Tag Archives: Tanjong Pagar

Super Penthouse in Singapore for S$100M

Who will be buying the most expensive apartment or “bungalow in the sky” in Singapore? The asking price for a new three-storey Singapore penthouse, complete with a private pool on the 64th floor, has reached more than $100 million. This amount of money can well easily buy one a few good-class bungalows (GCBs) in District 9/10.

The Wallich Residence’s penthouse is in the tallest building in Singapore, the island of well-heeled stability that attracts the super-rich from its less-developed South-east Asian neighbours, as well as multi-millionaires from mainland China.

It will test the endurance of demand for luxury property in the city-state – the part of the market that has taken the biggest hit from measures aimed at cooling down prices in recent years.

Prices for luxury homes in Singapore have fallen 15-20 % from a 2013 peak. However the recent events has cause optimism among market insiders to foresee a turnaround – at least at the top end of the market – and is forecasting a 3-5 % increase in luxury prices this year, citing demand from both locals and foreigners who feel the market is bottoming out.

The volume of transactions in the first four months of the year in Singapore’s core central region was 35% higher than in the same period last year. The Core Central Region includes the popular areas among wealthy foreigners — the Orchard Road shopping area and Sentosa island.

Buying by foreigners has picked up since the start of the year at the developer’s high-end Leedon Residence project, near the 150-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens. GuocoLand is part of Malaysian conglomerate Hong Leong Group, headed by billionaire Quek Leng Chan.

The recent tightening of property market controls in places like Hong Kong and Australia played a part in attracting foreign demand to Singapore’s luxury property this year. While prices in Hong Kong tripled and Sydney’s doubled over the past decade, Singapore prices rose just 29 %.

City Developments (CDL), one of the largest Singapore developers, also said the average sales price at its high-end Gramercy Park project has risen to more than $2,800 per sq ft in recent months, up 8 % from a year ago, and foreign buyers accounted for three-quarters of the project so far.

One may note though that the Singapore’s residential market has fallen for 15 straight quarters to log its longest losing streak since official records began in 1975. Analysts expect a bottoming of prices in the year 2017.

Singapore introduced property price cooling measures to curb speculation for the past 7 years. Some measures were relaxed slightly this year but the authorities announced that there would be no more rolling back of the remaining measures for now.

More information of the Penthouse can be found at the following link.

Click to access Wallich_PentHse.pdf

Good Take-up at Guoco Tower space

TECH and media companies are making their presence felt at Guoco Tower in Tanjong Pagar, accounting for 37 per cent of the space that has already been committed.

The premium Grade A office component of Tanjong Pagar Centre, a mixed-development project being built by the listed GuocoLand group, has 890,000 sq ft net lettable area of which 80 per cent or some 712,000 sq ft is either taken up or subject of advanced leasing discussions. Of this space, approximately 263,000 sq ft has been committed by tech and media companies, including Amadeus and OpenLink.

Earlier media reports also tipped Agoda, Dentsu Aegis Network, Palo Alto Networks, ING, Itochu Singapore, and SAS Singapore as heading for Guoco Tower. Dentsu Aegis is expected to be the biggest tenant with about 100,000 sq ft.

GuocoLand has also named as new tenants The Straits Trading Company, which will be moving out of 9 Battery Road; Danone, which is exiting Goldbell Towers along Scotts Road; shoemaker Asics, which will be leaving PWC Building; and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which is exiting three locations.

The offices, which received Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) last month, are on the lower 38 levels of the 64-storey tower, which is Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres. Levels 39 and upwards of this tower comprise the 181-unit Wallich Residence. A second tower houses the 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Both of these components are expected to receive TOP between late this year and early 2017. The project also has a retail component, part of which has already received TOP.

Guoco Tower is counting on its prime location, flexible, efficient and scalable design, Tanjong Pagar Centre’s tightly integrated retail and lifestyle components, and of course, the prestige factor of being in Singapore’s tallest building as its selling points.

Most of the MNCs in Guoco Tower will be using it as their regional headquarters with average headcounts of 300 to 500 persons, coupled with relocations of many of their senior management staff from their other headquarters or regional offices to Singapore.

This would create a lot of demand for F&B, services, hotels and even housing in the area and catalyse Tanjong Pagar’s transformation. The gross effective monthly rents at Guoco Tower are estimated to be between S$8.50 and S$11.00 per square foot – comfortably above the average of S$7 to S$8 psf in the Tanjong Pagar office micromarket, and comparable to other premium Grade A developments in Marina Bay.

 

Possible conservation for old Singapore Poly home

A 1958 modernist building in Tanjong Pagar that used to house Singapore’s first school of architecture could be safe from the wrecking ball.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) told The Straits Times that the Bestway Building near Shenton Way – the former site of Singapore Polytechnic – is “being studied for conservation”.

Their response comes after design professional Liu Zhenghao, who works in the building, wrote to the ST Forum this week expressing concern that it would be demolished. Mr Liu, 32, said his office was served an eviction notice, and that he had seen workers conducting soil tests nearby.

The URA and SLA said Bestway Properties, the building’s master tenant, was informed last year that its lease will not be extended after it expires on Nov 30 this year.

The building, which will be returned to the State, sits on land zoned as a reserve site under the URA’s Master Plan 2014. That means that the land parcel’s specific use has yet to be determined.

Architects and heritage experts have been calling for the building, designed by colonial architecture firm Swan and Maclaren, to be conserved for some time now.

Meanwhile, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be working in the area from the first quarter of next year to relocate the existing Shenton Way Bus Terminal along Keppel Road to a plot of land near the Bestway Building.

The new bus terminal will be ready in 2017, and have additional facilities such as a canteen and passenger service centre.

An LTA spokesman said a single- storey structure within the Bestway compound will be demolished “to facilitate the relocation”. But the building will not be affected by the relocation of the bus terminal.

Immediate past president of the Singapore Institute of Architects Theodore Chan said the Bestway Building represents a key milestone in Singapore’s education history. “It was Singapore’s first architecture school and also an outstanding piece of architecture. It can easily be adapted and assimilated into new developments in the area.”

The heritage community has also called for the authorities to provide more certainty on the fate of other nearby historic structures.

These include the Keramat Habib Noh shrine and Haji Mohd Salleh Mosque; the Fook Tet Soo Khek Temple – one of the oldest Hakka institutions in Singapore; the remnants of a Parsi burial site from 1828; and part of a former fort on Mount Palmer.

The shipping terminals nearby will be developed into the Greater Southern Waterfront in future.

Singapore Heritage Society’s honorary secretary Yeo Kang Shua believes there should be “transparent consultations on what the plans are for the area”.

He said: “Impact assessments should be conducted to be clear on the heritage significance of the site, to establish the sort of heritage mitigation that will need to be carried out. Nobody seems to know the future of the building and the site.”

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/old-spore-poly-home-may-be-conserved

URA calls for proposals for Rail Corridor

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Mar 18) launched a request for proposals from design professionals to develop a Concept Master Plan and concept proposals for Singapore’s Rail Corridor.

Over the past three-and-a-half years, URA has been engaging different segments of the community to gather feedback on the 24-km long Rail Corridor spanning the north to south of Singapore. These have been distilled into a set of planning and design goals.

URA said in a news release that the proposals should have “nature and greenery, celebration of heritage, and connectivity as hallmarks of the Rail Corridor experience”. The proposals should also be sensitive to local context, the authority said.

“Retaining and enriching the signature ‘green corridor’ experience is also one of the key requirements,” URA added.

Mr Ng Lang, CEO of the URA, said:”Our intention is to continue to sensitively stage the development of this project with the community, and not rush into developing the whole stretch at one go.”

Participating teams have to propose designs for four key activity nodes and two special interest areas along the Rail Corridor:

  • Buona Vista near one-north: This should become a vibrant community space for the nearby business park and research community, as well as residents of Queenstown neighbourhood, said URA.
  • Bukit Timah Railway Station area: The green heart of the Rail Corridor should be complementary to its idyllic natural setting anchored by the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station. This is where occasional community events can be held, URA said. At most other times, it can be a place of retreat and where one can enjoy the serene, green landscape.
  • Former Bukit Timah Fire Station: The former Bukit Timah Fire Station and quarters will become a new gateway into the Rail Corridor, URA said. Buildings within the fire station site should be retained and a new pedestrian link should be provided for visitors to explore parks fringing the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve such as Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Batok Nature Park. There could also be linkage to nearby heritage sites such as the Old Ford Factory and site of the Battle of Bukit Timah, which are steeped in World War II history, URA said.
  • Kranji (opposite Kranji MRT station): This is envisioned this to become the northern gateway into the Rail Corridor, and could be a place for community events. Its design should complement and be sensitive to key landmarks in the area such as the Singapore Turf Club, Kranji War Memorial, and Mandai Mangroves, URA stated.
  • Adaptive reuse of the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station: This national monument should become the most prominent and important gateway into the Rail Corridor, said URA. Participating teams should consider how the railway station can be put to adaptive reuse as a community building for the next 20 years, pending the development of the Greater Southern Waterfront.
  • Urban-green-blue tapestry at Choa Chu Kang: The stretch of the Rail Corridor at Choa Chu Kang that is adjacent to the Sungei Pang Sua Canal provides an opportunity to weave a unique urban-green-blue tapestry in the precinct, said URA. Currently, that stretch has low plant biodiversity. Participating teams will need to come up with innovative design concepts to enhance and integrate that segment of the Rail Corridor with Sungei Pang Sua to create an ecologically richer and more vibrant natural environment, and merge it seamlessly with future housing design in the area.

