Category Archives: Kampong Glam and Lavender

Lavender, Kampong Glam, Beach Road, Jalan Sultan

Wilkie Edge sold to Lian Beng and Apricot Capital

Located at the junction of Wilkie Road and Selegie Road, Wilkie Edge is a leasehold 12-storey development comprising office and retail units as well as a serviced residence, Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore. It has 88 years left on the lease. The mixed-use commercial and residential building located near Little India, is being sold for S$280 million — works out to a price of S$1,812 per square foot (psf) based on the building’s net lettable area, and a price of S$1,299 psf based on gross floor area.

Lian Beng Group and Apricot Capital, the private investment firm of Super Group’s Teo family, have agreed to acquire Wilkie Edge from CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT).

The sale is expected to be completed in September. The sale consideration is 39.3 % above Wilkie Edge’s valuation of S$201 million or S$1,301 psf as at Dec 31, and 53.3 % higher than its original purchase price of S$182.7 million in 2008.


Middle Road Complex on sale again

THE Prospex, a retail and office building in the Middle Road near Bugis +, is back on the market, this time with an indicative guide price “in excess of S$70 million” — lower than the S$80 million asking price when the building was previously put up for sale in October 2015.

A price of S$70 million translates to S$2,081 per square foot (based on the total net lettable area (NLA) of 33,631 square feet) with a 99-year leasehold tenure with a balance term of about 57 years.

Located at the busy corner of Middle Road and Victoria Street and just a stone’s throw from Bugis MRT Station, The Prospex consists of a two-level retail podium (with 4,040 sq ft NLA) and seven levels of offices above (29,591 sq ft).

The building is about 85 per cent leased with the top floor and some units on the seventh floor still available for lease.

Prospex is being offered by Hong Kong and Singapore-based property fund manager Pamfleet, which bought the former Bright Chambers on the site at S$45 million in 2013 and made major additions and alteration works to the building to achieve its current modern look. The Prospex received a Temporary Occupation Permit in the first quarter of 2016.

Tenants in the building include: Shanghai-based Mellower Coffee (which occupies the entire two-level retail podium); 701 Search backed by SPH; and Zrii, an international nutrition company based in Utah.

As the property sits on land fully zoned for commercial use, foreigners may buy without regulatory approval . There is also no additional buyer’s stamp duty and seller’s stamp duty for such property.

Unauthorized use of restaurant as bar result in $35K fine

Project Lifestyle, which runs Witbier Cafe (left), was fined $35,000 yesterday for flouting a ban on bars and pubs in the Kampong Glam conservation area. It is the first such case to be prosecuted in court. The firm had ignored repeated enforcement notices to rectify the breach in planning permission.

Project Lifestyle, which runs Witbier Cafe, was charged with making an unauthorised change in the use of its premises from a restaurant to a bar – the first such case to be prosecuted in court.

The company was fined $20,000 earlier this year by a district judge, but the prosecution appealed for an increase to $50,000.

Witbier Cafe, located on the first storey of a two-storey shophouse in Kandahar Street, opened in July 2011. The premises are allowed to be used only as a restaurant.

Since September 2005, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has not allowed the setting up of new pubs, bars and nightclubs in Kandahar Street and certain other roads in Kampong Glam.

In 2012, URA officers raised concerns that Witbier Cafe could be construed as a bar.

Under planning regulations, the primary purpose of a restaurant is the sale of food to be consumed on the premises; the sale of alcoholic drinks is incidental.

The rules state that a bar, on the other hand, is a place where the primary activity is the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.

The company then took steps to change the menu and the layout, and the URA took no further action.

The agency even wrote to Project Lifestyle thanking it for its cooperation in reverting Witbier Cafe to the approved use.

It also reminded the company that the premises could not be used for a bar.

But when URA officers dropped in incognito some time between November 2013 and January last year, they found logos and names of alcoholic drinks displayed inside and outside the shop; a layout consisting of a bar counter and several high tables with bar stools; and a “happy hour” for alcoholic drinks prominently advertised.

These changes had been made without permission.

A URA spokesman told The Straits Times that the operator was brought to court because it chose to ignore repeated enforcement notices to rectify the breach in planning permission.

