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Review: The Wharf

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The Wharf

Need To Know
Location 7 Tong Watt Road
District 9
Land Tenure Leasehold 999 Years
Units 186 in 23 Storeys
Expected TOP Mar 31, 2013
Developer CapitaLand Ltd
Facilities Gymnasium, Spa Pool, Lap Pool, Children’s Pool, Sky Terrace, BBQ Pit

Unit Types
2 Bedrooms 110 units, min 1,012 sqft
3 Bedrooms 54 units, min 1,313 sqft
4 Bedrooms 4 units, min 2,207 sqft
Penthouses 5 units, min 2,745 sqft
Conservation Houses 13 units, min 4,478 sqft

Sales Info
Sales Open
May 2009
Average PSF
$1,450 @ Nov 21, 2009

Enquiries 6737 2019 / 6826 6800
URL www.wharfresidence.com.sg

The Wharf certainly has one of the more difficult to find showflats. Its showflat is located at River Valley Close in a single story building with sepia glass doors depicting conservation houses.  I thought it was an art house and drove right by. That was sometime in June, and I wished I had seen it then, because The Wharf is awesome. At least the showflat was.

Developed by CapitaLand, The Wharf, despite the name is located not quite by the river but on a hill. It uniquely features 13 retrofitted shophouses and 186 units as part of its design heritage. The conservation shophouses have not been placed on the market yet and will likely go for a cool $8 mil each when the property is completed. Expensive, but its pretty cool to stay in a shophouse with condo facilities.

The Wharf’s take-up rate has been phenomenal with 85% units sold on just the opening day. CapitaLand’s reputation certainly helped though the condo’s view probably didn’t. The Wharf is sandwiched between the Waterford Residence and Robertson Edge in a congested stretch which also includes Vivace further down. The silver lining is that if you managed to scramble a unit above the 10th floor, you just might be able to see  the sky or possibly the river.

So what gives? I went there once. And then I went again with J just to show her how gorgeous the 2 bedroom showflat was. At 1,012 sq ft it’s spacious for a 2 bedroom, with no wasted space. Sure, you don’t have a balcony (a single planter box is all you get) but you don’t have to inch around the bed in the master bedroom and you can actually fit 2 people in the bathroom.

A 2 Bedroom - Who Would Have Thought

Also, in the showflat, the kitchen wall was broken down to open up the space. It’s a wonderful idea and every owner should follow suit. From the entrance, the combined kitchen / dining / living space is huge, aided by a fresh modern decor and a high ceiling.  I was thoroughly confused at first and had to go out to double check the floor area. The agent assured me it was indeed the 2 bedroom I had walked into.

Wall + Hammer = Bar

Going as low as $1,200 psf at one point, almost all the units have been sold, with only 2 units of the 4 bedrooms remaining. The showflat too is likely to be closed soon. All this didn’t stop the very enthusiastic agent from his sales pitch, smoothly moving from The Wharf to extoll the virtues of CapitaLand’s other project at The Interlace.  The showflat for The Interlace is yet to be completed, but all signs point to a very impressive setup.

Interested buyers of The Wharf will have to purchase from the sub-sale market and are likely to have to fork out above $1,400 psf for the units. Personally whether it is for investment or stay, $1,400 is not a bad price considering that Martin Place Residences is going at $1,800 psf. However with the surge of projects in the Robinson Quay area, overcrowding could become a problem for owners looking for a quiet evening drink by the river, as well depressing future capital appreciation of their properties.

Nonetheless, I for one have been impressed by CapitaLand’s direction in designing projects for people to actually live in. Quality of living is far more important than huddling in a tiny District 9 apartment. For that, The Wharf is certainly an example to be extolled.


Written by L

December 4, 2009 at 11:04 am

Review: The Tier

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The Tier

Need To Know
Location 28 Pegu Road
District 11
Land Tenure Freehold
Units 48 in 19 Storeys
Expected TOP Dec 31, 2014
Developer Kaiwatt Development Pte Ltd
Facilities Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Barbecue Pit, Gymnasium, Roof Garden/Observation Deck

Unit Types
1 Bedrooms 29 units, min 495 sqft
2 Bedrooms 17 units, min 538 sqft
Penthouses 2 units, min 990 sqft

Sales Info
Sales Open  Nov 2009
Average PSF
$1,200 @ Nov 28, 2009

The Tier, located off Balestier Road (past the famous Founder Bak Kut Teh), is a new property where looks can be a little deceiving. From the online marketing media I have seen, I had this image of luxury (i.e. sizable units) with furnishings expected of a fresh developer trying to establish its reputation in Singapore.

Impression set, J and I went forth.. and were surprised at the size of the units. The 1 and 2 bedrooms were both about the same size at below 550 sq ft, difference being  inconsequential extras like viewing deck or jacuzzi on top of the balcony. The show-flat, a 1 bedroom unit + study stood at 538 sq ft, which is about the size of  a 2 room HDB flat. Unfortunately for the Tier buyer, the HDB flat is usually without balcony and planter boxes, lending it a much larger liveable area.

Our particular gripe is the nano-scale kitchen. The developer’s choice in combining the kitchen/bar top/washing smack in the centre of the apartment left us shaking our heads, especially with the washing machine located right below the pull-out bar top. I suppose for residents who are very efficient (and not particular) about their washing and eating, it might not seem such a strange arrangement. For us, this would mean eating-out most of the time because it is just not appealing to huddle around the bar top trying to make oneself heard over the thudding of the washing machine.

Champagne and Wash

It should be clear by now, The Tier appears to comprise micro-units, of which I am not a big fan. Homes should be at least 700 sq ft to be comfortable for growing families. It is particularly painful to be living in cramped quarters when there are relatively larger a/c ledges and planter boxes right outside the units.

That said, The Tier does address space concerns with an economical layout; residents can choose to knock down the study to enlarge the master bedroom/living area. Furnishings are solid with clean lines and units are generally well-lit, though facing either the morning or afternoon sun. This is a factor that potential buyer should note, particualrly for the higher floors. Personally I would avoid the Type B units where the a/c ledge is almost a QUARTER the size of the master bedroom, with the unit directly facing the morning sun.

Tiny House Needs Huge Aircon

The Tier is targeted at investors and young couples. And at $1,200 psf it could represent an investment in a district that is quietly undergoing a renaissance.  With its small though stylish units, residents are almost expected to be eating out a lot (especially given the odd location of the washing machine), which is definitely not a problem in the Balestier area. Home-buyers looking to purchase units larger than 600 sq ft in the area however, might want to consider Vista Residences by Far East instead.

Written by L

December 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm