Touring Greenwood/Hillcrest Landed Estate: Freehold Landed Living Near Good Restaurants
- March 5, 2023
- 12 min read
Quite a while back, a reader asked for a tour of the Hillcrest area so today we’re headed to the Hillcrest and Greenwood estate for a look. It is part of a well-connected landed enclave between Dunearn Road, Eng Neo Avenue, Adam Road, and the PIE. (You can drive in via Dunearn Road or Eng Neo but not directly from Adam Road or the PIE.)
The highlight of the estate, besides the proximity to Nanyang Primary (not within 1 km of many of the houses in the area), Nanyang Girls High, RGPS, Hwa Chung, and NJC is the row of shophouses at Greenwood, famous for Greenwood Fish Cafe, Lana Cake, and other eateries, so let’s start our walkabout there.
There are 27 shophouses zoned for commercial use within this area and, if you’re thinking of branching out from residential properties, there are freehold commercial units along Greenwood Avenue for sale too, such as this $16 million F&B unit which was listed in 2022. This leaves me wondering how much rent the landlord has to charge to make the price worth it!! According to CBRE, the URA is no longer approving new F&Bs in the area so these are relatively rare.
The restaurants and shops are separated from the houses by 2 small roads. The area can get pretty busy in the evenings so I wonder if the noise does spill over. Another thing to note is that parking is relatively limited and the shophouses are famous enough that people do drive to the area for meals, so many visitors do park outside the houses during peak hours, which can be rather annoying if you’re lucky enough to live here! (When I come here for dinner, I always have to drive pretty deep in to find a spot to park.)
Note: at the time of writing, a terrace house was asking for $7.8 million, an old semi-D for $8m, with prices going up to $17m. If you’re really keen on the area but have a budget, there’s also the 103-year leasehold cluster development, The Greenwood, (prices about $4m at the time of writing) as well as a few old apartments.
It’s located almost right at the end of the estate – about a 20 minutes walk out to Dunearn Road so, ideally, you’ll have a car if you live here. It’s also pretty close to the PIE. I couldn’t hear the road noise from the entrance but I wonder if the units closer to the PIE do. When I visited Clementi Park and The Arcadia, both of which are near expressways, the sound of the traffic was incessant even from within the (expressway-facing) units.
The higher ground is pretty handy as, according to a 2022 Straits Time article, PUB warns that the Hillcrest area can have a high flood risk when it rains heavily and the drainage level in the area reaches 100% (as it did in November 2022.) There was also a flash flood warning for the area in 2021, so it appears this wasn’t a one-off occurrence!
(RGPS, NJC, and NJC Boarding School are pretty much right next to the road Greenwood Avenue. In fact, the houses opposite the commercial units are pretty much sandwiched between the restaurants and RGPS so I would recommend viewing properties here during school time and dinner time if you’re noise sensitive.)
Oh well, they’re not part of today’s walkabout (and probably out of the budget of 99.99% of Singaporeans) so I’ll head back!
As you can see, the road to the left here goes upslope too, and, several photos ago, we saw that the roads to the right also incline upwards, so it seems that Greenwood Avenue (or at least parts of it) is located at the bottom of a shallow valley.
Before the tour, I was thinking it would be mostly bigger houses, given the exclusivity of the area but, actually, I would say at least a quarter of the estate is terrace units! (And without the congestion problems I’ve seen at other terraced estates. Yes, there are probably fewer parked cars because I went about 5 pm when many people are at work. However, I’ve been to other terrace estates during working hours too, and found the area so full of parked cars that I could barely drive through!)
After the playground is The Greenwood and Greenwood Mews, 2 leasehold cluster housing developments. We take the road in between, Greenwood Lane, to loop back around the playground and head back to the commercial shophouses. (Greenwood Avenue leads on to Greenwood Lane then Greenwood Terrace and then on to Greenmead Avenue before reaching the shophouses again, forming pretty much a closed loop, with several streets located off these 3 main roads.)
As you can see, Greenpark Avenue looks really lush and green as we’re looking toward the small green plot near Arcadia Road and the PIE. (Arcadia Road is the road parallel to Greenpark Avenue/Hillcrest Road, but there is no vehicular access between the 2. There is a small footpath that connects the 2 roads though, making it very easy for residents of The Arcadia and Arcadia Hillcrest to get to Greenwood. Residents of Greenwood/Hillcrest may also want to head over the Arcadia Hillcrest as there’s a small Chinese eatery and deli there.)
Anyway, I’m going to continue going down Greenmead Avenue and not detour off Greenpark Avenue for now.
As mentioned before, there are a few condo developments within the neighbourhood but those are (currently) mostly low-density, so the neighbourhood doesn’t feel congested. In fact, quite a few developments within the area make it to the annual lists of “most likely to en-bloc!”
Side note: if you’re confused and need help locating where we are, here’s a map of the area. We’re on the dotted line connecting Greenmead Avenue and Hillcrest Road.
We’ve now reached the end of today’s tour. How did you find the area? I’ve been here many times but never realised that there are so many small connecting paths between the roads, so that was a nice surprise. Being located in Bukit Timah, I’m sure the area needs no introduction but some of the amenities in the area are Green Fairways golf course (10 min drive), The Grandstand, Swiss Club, Hollandse Club, Coronation Shopping Plaza, Guthrie House and more.
Tan Kah Kee MRT also makes the area more accessible for those without a car. I’m (sadly) old enough that I remember when Tan Kah Kee MRT was built and my then-boss, who has a property here, celebrated how much more easily she could commute to work! The MRT is a 10-minute walk from the Greenwood shophouses and you can obviously find many buses plying Dunearn Road. (No bus stops within the estate, unlike Opera Estate.)
Bye for now and see you again next week!
P.S. If you’re like me, this area is obviously out of your budget, so don’t feel shy to let me know if there are other areas you want tours of! (I’m slowly making my way down the list of requests!)