URA said there will be a 2-stage tender selection process and successful teams of consultants will be announced in October. More information can be found at URA’s website.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ura-calls-for-proposals/1724240.html

Hub Synergy Point now under Single ownership

Over the weekend, it was reported that the Ho family of Keck Seng group had gained full ownership of the 28-storey freehold office building at Anson Road after it bought the top three florrs for almost $30M in all. The building previously known as Apex Tower, Tunas building and completed in 1973 is situated at Enggor Street/Anson Road and opposite M Hotel Singapore. In a separate deal, the 13th floor of 6 Raffles Quay (known as John Hancock Tower formerly) was sold for $23,8M ($2350psf) on 10,129 sqft. The buyer is a vehicle of Royal Group boss Asok Kumar.

Anson Road building

Central Area Masterplan

A video that summarises the development plans for the Central Area of Singapore!

GB Building floors for sale

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/singapore/three-gb-building-office-floors-sale-20140722

ABOUT 16,000 square feet of office space spanning three contiguous floors in GB Building in the Central Business District (CBD) have been put on the market for between S$32.1 million and S$33.7 million, or between $2,000 and $2,100 per square foot.

Each floor of the space, occupying the 20th to 22nd storeys of the Cecil Street building, ranges from 5,210 sq ft to 5,425 sq ft in size, is rectangular and column-free.

DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) is marketing the property, which is being sold with vacant possession.

GB Building comprises a 23-storey office tower atop three storeys of commercial space and has 67 years left on its lease.

It has three levels of basement carpark lots and is within walking distance of Tanjong Pagar MRT station on the East-West Line and the upcoming Shenton Way MRT station on the Thomson Line.

DTZ investment advisory services director Tan Chun Ming said that the property was a “rare opportunity” for owner-occupiers.

Given that the space is strata-titled, he expects keen interest from a range of investors looking to capitalise on the rising rental rates in the CBD.

A DTZ report has noted that average gross monthly rents in Marina Bay rose 6.5 per cent to S$12.25 psf in the second quarter from the first.

But average gross monthly rents for Shenton Way, Robinson Road and Cecil Street – older areas of the CBD – had stagnated at S$8 per sq ft.

Average office prices in those three areas inched up 0.2 per cent in Q2 from the previous quarter, supported by continued interest in strata-titled office units and en bloc office deals, as further rental increases are expected, said the report.

Based on caveats information from URA Realis, the top three strata floors of SBF Centre on Robinson Road, were transacted at an average price of S$3,069 psf in April. Last November, one strata floor at Eon Shenton on Shenton Way went at S$2,550 psf.

The expression of interest exercise for the GB Building space closes on Aug 21. Interested parties may submit bids for single or multiple floors.

FIVE adjoining shophouse properties at Club Street on sale for $22 million.

http://www.btinvest.com.sg/property/local/22m-asking-price-five-shophouses-club-street-20140703/

FIVE adjoining shophouse properties at Club Street have been put on the market with an asking price of $22 million.

BT Club Street Shophouse

They comprise Nos 1, 3 and 5 Club Street, which are three storeys high and have an attic, and Nos 7 and 9, which are two storeys high. All five have balance land tenure of about 80 years.

The properties are being marketed jointly by JLL and Historical Land Pte Ltd. The latter is a boutique property agency specialising in shophouses.

The five shophouses are being offered as a package. Nos 1, 3 and 5 are owned by Citystate Properties while Nos 7 and 9 are owned by Dr Ling Ai Ee, who is also one of the shareholders of Citystate Properties.

The $22 million asking price translates to $3,230 per square foot on floor area of about 6,800 sq ft. The shophouses are currently leased, with insurance company EQ occupying the ground level. The upper levels are leased out as residences.

A strong attraction of the properties is that they are part of a stretch of Club Street and Gemmill Lane that was recently rezoned to commercial use under Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2014. The stretch involved was previously zoned as “residential with first-storey commercial”.

In a circular issued on June 10 this year, URA said the zoning change is consistent with the commercial zoning for the rest of the shophouses along Club Street.

Historical Land director Simon Monteiro said: “With full commercial zoning, this means foreigners are now eligible to buy these shophouses.”

Foreigners require the approval of the Land Dealings (Approval) Unit of the Singapore Land Authority before they may purchase an entire shophouse on a site zoned for residential use, although they may buy a unit within a strata-subdivided shophouse building on residential-zoned land.

“In addition to offering prime frontage at the Club Street/Cross Street corner, a stone’s throw from the Telok Ayer MRT Station on the Downtown Line, these five shophouses make up a rare island-site in the popular Club Street locale which is steeped in history,” added Mr Monteiro.

