Category Archives: Keppel Bay and Sentosa

District 4

Sentosa Cove Bungalow fetches S$2775 psf

A bungalow in Sentosa Cove fronting the Serapong Golf Course and overlooking the sea, has changed hands for S$23.8 million or S$2,775 per square foot (psf) on the land area of 8,576 square feet.

Located along Lakeshore View, the property is on a site with a balance lease term of 89 years.

The psf price is the highest for a bungalow transaction in Sentosa Cove in the past two years. However, it is shy of the S$2,922 psf and S$2,952 psf that two nearby villas on the same road fetched in June and May 2013 – both prior to the introduction of the total debt servicing ratio (TDSR) framework in late-June that year.

The latest bungalow transacted at Lakeshore View has three and a half levels, including a roof terrace with a jacuzzi. In all, the property has four bedrooms, a theatre room and a swimming pool; the total built-up area is around 10,000 sq ft.

The buyer, a Chinese businesswoman, has lodged a caveat for the property – having been granted an option to purchase the bungalow and exercised it, both last month. The sellers are three siblings from a Hong Kong family, two of whom are British citizens and the third, a Singapore citizen.

Sentosa Cove bungalow at Lakeshore View fetches S$2,775 psf

Over the past two years, from October 2013 to October 2015, villas on Sentosa Cove have sold at between S$1,386 psf and S$2,612 psf, going by URA Realis data.

That said, he highlighted that the discount between the latest transaction and the S$2,900-plus psf for the two nearby villas is a reflection of sellers lowering their price expectations in the face of softening demand due to the property cooling measures.

Mr Tay said that he was confident that there would be a couple more deals by year end. BT understands that, including last month’s Lakeshore View deal, he has brokered the sales of three villas on Cove this year.

The other two are a property at Treasure Island that was sold for S$14.3 million or S$1,706 psf to a Chinese citizen who is a Singapore permanent resident, and a bungalow on Pearl Island sold by the developer, Ximeng Land. The price for the second property, which spans three storeys and basement, with about 8,000 sq ft built-up area, is believed to be S$14-plus million or over S$1,900 psf. The Pearl Island villa purchase was not caveated.

Foreign buyers eyeing villas on Sentosa Cove are mostly Asians, noted Mr Tay. Some Singaporeans are also keen on investing in a villa in the waterfront housing district. “Ultimately, Sentosa Cove is an enclave with only 360-plus bungalows. There is no more land that is to be released on Sentosa Cove for villas.”

While viewing activity by potential buyers in the Cove is higher compared to a year ago, transaction volumes are nowhere near pre-TDSR levels. Inclusive of the Lakeshore View transaction, six bungalows would have changed hands year to date. This is double the three deals for the whole of last year. In 2013, the figure was 18 transactions while that for 2012 was 23.

Back in 2009, there were 36 deals, followed by a record 54 transactions in 2010 before activity began slowing to just 24 deals in 2011 – due to the onset of property cooling measures.

The Interlace condo lauded as ‘trailblazer’

The Interlace condominium in Depot Road has been lauded by the international architectural fraternity as a “trailblazer”, winning the top prize at this year’s World Architecture Festival.

The residential property designed by OMA/Ole Scheeren, featuring 31 blocks of apartments stacked in a hexagonal arrangement, bagged the World Building of the Year title last night at the annual event, considered the Oscars of the architectural world. Festival director Paul Finch said the judges were impressed by its “bold, contemporary architecture and thinking”.

“It offers an alternative for developments that might otherwise be default tower clusters. The judges also think that the approach could generate other possibilities.

“You could use this idea and have different building types or ownership patterns, or change the dimensions of some of the blocks. It’s a proposition which is fertile.”

The Interlace came out tops after live judging yesterday by a “super jury”, led by English architect Peter Cook. The three-day event, which was held at Marina Bay Sands, started on Wednesday.

The 1,040-unit condo by CapitaLand Singapore sits on an 8ha site and was completed in 2013.