In raising the fine to $35,000 yesterday, Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon pointed to the company’s persistent offending and lack of remorse, as well as the need to disgorge its wrongful profits.

“The background facts strongly suggest a calculated or cynical breach, possibly motivated by the hope that enforcement might not ensue or that any consequent sanctions might be worth their while,” said the Judicial Commissioner.

But he did not think a $50,000 fine was warranted, given that there were no structural or physical alterations, nor any change in the appearance of the building.

He also noted that the district judge had already considered the cultural sensitivities, given the cafe’s proximity to Malay-Muslim landmarks.

The offence of carrying out unauthorised works in a conservation area carries a fine of up to $200,000. Further fines of up to $10,000 per day can be imposed if a breach continues after conviction.

The URA spokesman said: “Should the operator continue with the unauthorised use, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

A Family Business, a Heritage Legacy

Kampong Glam, an ever hip arts enclave, is a heritage district in the city. It is distinctive as being the former palace of the sultan, it has an immersion of rich cultures from Malay, Arab, Turkish, Javanese influences, while also having Indian, Chinese and Eurasian touches in the neighbourhood. Sultan Gate, a road leading to the former Sultan Palace which is currently a Malay Heritage Centre, is also a “gate” to a wealth of Art and Legacy.

pic2Just located outside the Malay Heritage Centre, lies a row of shophouses that are full of art and heritage. Within a wall of street art, a shop strikes out. Within a glass frontage, one can see the unique Malay and Javanese craft welcoming you into the interiors.

SAMSUNG CSC “Kiah’s Gallery” is a Batik-inspired arts showsroom. Started by a Malay family, one can see the family legacy passed down to the modern age. Yati, the founder of the gallery, started the business together with her family, including her husband and daughter Ain, three years ago. They called this business “Kiah’s Gallery”, with inspired with the name of Ain’s nenek or grandma, as part of keeping the family legacy.

SAMSUNG CSCBeing inspired by a Batik piece they bought from a trader, they grew to love this art, despite it being a dying craft in Singapore. With their personal love of the art reaching its peak three years ago, the family decided to convert their personal love to share with the lovers of this unique Batik art.


SAMSUNG CSCFor the first 18 months, the business was tough. Being new in this line and having to compete with other players in the neighbourhood, Kiah’s Gallery had to find a place in this business. From purely retailing batik-designer pieces, they have extended their services into tailoring and customization, as well as introducing other art pieces like paintings and sculptures.

SAMSUNG CSCSince then the business has been growing well. Their customers consist of a mix of locals as well as tourists. Kiah’s Gallery also carry designer pieces and artefacts that reflect the cultural influences of the Nanyang and Malay heritage. Art pieces from internationally renowned Batik painter Sarkasi Said are also displayed and sold here.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCEvery Batik piece is an art. There are several techniques in the craft. It has influences involving Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Malay and Javanese cultures, as this part of the world has such infuses of these cultures throughout the centuries. Different emblems, like the phoenix and other legendary icons symbolizes the influence of the associated culture. Now there are also modern touches to the craft, like Japanese incursions, to make Batik an exciting artpiece to wear. SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC If you are interested to visit the gallery and explore for yourself, please note the following information.

Name: Kiah’s Gallery (look for Yati and Ain)

Address: 71 Unit B Sultan Gate Singapore 198496

Wear an Artpiece, Touch a Legacy (Introduction to Batik Art and fashion)

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

“Batik is a technique of manual wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called a canting, or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a cap. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCA tradition of making batik is found in various countries, including Nigeria, China, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka; the batik of Indonesia, however, is the most well-known. Indonesian batik made in the island of Java has a long history of acculturation, with diverse patterns influenced by a variety of cultures, and is the most developed in terms of pattern, technique, and the quality of workmanship. On October 2009, UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. ”

Batik art was rather unappealing to me for quite a long time. Preferring contemporary art work, I thought Batik art as somewhat outdated and unfashionable. Even old Chinese art fascinated me more than Batik. The closest encounter I had with Batik art, was during a trip to Genting in 2001. It was during a short trip shortly after my graduation when my friends and I were thinking of visiting the casino, but we were not in the right attire. Based on the management, we have to wear either collared formal or Batik wear. Being newly-minted engineering graduates then, our apparel style was just the basic streetwear of T-shirts and jeans. That killed off any idea of visiting the casino there even till now, as well as any positive feel in this art ironically.

