Property Stories Touring West Coast Landed Estate: 999-Year Landed Homes That’s Less Crowded And Near Many Schools
- August 7, 2022
- 13 min read
In response to another reader’s request, I went down to West Coast to tour the landed houses there. This is an area that I’m quite familiar with, as my Mother has been working there my entire life. I remember when it was still a sleepy area that wasn’t very in demand. Our hairdresser actually bought a semi-D for a few hundred thousand there! Today, (at the time of writing) prices were more along the lines of $5.1 – $13.1 million, so she’s made a fortune. There are cheaper options though, as you can still get a property for $3 million+ if you don’t mind a 99-year leasehold strata house (Sun Grove).
West Coast used to be known as a “Japanese area” due to the presence of the Japanese Schools, although the area has become more cosmopolitan in recent years. The Japanese Kindergarten and Japanese Secondary School are located next to each other (West of the estate) whilst there is another Japanese School further down, closer to NUS. (Note: not to be confused with the Japanese elementary school in Changi.)
Fun fact: Since 2013, the Japanese school at West Coast has been the largest Japanese International School in the world.
Besides these schools, the houses at West Coast are also bounded by a large industrial estate to the South and West. In addition, there is Ayer Rajah Food Centre and a few HDB blocks to the South. To the North, you find high-rise condos, some of which are quite recent projects such as Whistler Grand and Twin VEW, as well as the AYE and more condos including a mixed-use development (NEWest) to the East. (Across the AYE is Clementi town but it’s not super easy to walk to because of the traffic.)
Another fun fact: Part of the land around the West Coast area was reclaimed between 1976-1978.
Note: several of the factory’s leases (the purple area on the map above) are expiring around 2040 and I’m not sure what government plans for the area are. (i.e. it’s not clear whether the leases would be extended or whether we’ll see fun new developments moving into the area.)
West Coast is surrounded by educational institutions.
Besides the Japanese schools, there is also Qi Fa Primary School within the estate proper and Tanglin Secondary School a little further South. A piece of land next to the Twin VEW condo has been earmarked for use by an educational institution, although I couldn’t find out which school exactly will be situated on the piece of land.
Nan Hua Primary, Pei Tong Primary and Clementi Primary are also close by within 1 km of some houses. District 5 is also, of course, home to many tertiary institutions, ranging from local (NUS) to international ones (INSEAD, for example.)
Note: there are many other schools in the area that I have not named. I have just listed a few to highlight that families with children have no lack of schooling options in the vicinity.
There also appears to be a childcare centre within the estate although, from the looks of it, I’m not sure if it’s in operation. (The website listed on Google directed me to the Ministry of Social and Family Development so I wasn’t able to get more details.)
Shops & transport
Unfortunately, when it comes to retail activities, West Coast isn’t the most exciting area.
Although there is a mixed development that is within walking distance from the estate (NEWest), it doesn’t have the most interesting shops. The only ones I recognise are Springleaf Prata and Waffle-town. You also have some necessities such as (well-reviewed on Google) medical and dental clinics but no large supermarket (If you don’t believe me, you can check out the retail outlets here. FYI: NEWest is one of the few developments in Singapore with townhouses on-site, which we’ve briefly looked into in this article.)
Sadly, MRT access is not quite so convenient. Buses 176, 143 and 51 take you along this road to Pasir Panjang MRT in about 23 minutes. Alternatively, you can walk across the AYE and get to Clementi MRT in about 30 minutes. From Google maps, I can’t quite figure out if there are more convenient options for people who prefer to travel by train, perhaps residents can let us know in the comments below.
To the South, there’s Ayer Rajah Food Centre for hawker food and conveniences. The food centre was closed for renovations this year and just re-opened on 1 August. If you’re wondering about the upgrades, they included mod-cons such as smart systems to improve the hygiene of the toilets by sending automated notifications to the cleaners and high-volume, low-speed fans to improve the air circulation. (Fun fact: 17 of the stalls here were recognised for their heritage food in 2021.)
The other mall in the neighbourhood is West Coast Plaza, or the rebranded Ginza Plaza. It’s around a 20-30 minutes walk away. If you want to get a sense of the shops at West Coast Plaza without having to trek down, here’s a video of the shopping centre. (Basically, there’s a Cold Storage, a bubble tea shop, Daiso etc). It’s more of one for daily necessities and dining than for retail basically.
There may be more exciting shops or malls in the neighbourhood when the Great Southern Waterfront transformation occurs, and the Pasir Panjang Port moves to Tuas. (The port is about a 15 minutes drive from West Coast but not really within walking distance (1 hour 20 minutes on foot).
However, the move is a good 5 years away so it’s still much too early to tell what impact it will have on West Coast. In fact, my Mom and I had previously discussed moving to West Coast but when we thought about the timeline, we realised it didn’t make sense: by the time the transformation has occurred, she may no longer be able to enjoy the “new” neighbourhood!
For nature lovers, there are several green spaces within and around the estate. 10-20 minutes walk away is the Pandan Garden Park Connector and about 20-30 minutes in the opposite direction is the (partially) sea-fronting West Coast Park, where you can find the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club as well as a McDonalds.
FYI: Otters have been an issue at the nearby West Coast Park
Anyway, back to the estate which is why we are at West Coast today! There are 3 large playground-parks within the estate: West Coast Green playground, West Coast Place playground and West Coast Gardens (which is more like an empty piece of land than a playground or park).
Situated in the middle of the estate, West Coast Green Playground-Park is bordered by houses. Here’s a video of one such house that was on sale last year. Whilst it’s nice to have such a large green space/setback in front of your house, it can also be a little noisy if the space is heavily utilised.
Personally, I’ve been to this estate dozens of times and never found parking to be a big issue. That’s not to say that every street has parking space – it differs on a street-to-street basis. However, I’ve never not been able to find parking within a street or 2 of where I want to go. (This is unlike some other landed enclaves, such as Villa Verde, Loyang Villas and Pavilion Park, where I sometimes have to drive out of the estate to find a space to park.)
Of course, residents may disagree with my views on parking in the estate as obviously some streets will be slightly more crowded than others. As a visitor, I don’t mind parking somewhere else in the estate and walking over as it’s a one-off occasion. However, residents of the more crowded streets may find it annoying not to be able to park right outside their houses, especially when it’s pouring cats and dogs.
Back to outside the estate – this is the opposite direction from Ayer Rajah Food Centre. It’s a covered walkway that leads us to the Japanese school and more houses. (Bigger houses too).
Behind the Japanese Kindergarten (shown above), is an industrial area with lots of food factories. It’s not the most exciting area, although it did become more interesting after One Kueh at a Time moved in. I visited and reviewed it in this post of activities for Singapore foodies. The vibe totally reminds me of the Spa Terminus in Bermondsey, London but, unfortunately, with fewer places to eat! The other thing to mention is that some of the factories host warehouse food sales come Chinese New Year.
The area is relatively quiet in that you don’t get a ton of traffic within the estate BUT due to the proximity of factories, you do get regular heavy vehicles (huge trucks and the like) driving around the area so something to take note of!
So, now that we’ve finished our tour of the West Coast estate, how did you find it? Let me know in the comments!