Celebrated German architect Ole Scheeren started the project when he was at Rotterdam-based firm OMA, but he left in 2010 and completed the project under his new practice, Buro Ole Scheeren. His projects include Beijing’s iconic China Central Television Headquarters. He is now working on mixed-use development Duo in Beach Road here. It is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Interlace project team had won in the Housing – Completed Buildings category of the festival on Wednesday, beating 13 others, including home-grown firm SCDA Architects, which submitted its SkyTerrace@Dawson, a Housing Board Build-To-Order project.

It then went up against winners of completed buildings in 17 categories – including mammoth projects such as the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu shopping complex and Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha – for the World Building of the Year award. There were 338 projects submitted this year.

This is not the first time Singapore has won the festival’s top accolade. Gardens by the Bay won the title in 2012, when Singapore hosted the festival for the first time.

There are two other Singapore winners at this year’s festival.

Oasis Terraces, an integrated neighbourhood centre and polyclinic in Punggol by joint venture team Serie + Multiply Consultants, won in the Commercial Mixed Use – Future Projects category.

Homefarm, a conceptual proposal for the next generation of urban retirement housing by the Singapore office of Spark Architects, took home the prize in the Experimental – Future Projects category.

The winners were chosen by a jury that included celebrated architects and architecture professionals, such as Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto and Neri&Hu Design and Research Office founding partner Lyndon Neri.

The Interlace win is a bittersweet one for the festival. This is the last time that it will be held here. The festival will move to Berlin, Germany, next year. Before coming to Singapore, it was held in Barcelona, Spain, for four years.

From next year, instead of just one big festival, there will be satellite events in various cities, with more localised content. These have been planned for Dubai in February and London in June.

MRT boon for 3 sleepy parts of Singapore

The areas around three new MRT stations announced last week may be sleepy now, but expect this to change down the track.

Redevelopment potential is ripe near the sites of Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward stations, experts say. The trio will be part of the sixth stage of the Circle Line, to be completed in 2025.

Keppel Station is to be in Keppel Road, near Keppel Distripark and Keppel Terminal; while Cantonment will be integrated with the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Prince Edward will be at one end of Shenton Way, near Palmer Road.

Other than Cantonment’s site, zoned commercial, the other two are zoned as reserve sites under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Masterplan 2014.

This means the URA has much flexibility near the stations, said Ms Christine Li, director of Singapore research at Cushman & Wakefield.

As Cantonment will be an extension of the old railway station, ideas could include an integrated railway mall with a focus on food and beverage. It could also be a venue for cultural and lifestyle events to make use of the historic site, she said.

And, of course, it makes sense to have MRT users living nearby.

This is especially true for the thinly populated Keppel Station area. It is poised to be the gateway to the Southern Waterfront City and so it should see more residential and integrated residential and commercial developments, said Ms Li.

Few commercial projects are in the area, as it is in a comprehensive redevelopment zone – all to be under the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme when Keppel docklands move out, said Mr Alan Cheong, Savills Singapore research head.

So far, no GLS sites on the confirmed or reserve list are near the stations, but some mixed-development sites could be added in GLS programmes, he said.

But given the large supply of office space due from next year to 2018, it will be tough to get bidders excited about large office blocks.

Apart from undeveloped land in the three areas, the Government could slowly release the Marina Bay reclamation sites for development, Ms Li noted.

The new stations also bode well, longer term, for nearby properties.

On the residential side, these include Spottiswoode 18, Spottiswoode Residences, The Beacon and HDB estate Spottiswoode Park near Cantonment Station. 76 Shenton, completed last year, and Lumiere are near Prince Edward Station, noted R’ST Research director Ong Kah Seng.

The closest condos to Keppel Station are The Pearl@Mount Faber and Mount Faber Lodge.

“Sales activity has been quite sluggish in the three areas from last year due to the total debt servicing ratio… The areas are also not typical public housing estates… where there are many upgraders from nearby HDB estates,” Mr Ong said.

Spottiswoode condo prices fell about 5 per cent last year and 3 per cent in the first nine months of this year. Lumiere prices fell 8 per cent last year and about 5 per cent in the first nine months, he estimated.

In the Mount Faber area, prices fell about 7 per cent last year and 5 per cent in the first nine months.

But prices should rise as completion of the stations nears, he noted.

In the Cantonment area, office buildings like Southpoint will be served by two MRT stations – Cantonment and Tanjong Pagar MRT stations. Klapsons The Boutique Hotel will also gain, said Mr Cheong.

