At a glance: Located in new town Tengah, Copen Grand EC is one for trailblazers, mainly because there isn’t anything there yet. We do have a few details of what you can expect in regards to amenities, but the feel for its surrounds truly remains to be seen. News of this EC has met with an atmosphere of anticipation, which we think has to do with the fact that it’s the first EC to be launched here following a succession of BTOs launched since 2019. We check out what’s in store, and do some comparisons with upcoming ECs set to also roll out later this year.
|Joint venture between City Developments Limited and MCL Land
|Tengah Garden Walk
|Land Size (sqm)
|Total Residential Units
|No. of Block
|Nearest MRT Station
|Tengah and Tengah Plantation on the Jurong Region Line
|Nearby Primary Schools (within 2km)
|• Dazhong Primary School
• Jurong Primary School
• Princess Elizabeth Primary School • Rulang Primary School
• Shuqin Primary School
|Nearby International Schools
|• Dulwich College
• Canadian International School Lakeside
For those looking at new executive condominiums (ECs) in the west, Copen Grand at Tengah may be in your cards. This is the second of a slew of four ECs set to launch this year and early next year. The first was North Gaia in Yishun which launched in April 2022. After Copen Grand, there are plans to launch Tenet EC along Tampines St 62 in the 4th quarter and an EC in Bukit Batok West that will be introduced in early 2023.
What sets Copen Grand apart from the other two is that it’s located at a completely new town, which has no facilities or amenities up yet, so you really can’t get a feel for the place before making a purchase. Then there is the issue of not having everything ready, even as you start moving in.
So there’s a certain element of risk (or surprise!) and a bit of waiting if you do decide to buy here. But a new town also means there is a lot of room for growth and development and correspondingly, a significant profit margin after everything comes up.
Thanks to the many BTO launches in the area already, we actually do know a bit about what to expect in Tengah, which we shall delve into in this review. But let’s talk numbers first, because let’s be honest—the main draw of an EC is its affordability compared to private condominiums.
The tender for the Copen Grand site was launched for sale back in November 2020 and drew a total of 7 bids, with the winning bid awarded for $400,318,000 to a joint venture between City Developments Limited (CDL) and MCL Land. This translates to a land rate of $603 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).
Map taken from StreetDirectory.com
In comparison, the land rates for North Gaia at Yishun and Tenet at Tampines were $576 and $659 psf ppr respectively, placing Copen Grand in the middle price range between the ECs launching this year.
Prices for Yishun’s North Gaia, which was launched in April and is about 28% sold so far at the time of writing, are currently averaging around $1,297 psf. We can therefore foresee prices for Copen Grand to be higher than North Gaia’s and lower than Tenet’s.
The EC in Bukit Batok West, which actually sits relatively close by to the Tengah EC, was sold for a record $266 million at a land rate of about $661 psf, which is also higher than Copen Grand’s. For those considering upcoming ECs in the west, Copen Grand is likely going to be the cheaper option.
Here’s a summary of the land rates between the upcoming ECs:
|Land Rates (psf ppr)
|EC in Bukit Batok West
What do we have in the area?
Because Tengah’s a new town, the full range of amenities available to Copen Grand are probably going to be known only in stages. But here’s what we do know so far:
- Copen Grand sits within the Garden district, one of 5 districts in Tengah. One of the key features in this district is the 900-metre-long ‘Garden farmway’, a social, recreation and green spine that will run through the district and will be just a short street away from the EC. It will comprise various nodes from fitness stations and playgrounds to ecological pockets and lawns as well as a 4-km cycling path and allotments for community gardening.
Image courtesy of HDB
- The farmway also connects you to two main recreational features in Tengah, one of which is the Tengah Pond, where you will get to enjoy recreational facilities surrounding this waterfront. The other is Central Park, an extensive 20-hectare green lung in this forest town.
- The EC is a short walking distance (approx 6-8 mins by our estimates) to Tengah’s main town centre, which is designed to be ‘car-free’ in the sense that vehicles will be running beneath it to free up the ground level space for commercial shops and pedestrian-friendly walkways. It will have a sports centre, retail spaces and eateries, so you will be able to get everything you need here. We don’t have definite dates for when this town centre will be up though, but it may be constructed in tandem with Tengah MRT station, which is located next to the town centre.
Image courtesy of HDB
- The BTO located right next to Copen Grand, Garden Vines @ Tengah will house a supermarket and eateries within its site, so that’s going to be your go-to for everyday amenities if you don’t feel like venturing out to the town centre.
- You’ll also have another nearby option for amenities. The neighbourhood centre next to Tengah Plantation MRT station is less than a 10-min walk from Copen Grand. It will be positioned as a social and wellness hub, so eateries there will offer healthier options and regular events will be conducted to promote a healthy lifestyle. The neighbourhood centre will also house a polyclinic.
Commercial and business nodes
Expanding out to the broader surrounds, Tengah will also sit next to the Jurong Innovation District (JID), which is set to be an advanced manufacturing estate for firms to embrace Industry 4.0 capabilities (e.g. smart automation, data and machine learning, etc). Spanning over 620 hectares, the district is designed to facilitate collaboration between technology partners, training providers, R&D centres and manufactures. The first phase is prepped for launch by end 2022.
