Sembawang does not typically come to mind as a great place to have an outdoorsy day out.
It has long been seen as a quiet suburban town tucked away in the north, bounded by the Strait of Johor and the towns of Yishun and Woodlands.
But nestled within the estate are little gems such as Sembawang Hot Spring and Sembawang Park – home to one of the few natural beaches left in Singapore. Nearby executive condo include Northwave EC , Brownstone EC, The Visionaire EC, Signature at Yishun, Skypark Residences, and Parc Life EC .
With other offerings including revamped playgrounds, water play areas and cycling trails, the estate offers many options for a weekend of outdoor fun for the whole family.
Housewife Soumya Sanagavarapu, 34, moved into her five-room HDB flat in Sembawang Close 10 years ago.
“There were few bus services in the area and not many families. My children found the playgrounds boring too,” she says.
These days, however, her son, six, and daughter, seven, demand to go to the playground in Canberra Park, near their home.
Upgraded to the tune of $2.2-million, the 1.5ha park re-opened in March last year and now houses a variety of swings, including one that seats five to six people at a time.
“My children love the swings and will play on them until they are tired,” says Mrs Sanagavarapu.
With several property launches in recent years, Sembawang is expected to become more populated and lively.
Two new executive condominium projects – The Visionaire and Parc Life – were launched in April. The Visionaire is by Qingjian Realty and will be at Canberra Drive, while Parc Life is by Frasers Centrepoint Limited and will be next to Canberra Park.
In April, a Jalan Kandis condominium site near Sembawang Park attracted nine bids from developers.
Mr Ong Teck Hui, national research director of global real estate services group Jones Lang LaSalle, says of the keen interest in the site: “Although it is not near transportation nodes or amenities, it is still attractive because it is in a predominantly landed housing estate surrounded by greenery.”
Last month, Build-to-Order (BTO) projects were launched in Sembawang. At the next BTO launch in August, there will be flats offered in Sembawang too.
Apart from residential developments, Sembawang will be part of the upcoming North Coast Innovation Corridor, which aims to attract international research and development investors and creative start-ups.
Residents in the precinct will also enjoy being a part of the North-South Corridor, the first expressway here to have dedicated bus lanes and a cycling route.
It is targeted to be ready in 2026.
With the new corridor, bus passengers travelling from towns in the north such as Sembawang could have journeys to the city shortened by up to 30 minutes.
While some residents are looking forward to the developments, others are content with what their estate already offers.
Housewife Sarah Tan, 35, who has three children, has been living in a four-room HDB flat in Sembawang Crescent for the past eight years.
“There are two shopping malls, a beach, cycling paths and enough playgrounds to keep my three children occupied. We’re happy here.”