Club Street was the last part of Chinatown to be developed, beginning in the early 1890s, according to architecture historian Julian Davison, who traced the provenance of the five properties for Historical Land.

The five shophouses on offer comprise two separate developments: Nos 7 and 9, which were most likely built in the late 19th century, and Nos 1, 3 and 5, which were built by business magnate Ezekiel Saleh Manasseh in 1924-1925.

A leading businessman and property developer in Singapore at the time, Mr Manasseh commissioned the architectural firm of Westerhout & Oman to build the shophouses that currently stand at Nos 1, 3 and 5 Club Street. The principal feature of the front facade is the central airwell. There is also a cantilevered balcony halfway up as well as a star-shaped pediment on top, intended to recall the Jewish Star of David, writes Dr Davison.

During World War II, Mr Manasseh was interned by the Japanese and died in 1944.

At a URA tender in August 1995, Citystate Management Consultants clinched Nos 1, 3 and 5 Club Street for $3.01 million while L&B Engineering picked up Nos 7 and 9 at $2.064 million. The properties were sold on 99-year leasehold tenure and with the requirement that successful tenderers had to restore them.

While activity-generating uses such as food and beverage outlets, and shops are allowed on the street level, URA in its June 10 circular stated that the shophouse owners and tenants are encouraged to use the upper storeys for residential or institutional use. Office use will be the only commercial use allowed on upper levels, as this is less likely to cause disturbance to the residents of the nearby Emerald Gardens.

Everton Park: Quirky meets Quaint

The Everton Park residential district is shedding its sleepy image. In recent years, hipster joints have popped up in the ageing Housing Board estate in Outram. Older stalwarts in the neighbourhood include pre-war Peranakan shophouses and the conserved building of an old Methodist school. Life!Weekend tells you the nooks and corners to check out.

1 Strangers’ Reunion
Start your morning right with an intricate cup of coffee at this 80-seater cafe, which opened in March 2012.

It is not just hearts and palm trees dotted on your java. Here, latte art is serious business: rosettas, multi-layered tulips, flaming hearts and spiders on your coffee ($3.50-$5.50).

Owner Ryan Tan, 28, began his love affair with coffee while working at coffee houses in Melbourne, when he was studying economics and finance as an undergraduate in the city.

He is also Singapore’s current barista champion.

Where: 33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road
Open: 9am to 10pm daily, till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Tuesdays
Info: Call 6222-4869

2 Guan Antique
Step into this treasure trove crammed with thousands of Peranakan antiques.Step into this treasure trove crammed with thousands of Peranakan antiques.

Owner Ng Ah Choon, 57, has been running the store since 1989, a step up from collecting used items in his house and selling them to antique shops.

The goods, he says, came mostly from the upheaval in the Bugis and Bukit Timah areas in the 1970s, as residents and shopkeepers resettled elsewhere and threw away their belongings. He has loaned antiques to the set of popular home-grown television drama The Little Nyonya (2008).

One man’s junk is clearly another’s treasure: His shop is stuffed with dusty display cabinets chock-full of Straits Chinese beaded slippers and nonya ware such as kamcheng (a type of container used for storing and serving food), tea sets and trays.

Stowed away by the side are several ting kong lanterns, usually hung prominently above door plaques in worship to the Taoist deity Jade Emperor. There are also intricately carved religious figurines such as those of Bodhisattva Guanyin, also known as the Goddess of Mercy, and Taoist deity Ji Gong, an irreverent monk with a magic fan known for helping the people in need. Prices range from $5 for a cup to “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for furniture and Nonya porcelain, he says. Prices are negotiable. “Young people now like to collect old things,”says Mr Ng.

Where: 31 Kampong Bahru Road
Open: 11am to 7pm daily
Info: Call 6226-2281

3 NUS Baba House and 147 Neil Road
This pre-war shophouse turned museum was once the ancestral home of a Straits Chinese family. It tells the story of Peranakan culture through a domestic space, including the furnishings, household items and decor.

Nearby, house number 147 was the home of Lee Hoon Leong, the grandfather of Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee lived in the house for a few years with his grandfather and parents.

The back lanes of Blair, Everton and Spottiswoode Park roads form a web of more Peranakan shophouses.

See if you can spot motifs of birds, peacocks and flowers, which are traditional symbols of fertility, amid the door frames, arches and floor tiles outside the lovely homes.

Chinese stone lions, a male and a female, can also be seen in front of some doors. The male lion is usually on the left with his right paw resting on a ball, and the female on the right with her left paw fondling a cub. These are believed to ward off evil spirits.

4 Old St Matthew’s Church and the former Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School
The Neil Road area was a nutmeg plantation till the late 1850s. It had its name changed in March 1858 from Salat Road, meaning straits in Malay, to honour one of the British heroes in the 1857 Indian Mutiny.