After the visit to Kiah’s Gallery in 71 Unit B Sultan Gate, my encounter for Batik art took a new twist. The owners of the gallery, Yati and Ain, introduced  a new batik world to my partner and I . What I thought as just some outdated craft in making clothes is actually a detailed art with centuries of history. It has influences from Chinese, Indian, Dutch and other cultures, which periodically have a major influence in the South-East Asia region over the past millennia. Every fabric has a story to tell and a culture to teach.

SAMSUNG CSCUsing each batik fabric, one can tailor into fashionable apparel according to one’s needs. Kiah’s Gallery is retailer of Batik art as well as customizer of batik wear. Their passion to revive the dying batik art propelled them to share with the public, using dedicated craftwork and skillful hands into an fashionable wear one can put on their body.

SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCEvery batik fabric is an delicate piece of art. The fine prints as well as the details of every step can be observed on the fabric itself.

SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCAt Kiah’s Gallery, the owners have prepared many fashion wear based on the batik fabric. Styles similar to Chinese, Arabic, African and modern wear can be found in Kiah’s Gallery. Each batik fabric can be bought from $35 onwards, while each fashion artwear can be had from $100 onwards.

If you are interested to find out more, you can visit Kiah’s Gallery @ 71B Sultan Gate in Kampong Glam. 71 sultan gate

Rare Commercial investment at District 7

A rare #01 shop along Jalan Sultan/North Bridge Road.

Property Details
Use: Shop  Size: 1997 sqft
Tenure: 99 years since 1970
Ceiling Height: 2.7m
Potential uses*: Financial institutions, F&B outlets, Retails Shops, Pubs, Furnishings and design showflats
(* subject to the approval of relevant authorities)

Sale price S$ 4,500,000 with potential 4% with existing lease.

Size: 1,997 sqft (185.53 sqm)  

Brief Description

This prime #01 shopspace is facing the main road of Jalan Sultan. With substantial human traffic during both office hours and off-peak times, it is an ideal location for F&B, finance, design and other high-value businesses.

With waterpoint installed in the premises, the potential is great for this shopspace. Ideal for business operators as well as investors.

TC shop details

Call David King @ 9477-2121 for more details.

Textile Centre

Textile Centre is a commercial property with residences, located at 200, Jalan Sultan in District 07. Textile Centre is primarily used for Retail and Office rental and sale. Textile Centre is within walking distance to Nicoll Highway MRT (CC5) and Lavender MRT (EW11). It is near to several bus stops along North Bridge Road, Jalan Sultan, Victoria Street and Beach Road.

Textile Centre is accessible via Jalan Sultan and North Bridge Road. Car parking options are available in the building as well as the neighbourhood (including Kampong Glam)

Amenities near Textile Centre
Textile Centre is within walking distance to the stretch of eateries and restaurants located at Jalan Sultan and the conservation hub of Kampong Glam.

Textile Centre is within reasonable distance to Shop N Save, Cold Storage, Sheng Siong and I-Tec Supermarkets. It is also close to The Concourse Shopping Mall, Golden Landmark Shopping Complex, Sim Lim Tower, Bugis Point, Fu Lu Shou Complex, Parco Bugis Junction and Albert Complex for an array of amenities such as grocery and retail shopping, banks and more.

The upcoming Sports Hub and the Kallang Riverside are among the new developments that will spice up the neighbourhood in the years to come.

$16.5m price tag for 3 Jalan Besar shophouses

Three adjoining shophouses in Jalan Besar have been put up for sale with a guide price of about $16.5 million.

CBRE, the sole marketing agent, yesterday called for expressions of interest in the double-storey freehold shophouses, each of which has an attic.

The shophouses, with a combined land area of 4,353 sq ft and a total gross floor area of 9,719 sq ft, are in an area zoned for commercial use in the Historic District (Little India) Conservation Area in the 2014 Master Plan, said CBRE.

 CBRE’s associate director of investment properties Sammi Lim said the guide price of $16.5 million for all three shophouses works out to $1,697 per sq ft.

With 14m of street frontage for all three shophouses, they are highly visible in Jalan Besar.

