Mapletree 18 is an upcoming industrial building facing Upper Paya Lebar Road, adjacent to Tai Seng MRT station. It finished construction earlier this year and has obtained TOP, and currently it appears that the building is undergoing internal fit-out works before opening to the public. At this period of time, the lights in this building is completely turned on at night, and I have to say that I found this newest building rather ugly.
I very rarely talk about properties. However, I pass by this region twice every working day, and nonetheless I look forward to the opening of Mapletree 18, albeit for a selfish reason.
Perhaps some history is in order. When the Tai Seng MRT station opened in 2010, it is quite a curiosity as to why both its exits are located on the same side of Upper Paya Lebar Road. The thing is that it is not so convenient to cross this major road at this location. The road proper has four lanes per direction, widening to 8 lanes at the junction with MacPherson Road and Airport Road. Then add one KPE exit and a frontage road, both in the northbound direction, and you will easily see that it is impossible to safely cross this road anywhere other than the humongous traffic junction or an overhead bridge that is quite far away. Because of the density of industrial buildings on the other side of Upper Paya Lebar Road, this traffic junction sees not only heavy traffic, but also very heavy pedestrian footfall.
It suffices to say, this ten-lane road crossing is not pleasant under the typical hot and humid weather, and is much worse when it is raining. For this and other reasons, I often prefer to take a taxi or bus on my way to work, and use the MRT only on my way home when the weather is cooler in the evening.
It is also a curiosity that the plot of land which Mapletree 18 stand on is the very last plot of land to be sold in this Tai Seng industrial area. Buildings have started appearing in all other plots except this, and it was only sold in 2013. Apparently, URA had to permanently close a vehicular linkway to the industrial area and amalgamate the freed up land to make it into a bigger plot, and turned it into a white site, before it managed to sell off the land. But once the plot was listed, it attracted a total of seven bidders, and was eventually sold to the highest bidder for more than $120 million.
One major condition for this plot of land is, the developer must build an underground linkway from the building to Tai Seng MRT station, under the drainage canal. From information that can be found on the web, the MRT station even had a knock-out panel to facilitate this connection. So it has been the government's plan all along to push the cost of building of an entrance on the other side of Upper Paya Lebar Road to a private developer. Just that JTC took so long to sell this plot of land.
And so, I anticipate that Mapletree 18 will open to the public some time next year, and I look forward to it for the selfish reason of not really liking having to cross a ten-lane road. Apart from that, I have no interest in this rather ugly-looking property.