The church was built for the use of British seamen and prison wardens living in nearby Outram Road.

Close by, the former campus of Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School stands apart from the rest of the buildings in the vicinity with its classic whitewashed Victorian architecture, including high arches and timber framed doors.

The school was started in 1888 in Cross Street by Australian missionary Sophia Blackmore. It moved to its Neil Road location in 1913. In 1983, the school moved to Dover Road. The Home Team Career Centre now resides in the Neil Road building.

5 The Provision Shop
Stop for lunch at The Provision Shop, a 30-seat joint that screams retro chic with its distressed tables and stools, filament lamps, a toilet door salvaged from Tiong Bahru heritage wonton mee shop Hua Bee and even a used Milo tin hanging overhead, a la the dried sundry stores of old.

It is part of the Unlisted Collection stable of boutique hotels and eateries founded by hotelier Loh Lik Peng.

Head chef Anthony Yeoh (right), 32, who is also behind the group’s Cocotte restaurant at Wanderlust hotel in Little India, does a hearty Reuben sandwich crammed with corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese. Another must-try is the Belinda’s Perogis, traditional Polish dumpling stuffed with mashed potatoes and ricotta cheese.

Round off your meal with Maldon sea salt vanilla or blackforest ice cream.

Prices range between $2.50 and $18.

Where: 3 Everton Park, 01-79
Open: 11am to 9pm daily, 9am to 6pm on Sundays
Info: Call 6225-9931

6 Grin Affair
This tiny three-year-old nook does pretty dessert layers in jars.

Owner Leslie Ang, 27, who runs the shop with his younger sister Jody, 23, started the shop in the area because of fond memories of the Everton Park estate – they have been visiting their 80-year-old grandmother there since they were children.

Try the siblings’ creations, such as Caramel ($6), a caramel mousse with baked crust and vanilla; Banoffee ($6), made of banana slices on coffee cake, with baked crust and pecans; and

the Lychee Passion ($6.50), a lychee mousse with passion fruit puree on vanilla cake, topped with sea salt pistachio.

Where: 3 Everton Park, 01-77A
Open: Noon to 8pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays, noon to 6pm, Sundays and public holidays
Info: Call 8222-2678. Delivery to downtown locations is free

7 The Audacious Cakery and Ji Xiang Confectionery
Stop by The Audacious Cakery, a 700 sq ft deli opened by Ms Sharryl Charmaine Ng, 36, a former market research director, and bring home a goodie bag of sweets.

She set up her shop in the Everton Park estate, poohpoohing other locations such as Waterloo Street and Upper East Coast Road, in favour of the area’s rent – about $3,000 a month, which she feels is still affordable – and vibe of old and new.

Try her cupcakes in various flavours such as lemon raspberry, Irish cream, matcha and strawberry daiquiri from $3.50 each.

The Audacious Cakery
Where: 2 Everton Park, 01-61
When: 10am to 7pm daily, closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6223-3047

If you are looking for something a little more old school, head to Ji Xiang Confectionery, which sells ang ku kueh (red glutinous rice cake) in flavours such as yam, peanut, salty and sweet bean, coconut and sweet corn for 70 cents each.

Mrs Toh Bong Yeo, 61, has been selling the pastry, moulded to resemble a tortoise shell as a symbol of longevity, since 1988 – after years of experimenting in her kitchen and having house guests compliment her on her creations.

The influx of hipster joints does not faze her, she says. “They do modern cakes, we do traditional cakes – we are totally different and it does not clash at all.”

Ji Xiang Confectionery
Where: 1 Everton Park, 01-33
When: 9am to 5pm daily, closed on Sundays
Info: Call 6223-163

8 Kian Tat Hang
Stop for a drink and chat with Mr Tan Kian Tong, a friendly neighbourhood old-timer who owns Kian Tat Hang, a 30-year-old provision store.

Mr Tan, 79, used to sell ice cream for 20 cents a pop to schoolgirls attending the nearby Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School. Today, he stocks just about 10 items on two shelves in his 1,300 sq ft space – mostly soft drinks, tinned food and packets of sugar.

Customers are few, he says, usually passers-by looking to buy a drink, but he does not intend to fill up his shop with more stock.

As a result of the buzz in the area, he has received offers to sell or rent out his space. But his answer is no.

“Before, no one wanted to come to this area, but now, the landscape here has changed and become more popular,” he says.

Where: 2 Everton Park 01-47
Info: Call 6222-7930

 

9 Pinnacle@Duxton
Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the 50th storey of the Pinnacle@Duxton from a skybridge.

The five-year-old complex lies on the land where the first two Housing Board blocks in the area were built. It is the first 50-storey public housing project in Singapore, with more than 1,800 apartments in seven blocks.