The site is a short walk from Farrer Park MRT station. The upcoming Jalan Besar MRT station will be about 100m away.

Ms Lim said: “Shophouses along Jalan Besar are always tightly held and it is extremely rare for any to be available for sale. For 138 to 142 Jalan Besar, the vendor has been occupying the premises over the past few decades.” She added that there has been “increased interest from the market for such quality shophouse assets on the fringe of the Central Business District for mid- to long-term hold”.

“We term these shophouses as a limited-edition asset in the property market that comes with a distinctive facade, unique charm and rich historical value; and three adjoining shophouses in a row in a centrally located area is an extremely rare opportunity,” said Ms Lim.

An expression of interest sale gives potential buyers a specific period of time to view the properties and to make their offers to purchase by a specified time and date.

Since the property is a commercial one, the expression of interest exercise is open to both locals and foreigners, with no additional buyer’s stamp duty or seller’s stamp duty imposed on the purchase of the property, said CBRE.

The expression of interest exercise will close on Aug 28 at 3 pm.

Four new F&B outlets in Beach Road

Home-grown lifestyle group Massive Collective is set to open four new food and beverage places in a historic building in Beach Road in September.

The prominent nightlife operator will be opening Vatos Urban Tacos, a popular Korean-Mexican restaurant brand originating from South Korea; a cocktail bar named Vanity; a gastropub named The Armoury and a new boutique nightclub. They will be housed in a 13,000 sq ft, two-storey conserved building called South Beach Quarter.

The building was an armoury in colonial days. South Beach Quarter is part of a bigger mixed commercial and residential development called South Beach, a joint venture between City Developments Limited and IOI Group.

South Beach Massive Collection






The development is made up of four historic buildings in Beach Road, with two new towers featuring offices, luxury residences, a designer hotel, retail spaces and an exclusive membership club.

Speaking to Life about the new development, Massive Collective director Phillip Poon, 37, says the group had been exploring opportunities to open a new nightclub and cocktail bar “for quite a while”.

Massive operates nightclub Bang Bang at Pan Pacific Singapore hotel and Empire club lounge at 50 Raffles Place. In March, the group parted ways with another nightlife operator, LifeBrandz. Massive had acted as a consultant for Lifebrandz’s outlets in Clarke Quay since 2013.

However, their “working relationship” ended in March, when LifeBrandz was forced to close down all its food and beverage outlets, including nightspots Fenix Room and Aquanova, after a series of business failures and not being able to pay staff their wages.

Mr Poon calls the partnership “a unique situation” which allowed Massive to develop its portfolio and experience as operators, with the successful opening of boutique club Fenix Room.

He says: “We had a clear expansion plan at that point in time and had tabled an offer to continue to grow LifeBrandz.

“However, we were not able to come to a clear decision and when the opportunity to develop South Beach Quarter came about, we decided to embark on that chapter instead.”

He declines to say how much has been invested in South Beach Quarter. He says talks to bring the Vatos brand to Singapore began about a year ago, adding that the group visited Seoul and “were impressed with what we experienced”.

The Singapore Vatos outpost will be a partnership between Massive Collective and the founders of the taco chain.

Vatos Urban Tacos is influenced by Mexican street tacos in Los Angeles and home-cooked Korean meals, offering dishes such as kimchi fries or tacos with galbi (Korean grilled meat).

Mr Poon says gastropub The Armoury is intended to serve the office crowd in the area, offering items such as breakfast rolls and sandwiches, burgers, alcoholic milkshakes and craft beer.

Heading cocktail bar Vanity will be American bartender Ricky Paiva, who was formerly head barman at Regent Singapore’s Manhattan bar.

Mr Poon says he is unable to reveal details about Vanity, but says the bartender will offer “a multi-sensory cocktail experience” in an intimate setting.

While he remains tight-lipped about the concept of the new nightclub, clubgoers here have been dubbing the place the “new Filter”, referring to the now defunct members-only nightspot at the Gallery Hotel.

Opened in 2010, Filter was one of the hottest nightspots in town and made Massive Collective famous for pioneering the VIP bottle culture in Singapore, where patrons spent thousands of dollars a night on champagne and premium spirits with VIP table service.

