very central location and its proximity to nature is not enough, the development is right smack within an F&B enclave. Craving for good coffee or a relaxing brunch place near home? A wide range of popular cafes, such as Habitat Coffee, Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters and Yahava KoffeeWorks, are located in the area. In the mood for local fare? Take your pick from famous names such as Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant, and Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood – famous for their crab dishes and crispy, juicy har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken).
Hawker options at the Shunfu Mart Food Centre just across the road – famous for its stalls selling Hainanese chicken rice, popiah (Chinese spring rolls) fried kway teow, mushroom minced meat noodles, and muffins.
Craving for sweets in more comfy settings? The famous Windowsill Pies (S’mores pie, anyone?), and Udders Ice Cream – the godfather of mao shan wang durian ice cream and alcoholic flavours like Bailey’s & Bourbon, and Rum Rum Raisin that pack a boozy punch – will satisfy those yearnings.
And the best thing is, this list of F&B offerings is not exhaustive. Whether it is Korean, Japanese, Western or local food that you are after, the neighbourhood’s myriad offerings will ensure you get what you want.
Then there are the educational institutions, supermarkets and retail amenities that are in the area. Far-sighted parents keen to live near prestigious schools until their children reach university will be happy to know that options abound close by. Ai Tong Primary School, Catholic High School, Raffles Institution and Raffles Girls School (from end 2019) are all within reach.
For shopping, there is the Junction 8 Shopping Centre, or Thomson Plaza. Both also house supermarkets, though there is a Sheng Shiong Supermarket that is just a 10-minute walk away.
An ideal investment choice
Being well-located and amenitised means one thing: JadeScape is quite the investment opportunity for the savvy investor. Back when Qingjian first launched some units for sale around end last year, analysts had noted that the development is a good buy.
Tricia Song, head of research for Singapore at Colliers International, described its pricing as "fairly attractive”.
Prior to JadeScape, the last launch in the Thomson area was in October 2015.
Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie, said that, while not a direct comparison, units in resale projects in Bishan such as Sky Vue are going at an average price of S$1,650 per square foot (psf); at Sky Habitat, the average psf price is $1,500.
JadeScape, being a much newer project, is expected to command a higher premium than Sky Vue and Sky Habitat.
The view is shared by Ms Song, who said: "We expect JadeScape to do well due to pent-up demand in the vicinity."