Where: 1 Cantonment Road
Open: The skybridge is open from 9am to 10pm daily Admission: $5
Info: Go to http://www.pinnacleduxton.com.sg/skybridge_public.php. Only 200 members of the public can access the skybridge daily

10 Jotter Book
If you see vintage bicycles perched prettily outside some of the shops in the estate, they belong to this store.

Jotter Book, opened by Mr Clive Chow, 43, in July last year, carries Papillionaire bikes, a cult brand from Australia. Other shopkeepers help to display the bikes to add to the hipster feel of the estate and to give his store “free marketing”, he says.

His shop is well placed to attract residents, students and corporate types for its “almost there” proximity to the Central Business District, he says.

“On Saturdays, lots of cafegoers come to the area and it is nice to catch them in a relaxed mood,” he adds. The bikes cost between $962 and $1,020 each.

Where: 5 Everton Park, 01-22
Open: 11am to 7pm daily, closed on Sundays
Info: Call 9730-80

11 The Redundant Shop
This two-month-old shop stocks stylish “junk” – things you do not need but want to have, says Mr Watson Lee, 44, who runs the shop. He is alsobehind The Redundant Magazine, which started the store after readers asked where they could find the stuff they read about.

The 1,000 sq ft store carries local labels such as Ang Ku Kueh Girl, MandyT Skincare and oonHung, as well as KibiSi from Denmark and Geneva Sound from Switzerland. It curates products based on six categories: architectural, design, gadgets, rides, culture and style.

Prices range from $3.50 for a greeting card to about $2,000 for an electric scooter. Check out its weekend craft workshops on making origami cards, silk screen printing and making leather wallets, among other things.

Mr Lee is part of a community of Everton Park shopkeepers who are banding together to market the housing estate as a place to visit and they have plans to run a Facebook page and a guidebook to the area.

Where: 5 Everton Park, 01-22A
Open: 11am to 8pm daily, closed on Mondays
Info: Call 6707-2005 or go to http://www.redundantshop.com.sg

– See more at: http://www.soshiok.com/content/quirky-meets-quaint/page/0/2#sthash.KNBA1hvr.dpuf

The Everton Park residential district is shedding its sleepy image. In recent years, hipster joints have popped up in the ageing Housing Board estate in Outram. Older stalwarts in the neighbourhood include pre-war Peranakan shophouses and the conserved building of an old Methodist school. Life!Weekend tells you the nooks and corners to check out.

1 Strangers’ Reunion
Start your morning right with an intricate cup of coffee at this 80-seater cafe, which opened in March 2012.

It is not just hearts and palm trees dotted on your java. Here, latte art is serious business: rosettas, multi-layered tulips, flaming hearts and spiders on your coffee ($3.50-$5.50).

Owner Ryan Tan, 28, began his love affair with coffee while working at coffee houses in Melbourne, when he was studying economics and finance as an undergraduate in the city.

He is also Singapore’s current barista champion.

Where: 33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road
Open: 9am to 10pm daily, till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, closed on Tuesdays
Info: Call 6222-4869

2 Guan Antique
Step into this treasure trove crammed with thousands of Peranakan antiques.Step into this treasure trove crammed with thousands of Peranakan antiques.

Owner Ng Ah Choon, 57, has been running the store since 1989, a step up from collecting used items in his house and selling them to antique shops.

The goods, he says, came mostly from the upheaval in the Bugis and Bukit Timah areas in the 1970s, as residents and shopkeepers resettled elsewhere and threw away their belongings. He has loaned antiques to the set of popular home-grown television drama The Little Nyonya (2008).

One man’s junk is clearly another’s treasure: His shop is stuffed with dusty display cabinets chock-full of Straits Chinese beaded slippers and nonya ware such as kamcheng (a type of container used for storing and serving food), tea sets and trays.

Stowed away by the side are several ting kong lanterns, usually hung prominently above door plaques in worship to the Taoist deity Jade Emperor. There are also intricately carved religious figurines such as those of Bodhisattva Guanyin, also known as the Goddess of Mercy, and Taoist deity Ji Gong, an irreverent monk with a magic fan known for helping the people in need. Prices range from $5 for a cup to “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for furniture and Nonya porcelain, he says. Prices are negotiable. “Young people now like to collect old things,”says Mr Ng.

Where: 31 Kampong Bahru Road
Open: 11am to 7pm daily
Info: Call 6226-2281

3 NUS Baba House and 147 Neil Road
This pre-war shophouse turned museum was once the ancestral home of a Straits Chinese family. It tells the story of Peranakan culture through a domestic space, including the furnishings, household items and decor.

Nearby, house number 147 was the home of Lee Hoon Leong, the grandfather of Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Lee lived in the house for a few years with his grandfather and parents.