The club, a collaboration between Massive Collective and Emerald Hill Group, closed in 2013 when Massive decided to pursue other ventures.

Keeping the club exclusive, Life understands that the new nightspot at South Beach Quarter’s launch will be mentioned only by word-of-mouth and social mobile application Snapchat to the group’s client database.

Acknowledging that South Beach Quarter also marks the first time Massive will be launching F&B concepts on its own – the previous ventures were all in collaboration with other operators.

Mr Poon says: “When we started, we decided to collaborate with key partners as we wanted to focus on our key strengths, which was in marketing and promoting to an exclusive and well-travelled customer database.

“Recently, we have made key strides in developing our back-end operations and we feel that the time now is right to embark on our own.”

Link between Bugis Intercontinental Hotel and Bugis Junction closed

It is the only indoor entrance directly connecting the InterContinental Hotel and Bugis Junction shopping mall and had been accessible to the public for 20 years.

Both the mall and hotel were touted as part of a massive “integrated development” when the Urban Redevelopment Authority sold the land in 1990.

But two months ago, the hotel shut its entrance at the mall to the public, in what it said was a move to protect the safety of its guests.

It installed an electronic lock which only those with key cards can unlock and even posted security staff at the entrance.

This means that those moving between buildings will have to make a 300m detour along North Bridge Road and Middle Road.

“The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance,” said the hotel’s director of marketing communications and public relations, Ms Ee Jin Lim.

She did not comment on whether there was a particular incident or reason for the entrance’s closure.

The hotel, whose lobby is undergoing renovations, said it studied other hotels before implementing the measure. But it did not answer questions on which hotels it had studied or the timing of the move.

Mr Kelvin Chan Teck Heng, the hotel’s senior duty manager, noted that the hotel is private property and said it had discussed the closure of the “back entrance” with Bugis Junction operator CapitaLand.

“Would you open the backyard of your house for the public to walk in and out?” he said.

When contacted, CapitaLand would not say whether it supports the hotel’s move. The mall and hotel share a common basement carpark with another office building.

Ms Ivy Ang, CapitaLand’s general manager at Bugis Junction, said signs will be put up to guide shoppers, who are now unable to get to the basement carpark through the hotel’s mall entrance.

The Straits Times visited other integrated hotel and mall developments like Swissotel The Stamford, Marina Mandarin and Mandarin Oriental hotels and found that they do not restrict access to their lobbies through their mall entrances.

The Pan Pacific Singapore has an electronic lock at its mall entrance, but the lock is used only between 11.30pm and 6.30am.

Reporters observing the InterContinental Hotel’s mall entrance during weekday lunch hours last week saw security staff turning away more than 20 people. Mr Alfie Ang, 32, a digital marketing manager, said: “I was trying to take a short cut through the hotel but now I have to walk a longer distance. I can understand why, because it’s the hotel’s property after all. But it is still a mild inconvenience.”

Turning canals into oases: PUB ABC project

In 2006, national water agency PUB started a progranne to turn Singapore’s drains, canals and reservoirs into recreational areas. PUB has completed 27 projects under its Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme.

Audrey Tan highlights some of these projects.

Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront

The first ABC Waters project officially opened in April 2008. It transformed a 250m stretch of Kallang River between Bendeemer Road and Kolam Ayer Pedestrian Bridge into a city oasis.

Kayaking and dragon boating are a regular feature along this stretch of water.


– Tiled pavements

– Floating Deck: An example of an interactive water feature that allows residents to get closer to the water.

Rochor Canal

One of the three latest ABC Waters projects officially opened by the PUB this year. The 1.1km stretch is the first official waterway improvement in the downtown area.


– Rain Gardens: They not only beautify the area but also act as a filter for rainwater run-off.

– Two pedestrian bridges improve the connectivity between neighbouring developments on both sides of the river.

Kallang River@ Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Unveiled in 2012, this is the flagship project of the ABC Waters programme. Costing about $76 million, work on the 3km-long waterway was done in collaboration with the National Parks Board.


– A concrete canal was turned into a meandering river, complete with gentle slopes and plant-covered banks.

– The river is designed for both dry weather and storms. In dry weather, the river flow will be confined to a narrow stream. But during a storm, the water level rises without flooding the whole park due to the gentle slopes next to the river.