The changing face of MacPherson

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
July 13, 2019 11:00 AM SGT
Located between Aljunied and Paya Lebar, MacPherson in District 13 is one of five sub-zones in the Geylang planning area based on URA’s planning boundaries. Often overshadowed by Paya Lebar, MacPherson is slowly being rejuvenated with new F&B and lifestyle options as well as HDB redevelopment.
New to the neighbourhood is Wishes Café at Block 36 Circuit Road. Since its opening four months ago, the ice-cream parlour has been increasing in popularity among students and young adults living nearby. Offering 12 flavours of freshly-churned ice-cream, the café also has savoury treats on its menu such as buttermilk waffles, truffle egg mayo croissants, and Mala wings.
With its sakura-themed interior, Wishes Café stands out among a row of provision shops and clinic. The shop unit was previously a stationery store. The owners of Wishes Café took over the shop space when their relative decided to wind up the stationery business and retire. Today, the store draws a sizeable crowd even on weekdays.
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With its sakura-themed interior, Wishes Café stands out among a row of provision shops and clinic (Pictures: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Down the road, MacPherson residents would be familiar with Circuit Road Food Centre at 79/79A Circuit Road. Residents can find some 10 vegetarian food stalls at the food centre to choose from. Other popular eats include Briyani by Hamidah Bi, Soon Lee Lor Mee and Circuit Road Fried Kway Teow.
Over at 81 MacPherson Lane, Pasta King offers authentic Italian fare at reasonable prices. Run by an Italian couple, the small restaurant uses fresh ingredients from Italy. Located in a two-storey shophouse and adjacent to a park and playground, the restaurant is great for young families to dine in.

Lifestyle and amenities

Aside from F&B, MacPherson is also home to The Fragment Room, Southeast Asia’s first “rage room”. Previously located in Balestier, the room moved to 490 MacPherson Road recently.
The “rage room” encourages visitors to release their stress and inner frustrations by breaking objects with a baseball bat. These objects include cups, plates, radios and television sets.
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Elsewhere, a tributary of the Kallang River called Pelton Canal cuts diagonally through the MacPherson estate. The 2.52km Pelton Canal Park Connector links Kallang Park Connector to Balam Park Connector. This allows MacPherson residents to enjoy a scenic cycle or jog around the residential areas in Upper Boon Keng, Paya Lebar Way and Circuit Road.
The 2.52km Pelton Canal Park Connector links Kallang Park Connector to Balam Park Connector (Picture: NParks)
For those with stamina, running or cycling along the 7.87 km Kallang Park Connector via the Pelton Canal Park Connector provides access to Kallang Riverside Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
For those who enjoy a round of football, the Home United FC Youth Football Academy is at 8 Mattar Road. Owned and managed by Home United Football Club, the academy was established to promote and raise the standards of the sport in Singapore. The property features 10 futsal pitches and two full-sized pitches.
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The football academy at 8 Mattar Road features 10 futsal courts and two full-sized pitches
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MacPherson also evokes nostalgia with the iconic Dragon series of HDB playgrounds designed by Khor Ean Ghee, an interior designer at HDB during the 1970s. A “mini dragon” playground still sits in the MacPherson estate beside Block 53 Pipit Road. It is a smaller version of the Dragon playgrounds at Toa Payoh Lorong 6 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.
A “mini dragon” playground still sits in the MacPherson estate beside Block 53 Pipit Road
The MacPherson housing estate is served by two MRT stations – Mattar on the Downtown Line, and MacPherson Interchange on the Circle and Downtown Lines.
Young families will also benefit from several schools in the area such as the recently renamed co-ed Canossa Catholic School. Previously an all-girls school, the school took in its first batch of boys this year. Located at Sallim Road, the primary school is part of a campus that includes Canossaville Preschool and the Canossian School.
Located at Sallim Road, Canossa Catholic School is part of a campus that includes Canossaville Preschool and the Canossian School
Other nearby schools include Geylang Methodist Primary and Secondary schools, Cedar Primary School, Kong Hwa School and Maha Bodhi School.
St Margaret’s Primary School (SMPS) will also move into a holding school that housed the former MacPherson Primary School, pending planned renovations to its existing building. SMPS will reportedly relocate to MacPherson from 2020 to 2021.
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Old meets new

MacPherson is about to get another facelift. Three residential blocks around 81-83 MacPherson Lane, as well as the adjacent 27 commercial units and two eating houses, will be returned to the government by 2023 under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme.
Affected residents and owners can opt to move into new homes and shop units at a site along Circuit Road. The project will comprise three 17- to 19-storey blocks and house 630 flats, ranging from two-room flexi to five-room flats. It will also feature a new supermarket, two eating houses, shops, an eldercare facility and a childcare centre. It is expected to be completed by 2Q2023.
The replacement SERS flats will feature a new supermarket, two eating houses, shops, an eldercare facility and a childcare centre (Picture: HDB)
The new project will be beside a collection of new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats called MacPherson Spring, which was launched in February 2015. The four 19-storey BTO blocks house 570 new HDB units. They comprise studio apartments for seniors, as well as three- and four-room flats. Studio apartments were priced from $114,000, three-room units from $245,000, and four-room units from $388,000.
While new blocks are being added to the estate, MacPherson still retains its quaint charm. At Balam Road, a cluster of HDB blocks built between 1967 and 1973 stand out with their red, yellow and blue façade, inspired by Dutch Modernist painter Piet Mondrain’s 1930 painting, “Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow”. This meshing of new and old exemplifies the evolution of the MacPherson neighbourhood over the past years, as younger home buyers move into the estate.
The HDB blocks on Balam Road stand out with their red, yellow and blue façade
Some home buyers are drawn to the MacPherson housing estate as some residential blocks house larger units. For instance, Block 53 Pipit Road comprises 124 three-room executive maisonette units of about 1,571 sq ft each. Four transactions there over the last six months have ranged from $590,000 to $728,000, according to HDB data. The average price from the four sales translates to $414.68 psf. The block was completed in October 1986 and has 66 years left on its lease.
The neighbouring block at 54 Pipit Road comprises 222 four-room units of about 1,010 sq ft each, built in 1985. The most recent transaction there was for a 1,011 sq ft unit on the fifth floor, which changed hands for $460,000 ($454.90 psf) in February this year.
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