Currently already an important MRT interchange for the Circle and East-West lines, Paya Lebar is set to turn into a fully-integrated commercial centre in the next five years. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the new Paya Lebar Central will be transformed into a 12-hectare cluster of office buildings, retail developments and beautiful public spaces.
Specific plans include a public plaza next to the MRT interchange for recreational activities and as a gathering area for the diverse crowds. The plaza will also link commuters up to nearby places of interest via covered walkways and overhead bridges, so everything is just a pleasant stroll away.
Located near Paya Lebar MRT, Geylang Serai is a traditional neighbourhood popular among the local Malay-Muslim community —it’s especially vibrant during Hari Raya thanks to the lively bazaars lining the streets. The evergreen enclave will get a fresh new look come 2019 with the unveiling of a new civic centre, Wisma Geylang Serai, which will include community facilities, arts spaces and a plaza for festive activities and events. In addition, a new pedestrian mall along Geylang Road will add to the local colour of the area as well as allow residents to explore new shops, kiosks, cafés and even temporary bazaars. Getting from Paya Lebar MRT to Geylang Serai will be even easier then, as pedestrians can walk comfortably from the station through the shopping galleria to Geylang Serai Market.
Joining classic malls like City Plaza and Kallang Leisure Park are newer shopping centres like One KM and Kallang Wave, helping rejuvenate the retail scene with newer, more competitive offerings. From fashion labels like H&M and Uniqlo to supermarkets and gourmet grocers, residents will be spoilt for choice when it comes to their daily lifestyle needs. In the next few years, we can expect the scene to have grown significantly, especially with the opening of the Geylang Serai pedestrian mall, new Lavender shopping mall Aperia and new developments at the old Kallang Airport and along Tanjong Katong Road.
Thanks to stunning new developments along the Geylang River, residents can enjoy a plethora of new dining, drinking and recreation options right by the river. URA’s plans to reconstruct a stretch of the river and update it with a mix of new offices, shops and F&B outlets will transform this part of Geylang into the next hot ’hood. Come 2019, the riverfront will become a charming spot for after-work drinks, romantic dates and lazy weekend brunches.
While there’s no lack of good schools nearby, the arrival of James Cook University’s in Sims Drive will certainly be a game changer. The institution has proved so popular that it’s expanding enrolment from 3,400 students in 2014 to 7,500 by 2019, aided by a considerably larger (24,000 square metres) campus. On 21st December 2015, Nexus International School also announced that it would be building a new $230 million flagship campus in Aljunied, targeted for completion in 2018. The campus will have the capacity for 2,000 students as well as state-of-the-art facilities which will be open to the local community on weekends.
Also set to welcome its first intake is the upcoming National Continuing Education Training Campus at Paya Lebar Central. Set up by the Workforce Development Authority, the centre will be a one-stop destination for skills training, upgrading programmes and career opportunities for working adults.
To the north on Upper Aljunied Road, the Bidadari site will also undergo some exciting changes to modernise the area in the next few years. Together with new public housing projects, the area will also see a new 10-hectare park surrounding the beautiful Alkaff Lake and a heritage walk where residents can literally stroll through the rich history of the area. Adding to the lush, outdoorsy feel of the district are roof gardens, courtyards and park connectors for easy access, making Bidadari an upcoming place of interest for nature lovers.