Part of Tanjong Pagar rail terminus to make way for MRT station

Parts of the historic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station’s platforms will be making way for the construction of the new underground Cantonment station on the Circle Line.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday it will seek advice from the heritage community on “possible solutions” for the two affected parallel stretches. The railway station was gazetted a national monument in 2011, alongside two 80m stretches of the platforms. The remaining 350m on each side are not part of the gazette.

The Straits Times understands that the authorities met six heritage experts on Tuesday and presented them with three options.

They were: to preserve the old platforms by dismantling, storing and reinstating them; to produce a replica; or to create a “new interpretation” of the railway platforms.

All the experts picked the first option. Singapore Heritage Society (SHS) president Chua Ai Lin said: “It is the only choice if you are serious about preserving history. The platforms must be reinstated as they are crucial in maintaining the railway’s integrity.”

LTA has also engaged Studio Lapis, an architectural conservation specialist consultancy, to assess the heritage significance and condition of the former railway station, and advise on mitigation measures.

Its co-founder, architectural restoration specialist Ho Weng Hin, said the second option is not feasible. It is unlikely that builders can replicate the former station’s reinforced concrete platform structures to the “same level of craftsmanship and proportions”, he said.

The 1932 station, designed by colonial architectural firm Swan and Maclaren, was the southern terminus of the Malaysian KTM railway company’s network for 79 years.

The Cantonment station, slated to be ready by 2025, is one of three new stops for the sixth stage of the Circle Line. The other two stations are Keppel and Prince Edward.

LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said the Cantonment location was selected as it fits in with the overall alignment, will serve existing catchments, and cater to future developments such as the Greater Southern Waterfront. LTA stressed that measures will be taken to sensitively integrate the new station with the railway building.

Experts said locating Cantonment station alongside the old railway complex could provide a sense of historical continuity. To achieve this, heritage enthusiast and naval architect Jerome Lim suggested that the old structure serve as a thoroughfare for future commuters.

But the authorities have yet to decide if the former railway will be accessible to the public when the new station is ready. The Tanjong Pagar Railway property, managed by the Singapore Land Authority, is now usually open on public holidays.

Experts also raised the question of why the platforms were not fully preserved in the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) gazette.

Heritage law expert Kevin Tan said: “Without its platforms, the railway station will lose its sense of coherence. It would be like a head without its body.”

In a joint reply, NHB and the Urban Redevelopment Authority said the critical parts adjoining the former railway station building were gazetted as part of the national monument. They said the rest of the platforms were not gazetted to provide the flexibility for future developments in the area to be designed and integrated meaningfully with the national monument.

They said: “We did not foresee it at the point of gazette, but this flexibility has facilitated plans to incorporate the new MRT station at the site, which will be critical to the former railway station’s future success as a community node.”

SHS exco member Yeo Kang Shua said the construction of the Prince Edward station, located in the heart of the historic Tanjong Malang, presents an opportunity for an archaeological impact assessment. “There should be an investigation into the first few metres of earth where the cultural layer lies.”

3 New MRT Stations make the Circle Line a full circle in 2025

SINGAPORE: Three more train stations – Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward – will be added to the Circle Line (CCL) by 2025, closing the loop for the orbital line.

These stations will be located along a 4-kilometre stretch connecting the existing CCL HarbourFront station to Marina Bay station. With this extension, the Circle Line will span 33 stations strung out over 40km of tracks.

Announcing the finalised alignment and stations during a visit to the Tuas West Extension on Thurdsay (Oct 29), Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng said that by the time the line is fully completed, more than a third of stations – 12 out of 33 – will be interchanges.

The orbital line will improve connectivity so that commuters can transfer between lines without entering the city centre and reach their destinations more quickly, he added.

Said Mr Ng: “Besides making transfers to other lines much more convenient, CCL6 will support direct East-West travel, enhancing overall connectivity between areas such as Paya Lebar and Mountbatten, and areas such as Pasir Panjang, Kent Ridge and Harbourfront. More importantly, commuters will also enjoy a direct route to the CBD and the Marina Bay area.”

Commuters will have a direct route between areas in the west like Pasir Panjang and Kent Ridge, and key employment areas in the Central Business District.