The back lanes of Blair, Everton and Spottiswoode Park roads form a web of more Peranakan shophouses.

See if you can spot motifs of birds, peacocks and flowers, which are traditional symbols of fertility, amid the door frames, arches and floor tiles outside the lovely homes.

Chinese stone lions, a male and a female, can also be seen in front of some doors. The male lion is usually on the left with his right paw resting on a ball, and the female on the right with her left paw fondling a cub. These are believed to ward off evil spirits.

4 Old St Matthew’s Church and the former Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School
The Neil Road area was a nutmeg plantation till the late 1850s. It had its name changed in March 1858 from Salat Road, meaning straits in Malay, to honour one of the British heroes in the 1857 Indian Mutiny.

The church was built for the use of British seamen and prison wardens living in nearby Outram Road.

Close by, the former campus of Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School stands apart from the rest of the buildings in the vicinity with its classic whitewashed Victorian architecture, including high arches and timber framed doors.

The school was started in 1888 in Cross Street by Australian missionary Sophia Blackmore. It moved to its Neil Road location in 1913. In 1983, the school moved to Dover Road. The Home Team Career Centre now resides in the Neil Road building.

– See more at: http://www.soshiok.com/content/quirky-meets-quaint#sthash.DCdTdIQG.dpuf

Enter Everton Park: hipster enclave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nestled in a neighbourhood near the Central Business District is an area quietly becoming the next hipster enclave.

In the past few years, the Everton Park Housing Board estate has become home to coffee joints, cake shops and independent furnishing shops which have set up at its void decks.

Many have been drawn to the peaceful 50-year-old estate as it boasts rents up to a third lower than trendy areas nearby such as Tiong Bahru, Duxton and Ann Siang Hill.

The cluster of seven blocks off Neil Road is a short drive from the city, and young working adults are the main customers at its food and beverage spots such as Nylon Coffee Roasters, the Batterworks bakery and gourmet deli The Provision Shop.

One of the newest additions, which opened three weeks ago, is The Redundant Shop.

It sells a range of lifestyle products from vintage-style bicycles to stationery and bags.

Owner Watson Lee, 43, said: “Everton Park is a good area as it attracts working adults who come here for coffee and people who appreciate independent brands.”

Some business owners in the area are reluctant to label it “the new Tiong Bahru”, not least because of the effect it might have on rental prices.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said that Everton Park’s rents are likely to go up gradually, but not at the heady rates that landlords in other areas are charging.

Monthly rates for shop spaces in trendy areas like Tiong Bahru and Ann Siang Hill can go up to $6.50 per sq ft (psf), compared to $4 to $5 psf in Everton Park.

However, Mr Cheong said: “In Singapore, rents don’t stay low for too long, especially with all the activity and plans to revive Tanjong Pagar.”

High overheads deterred Ms Sharryl Ng from setting up shop in Joo Chiat or Tiong Bahru. Instead, the 36-year-old launched her dessert cafe and cake shop, The Audacious Cakery, at Block 2, Everton Park, last September.

She said the area caught her eye for its “interesting mix of new and old shops” that draw more people to visit and cafe hop.

She added: “Hopefully, it will be as vibrant and interesting as Tiong Bahru, but without its high rentals.”

Ms Fang Yan, 42, who opened Cozy Corner Coffee at Block 4 in April last year, said: “It is quieter than Tiong Bahru, but the rent here is not as high, and there are too many cafes there.”

Just Want Coffee cafe manager Shaun Chua, 25, said Everton Park has “a nice vibe”.

“It is off the grid and not saturated with coffee places and cafes,” he said.

Owners of older shops in the estate do not mind the newcomers as they seem to be bringing more customers to the area.

“Everyone is selling a variety of things,” said Mr Toh Poh Seek, 65, owner of Ji Xiang Confectionery, which has been serving ang ku kueh (glutinous rice cake) at Block 1, Everton Park, for 28 years.

“We are selling snacks, not coffee, so we are not affected,” he said.

Business has also been unaffected at Everton Food Place, the estate’s only foodcourt.

Prawn noodle stall owner Goh Seng Boon, 37, who has been there for 14 years, said: “It is better because I see more young people here, and it is more lively.”

He is also on “good terms” with some cafes, he added, as he buys coffee twice a week from Nylon Coffee Roasters.

Cafe owners also visit the food centre to eat.

Ms Rachael Leong, 26, a lawyer, discovered Everton Park last month, and has already been back three times.

She calls it a “little silent sanctuary”, though she added: “It seems like it is becoming the next Tiong Bahru. I hope it doesn’t.”

Law firm trainee Joey Pang, 31, who lives at The Pinnacle @Duxton and visits Everton Park’s cafes every week, said: “At night, past 8pm, it is quite dead, unlike Tiong Bahru.”