Image courtesy of HDB
Besides getting access to a range of job opportunities, you also have a big tenant pool to tap on if you are looking at Copen Grand for rent potential. Already, we have big name manufacturers such as Hyundai Motor, Shimano and SATS Food Hub who have plans to set up camp here.
Image courtesy of JTC.
You also get to tap onto the tenant pool of workers and professionals employed in the mixed-use business district at Jurong Gateway, where offices intertwine with big commercial shopping malls like Jem and Westgate. Thanks to Copen Grand’s proximity and easy access to Jurong East via the future MRT, it makes this EC an attractive option for potential tenants working in those areas.
Bear in mind that because Copen Grand’s an EC, you will be subjected to rental restrictions i.e. you cannot rent out the whole apartment during the minimum occupation period (MOP) in the first year 5 years. You can however rent out rooms within your apartment during the MOP.
Copen Grand is nestled between two upcoming MRT stations on the future Jurong-Region Line (JRL)—Tengah and Tengah Plantation. These stations are an estimated 600m away from the EC, which is about less than a 10-min walk away.
The only caveat is that the stations are only going to be ready in 2027 and 2028, so you’ll have to wait a couple of years after moving in—assuming TOP is scheduled for 2026—before you get MRT access. The full JRL will only be completed in 2029, where it will eventually link up with areas further out in Boon Lay and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Tengah station leads directly to the Choa Chu Kang interchange in two stops, where you can switch over to the North-South Line. If you prefer heading down to Jurong East, Tengah Plantation station is the more convenient station with just 4 stops to the Jurong East interchange, where you get to hop onto both the North-South and East-West Lines.
Image courtesy of Land Transport Guru
A quick note about the noise from the MRT tracks: because JRL is an aboveground MRT line, there may be certain stacks, those situated in the west of the site, that will be facing the tracks. This can only be confirmed once we get the site map for the EC.
Access to the PIE is relatively straightforward for those who prefer to drive. Currently, you can drive down to Bukit Batok Road to get to the PIE, although there may be a new expressway entrance by future road Tengah Boulevard.
Copen Grand’s a viable option for those who work in the west—driving to major commercial node Jurong East takes you under 15 mins. But it’s not the most convenient of places if you work in Orchard or the CBD, all of which will take you at least a 30-min drive.
What can we expect from Copen Grand?
Not a lot of information has been released for Copen Grand itself, but we do know some preliminary details about this development. Size- and density-wise, Copen Grand’s pretty similar to North Gaia’s. It sits on a land size of about 22,000 sqm, which is just slightly larger than North Gaia’s and will comprise 615 units in 12 blocks of 14 storeys each (this is still subject to confirmation).
This Tengah EC isn’t the developers CDL and MCL Land’s first rodeo. Their maiden joint venture was for the Northumberland Road GLS site, which will eventually be developed into Piccadilly Grand, a 407-unit mixed-use development located next to Farrer Park MRT station. Launched back in April this year, the project is now 81% sold.
This project’s worthy of note here not just because they are by the same developers but also because of its similarity in name with Copen Grand, so we may see some correlation in terms of how both these properties are developed and managed.
Another project you can do a closer watch on is Piermont Grand, which is also developed by CDL. This EC was fully sold after 2.5 years, which is pretty respectable showing, and is scheduled for key collection by the end of this year. Some of the more notable features and facilities in this Punggol EC include five different pools, a tennis court, a full-scale gym and units with smart features as well as high ceilings to recreate a loft style vibe. We may see similar facilities within Copen Grand.
Why get an EC?
As a hybrid between public and private housing, ECs are a more affordable option for those looking to shift to private housing. In 2020, the price gap between new private condos and new ECs was 52.1 percent. This substantial price difference is really the primary reason why it continues to be popular among HDB ‘upgraders’.
For upgraders who choose an EC, there also isn’t a need to pay an upfront ABSD (Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty), which, since the last round of cooling measures, has reached a whopping 17% for second property. Upgraders who choose private condos will need to do so. While this amount gets reimbursed later on, it’s still a lot of cash (or CPF) to pay upfront, the result of which has deterred a significant number of potential buyers.
Prices for new ECs have been on the up for a while now. From 2016 to 2020, they surged by 42.5 percent, with demand and prices continue peaking in 2021, remaining steady this year even with the latest round of cooling measures in December last year. The trend looks set to continue as people seek out more viable options in the backdrop of increasing private property prices.
With a significant amount of EC launches this year and prices for them still remaining relatively affordable and within reach, now is a good time as any to hop onto the EC train. More choices = more competition, which bodes well for potential buyers.
Because of the selling restrictions, whereby ECs are permitted to be sold only on the open market after 5 years and to foreign buyers on the 10th year, getting an EC isn’t really a short-term investment and is really more for folks who can hold out for the longer term. Still, it’s a cheaper option for own stay as compared to private homes (especially in today’s market) and has plenty of potential to be resold for a profit margin later on. This is especially true for an EC like Copen Grand, which as you know, is the first in an upcoming new town with a lot of growth potential and room for development.