An HDB With A Tennis Court? 4 Unique HDB Projects That Have Condo-Like Facilities
- Ryan J
- January 20, 2024
- 5 min read
The common argument against HDB projects is the lack of facilities. While many of them are designed to be self-contained with essential amenities, the availability and quality of recreational facilities can vary.
In some instances, HDB estates are strategically located near public sports complexes, parks, or come equipped with multiple playgrounds and fitness stations. Perhaps a swimming pool is still a bit much to expect, but it seems like HDB’s experimental phase didn’t fully end in the 1980s after all – here are some interesting options we managed to find around the island:
1. Tennis court at Block 477 Segar Road
When it was completed around 2002/3, Block 477 Segar Road was one of the one HDB flats that had a tennis court; this also adjoins a basketball court. We’re told that in subsequent years, a few more flats now sport a tennis court as well, but this was one of the earliest. The tennis court is open to the public, not just residents; but you do have to book it beforehand on ActiveSG.
Facilities aside, Block 477 also has good access to the LRT – it’s within walking distance to Segar station, which connects to Choa Chu Kang (NSL). This is next to Lot One, the major mall for the Choa Chu Kang area. Alternatively, heartland amenities, including Fajar Shopping Centre (an HDB-run mall) are a short walk away. There’s also a decent Food Park in the direction of Block 458 nearby.
Block 477 has a greenery view as it adjoins Zhenghua Park, but unfortunately, this is marred by the proximity of the Bukit Timah Expressway (this is where it connects to the KJE). It would also be nice if this block were taller, to get a better view of Upper Seletar Reservoir from the top floors.
2. Sky Garden at Skyville @ Dawson
There’s a common misconception that Skyville @ Dawson is a DBSS project, because it has so many differences from a typical HDB flat – but it’s not, and it just happens to be a pioneering project. This is where HDB first experimented with a “housing in a park” concept, and the same principles used at Skyville would later influence projects like Waterway Terraces.
HDB ReviewsSkyVille @ Dawson Review: Convenience In A Centrally Located Area With Breathtaking Viewsby Reuben
The extensive use of above-ground facilities, which mirrors a condo’s sky lounges or sky gardens, is one of the main highlights here. These come in the form of link bridges full of greenery, and they provide residents with a more private alternative to the nearby park connectors. A lot of effort has been made to blend the development with the local ecology; during development, some of the old rain trees in the area were actually preserved and used for the landscaped areas.
This project also experimented in a few other ways; it doesn’t have long common corridors with windows so other people can peek into your flat, for example, and the unit layouts are all free of beams and columns (Feng Shui faithfuls, take note).
At this point, you can already guess that these are never going to be the cheapest flats. Besides being rather special, Skyville is also within walking distance of Queenstown MRT (EWL). Couple that with being in one of Singapore’s most mature estates, and it’s no surprise that the 4-room flats here can reach around $930,000 or more. A 5-room loft unit here was a former record holder for the most expensive flat, at about $1.32 million.
3. Running track at Pinnacle @ Duxton
We know it, we love it, and we keep paying a fortune for it. For those new to the housing market, Pinnacle @ Duxton produces million-dollar flats more often than cai png stalls produce overcharging complaints on Mothership. We have a whole article on how special this property is.
Widely rumoured to be a “test balloon” that paved the way for the later DBSS, Pinnacle was a one-off special project; and also the highest HDB development in Singapore. The public can also go to the top for the view, but the last we checked there was a fee involved (we don’t know if this still applies).
Pinnacle @ Duxton has its own food court (a very special one, far more “atas” than a coffee shop), jogging tracks on high floors, sky bridges, viewing decks, and more. While some of the facilities sound the same as regular HDB facilities (e.g., outdoor fitness corner), everything at Pinnacle tends to be a more high-end version.
In terms of accessibility, it’s just a short walk to Outram MRT (EWL, NEL, TEL), which makes it one of the closest projects to Chinatown and the CBD. Even the 4-room flats here are probably going to cost over $1 million, so this is as good as buying an EC.
4. Woodlands Glen
This HDB project surprised us with its BBQ pits and Petanque Court, which you can read more about here. It’s not that this is the only time we’ve seen such facilities; it’s just that the ones here are unusually spacious, well-kept, and just all around great for gatherings.
Woodlands Glen is also good for nature lovers and cyclists, who want a greenery view and access to the Ulu Sembawang park area; this is on the verge of Mandai, which any NS man can tell you is one of the last true wilderness zones of Singapore. Interestingly though, it’s not as isolated as the location may suggest – the closest bus stop has a service that goes to Woodlands South MRT (TEL), which is just one stop from Woodlands itself (you can also walk there in about 10-12 minutes). This provides easy access to Causeway Point, the major mall for the neighbourhood.
Otherwise, if you don’t want to travel out, there’s Vista Point (an HDB-run mall) within walking distance.
The Woodlands South MRT station has really changed things up for this area by the way, as it shortened the transport time to the CBD from close to an hour, to just over 30 minutes; so it’s quite the upgrade.
As a downside though, note that Woodland Glen has no 5-room flats; only 2, 3, and 4-room flats. It’s an unusual decision by HDB, as areas that focus on greenery are usually given over to family buyers.
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