Medical social worker Lin Xueming, 25, who lives in an Everton Road shophouse, finds the air-conditioned cafes more conducive for meetings.

But he added that older residents keep their distance from these new outlets and prefer to spend their time at the coffee shop or nearby fitness corner.

Ms Jody Ang, 23, co-owner of cake-in-a-jar shop A Grin Affair at Block 3, chose the location in 2011 for sentimental reasons.

“I grew up here,” she said. “It would be nice if this place remained quaint as it is. I wouldn’t want it to change.”

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/everton-park-the-next-hipster-enclave-20140105#sthash.sQ35jnAO.dpuf

Nestled in a neighbourhood near the Central Business District is an area quietly becoming the next hipster enclave.

In the past few years, the Everton Park Housing Board estate has become home to coffee joints, cake shops and independent furnishing shops which have set up at its void decks.

Many have been drawn to the peaceful 50-year-old estate as it boasts rents up to a third lower than trendy areas nearby such as Tiong Bahru, Duxton and Ann Siang Hill.

The cluster of seven blocks off Neil Road is a short drive from the city, and young working adults are the main customers at its food and beverage spots such as Nylon Coffee Roasters, the Batterworks bakery and gourmet deli The Provision Shop.

One of the newest additions, which opened three weeks ago, is The Redundant Shop.

It sells a range of lifestyle products from vintage-style bicycles to stationery and bags.

Owner Watson Lee, 43, said: “Everton Park is a good area as it attracts working adults who come here for coffee and people who appreciate independent brands.”

Some business owners in the area are reluctant to label it “the new Tiong Bahru”, not least because of the effect it might have on rental prices.

Savills Singapore research head Alan Cheong said that Everton Park’s rents are likely to go up gradually, but not at the heady rates that landlords in other areas are charging.

Monthly rates for shop spaces in trendy areas like Tiong Bahru and Ann Siang Hill can go up to $6.50 per sq ft (psf), compared to $4 to $5 psf in Everton Park.

However, Mr Cheong said: “In Singapore, rents don’t stay low for too long, especially with all the activity and plans to revive Tanjong Pagar.”

High overheads deterred Ms Sharryl Ng from setting up shop in Joo Chiat or Tiong Bahru. Instead, the 36-year-old launched her dessert cafe and cake shop, The Audacious Cakery, at Block 2, Everton Park, last September.

She said the area caught her eye for its “interesting mix of new and old shops” that draw more people to visit and cafe hop.

She added: “Hopefully, it will be as vibrant and interesting as Tiong Bahru, but without its high rentals.”

Ms Fang Yan, 42, who opened Cozy Corner Coffee at Block 4 in April last year, said: “It is quieter than Tiong Bahru, but the rent here is not as high, and there are too many cafes there.”

Just Want Coffee cafe manager Shaun Chua, 25, said Everton Park has “a nice vibe”.

“It is off the grid and not saturated with coffee places and cafes,” he said.

Owners of older shops in the estate do not mind the newcomers as they seem to be bringing more customers to the area.

“Everyone is selling a variety of things,” said Mr Toh Poh Seek, 65, owner of Ji Xiang Confectionery, which has been serving ang ku kueh (glutinous rice cake) at Block 1, Everton Park, for 28 years.

“We are selling snacks, not coffee, so we are not affected,” he said.

Business has also been unaffected at Everton Food Place, the estate’s only foodcourt.

Prawn noodle stall owner Goh Seng Boon, 37, who has been there for 14 years, said: “It is better because I see more young people here, and it is more lively.”

He is also on “good terms” with some cafes, he added, as he buys coffee twice a week from Nylon Coffee Roasters.

Cafe owners also visit the food centre to eat.

Ms Rachael Leong, 26, a lawyer, discovered Everton Park last month, and has already been back three times.

She calls it a “little silent sanctuary”, though she added: “It seems like it is becoming the next Tiong Bahru. I hope it doesn’t.”

Law firm trainee Joey Pang, 31, who lives at The Pinnacle @Duxton and visits Everton Park’s cafes every week, said: “At night, past 8pm, it is quite dead, unlike Tiong Bahru.”

Medical social worker Lin Xueming, 25, who lives in an Everton Road shophouse, finds the air-conditioned cafes more conducive for meetings.

But he added that older residents keep their distance from these new outlets and prefer to spend their time at the coffee shop or nearby fitness corner.

Ms Jody Ang, 23, co-owner of cake-in-a-jar shop A Grin Affair at Block 3, chose the location in 2011 for sentimental reasons.

“I grew up here,” she said. “It would be nice if this place remained quaint as it is. I wouldn’t want it to change.”

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/everton-park-the-next-hipster-enclave-20140105#sthash.sQ35jnAO.dpuf