How Circle Line 6 will integrate with the other existing lines when it is completed.

The extension will also lead to time savings. For example, a commuter will take 35 minutes to travel from West Coast and Indoor Stadium, compared to 45 minutes currently.

Keppel station will be located along Keppel Road. “Keppel station will enjoy a unique landscape theme, in line with our vision of Singapore that is City in a Garden,” said Mr Ng. “It will have an undulating green roof with tree-like columns in a natural setting. There will also be an underground bicycle park which will allow cyclists direct access to the concourse.”

Artist’s impression of the entrance and concourse of the upcoming Keppel MRT station.

Cantonment station will be built in the vicinity of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, with its design inspired by the old train station.

The heritage building, which has been designated as a National Monument, will not be affected, the Land Transport Authority said. However, parts of the former railway station’s platform will need to be removed for the new underground Cantonment station.

LTA is looking at several options, which include dismantling and then reinstating the old platform, or creating a replica of the old platform.

Artist’s impression of the platform of the upcoming Cantonment MRT station.

Prince Edward station will be located near Bestway Building, Hock Teck See Temple and Haji Muhammad Salleh mosque. These buildings will not be affected by construction works, said LTA.

It added that while all efforts have been made to minimise land acquisition, four part lots of private land consisting of open areas, grass verges, container stacking lots and driveways will be acquired. LTA said as these lots will only be partially affected, the landowners will be able to remain in their current premises.

Artist’s impression of the entrances and concourse of the upcoming Prince Edward MRT station.

Separately, the Circle Line’s Kim Chuan Depot will also be expanded by 2025 to cater to future needs. Its capacity will be almost doubled – from 70 to 133 trains. The integrated depot will also house 550 buses.

As for the Tuas West Extension, which will have four new stations, LTA says it is on track to open by the end of 2016.

Singapore Private Propertys fall 3.2% for second quarter

Singapore recorded the second-biggest year-on-year drop in private property prices in Asia for the second quarter, according to an index out yesterday.

It noted that apartment prices fell 3.2 per cent in the three months to June 30 over the same period a year earlier. China was the only Asian country to fare worse, with values there dropping 5.7 per cent in the same period.

Overall, Singapore had the eighth biggest price decline among 56 global residential markets tracked by the Knight Frank Global House Price Index. Ms Alice Tan, director and head of consultancy and research at Knight Frank, said yesterday: “Prospective buyers remain cautious against the backdrop of existing cooling measures and… anticipate further price correction.”

More falls in prices and rents are expected due to a range of factors, including more completed homes hitting the market, impending interest rate hikes and a faltering economy, both here and overseas, she added.

The Knight Frank Global House Price Index – which is compiled quarterly with official statistics where available and weighted by gross domestic product (GDP) – posted a marginal 0.1 per cent growth. It was the weakest growth rate since the final quarter of 2011.

Among the 56 housing markets tracked, 27 per cent recorded an annual decline in prices, said Knight Frank. “Lingering concerns over the euro zone economy, jitters in global stock markets and discussions of when, not if, a rate rise in the United States occurs are impinging on growth,” the property consultancy said in a statement.

Hong Kong topped the table with a 20.7 per cent year-on-year price growth, thanks to increasing liquidity and the flow of wealthy Chinese investors into its sector.

Dubai was at the bottom of the index, with prices weakening 12.2 per cent year-on-year due to weaker demand, a strong US dollar and ongoing cooling measures.

Knight Frank noted that the housing markets in China and the US – two countries which together account for about 33 per cent of global GDP – are on divergent paths.

Mainstream prices in China are down an average of 6.2 per cent from the start of last year, while those in the US are up 7.6 per cent.

Singapore Heritage tour of Gillman Barracks launched

A new history and heritage tour of the Gillman Barracks was launched on Saturday (May 2), in conjunction with Singapore HeritageFest 2015.

The conserved colonial barracks is currently home to the visual arts community.

Members of the public can go to to register for the free hour-long tour, where museum volunteers will share many interesting facts about Gillman Barracks.

The tours will take place on May 2-3 and May 9-10. Subsequent tours will be held once a month from June.

The tour is in addition to the weekly Art and History tour at Gillman Barracks.