City Gate Review

Project:City Gate Review
District:07
Region:Rest of Central Region (RCR)
Address:371 Beach Road
Tenure:99 Year Leasehold from April 2014
Site Area:78,242 sqft
No. of Units:311 Residential + 188 Retail
Expected T.O.P:2018
Developer:Bayfront Ventures Pte Ltd (Joint venture between World Class Land and Fragrance Group)
PSF ($):1750 - 2500
Information to Note

The preview fo City Gate begins 28 June 2014 and sales are expected to start in after 9th July.

The site of City Gate was originally another commercial development (KeyPoint) which was bought out for $360 million in 2012. The price paid indicates a price of $920 psf (from City Gate’s GFA of 391,212 sqft), excluding fees paid to top up the lease to 99 years again. (Link)

 

External (Location)

Officially classified as the Rest of Central Region (RCR), the City Gate site along Beach Road is really right on the fringe of the core Central Region according to the plans drawn out by URA. In fact, the CCR region boundary is right along Jalan Sultan Road, right outside City Gate. The red line in the diagram below demarcates the boundary of the Core Central region.

But really, do not expect RCR prices when looking at this property. This is pretty much city centre property and the developer sare pricing it as such.

The current Keypoint standing at the site of the future City Gate:

 

Amenities

Being an integrated development with 188 retail units, residents can expect plenty of amenities right at the doorstep of their place. 188 retail units is a big number. For comparison, the entire Bugis Junction has only 260 leases (though this counts the giant BHG and Cold Storage as one lease each). For people not living in the surrounding area (City Gate), the Bugis area definitely offers a much more compelling preposition for shopping and entertainment. For City Gate residents, the Bugis Junction area is a good 900 metres walk away, good for a 15 minutes leisurely stroll back after a movie or dinner there.

Other than its own retail units, the area surrounding City Gate offers up plenty of amenities as well.

Sultan Plaza and Textile Centre next door offers up plenty of shops as well, though a large part of them are service based rather than retail units. There are also plenty of old school HDB void deck shops at the Kampong Glam HDB area, along with the Golden Mile Food Centre and its famous local hawker fare such as big prawn noodles and char kway teow.

Towards the Bugis side, the Haji Lane / Arab Street area offers up plenty of exciting fine dining and shopping options located within the conserved shop houses.

Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower attract plenty of foreign workers during the weekends who gather in the area to meet their friends. Several tour agencies operate their buses from the area as well, which lead to traffic congestion during peak hours. So buyers might want to take note of this fact if they mind the resultant crowds, traffic and noise. 

Transport (MRT/Buses)

MRT

Sheltered all the way (about 200 meters) to Nicoll Highway (Designation CC5) MRT station by an overhead pedestrian bridge cutting through the Concourse building, residents will enjoy fuss free access to this Circle Line MRT station. Being a secondary line, the Circle Line does not lead directly to places outside of the central region (at least most of the time). Most of the time, MRT users will have to make their transfers at Dhoby Ghaut or Paya Lebar interchange stations if they are heading to farther places.

An alternative access to the MRT network is via a 700 meters plus / ten minutes’ walk to Lavender MRT (Designation EW11) station on the main East-West MRT Line. This distance is a viable option for everyday travel only if you do not mind the long walk to the train station. Bus service 107 can bring residents to Lavender MRT station within two bus stops BUT the waiting time is a hit or miss 7 to 17 minutes if you miss a bus.

No new MRT lines are planned for the area in the near future.

 

Buses

There are only 4 bus services serving the two different bus stops for City Gate (one along Jln Sultan and one along Beach Road). The bus services are 100, 107, 961 and 980. They serve the Aljunied, Geylang, Hougang, Jln Bukit Merah, Kallang, Outram, Queensway, Sembawang, Shenton Way, Telok Blangah, Thomson/Upper Thomson, Upper Bukit Timah Road, Upper Serangoon Road, and Woodlands areas, though expect a slow journey as these buses wind through laborious routes across the island.

An alternative bus stop along Nicoll Highway provides 5 more bus services toward the East Coast and other areas.

 

Driving

Being in the CCR, expect medium to heavy traffic at most timings, especially so at timings where the coaches at Golden Mile Complex pick up their passengers. ERP gantries will also be a common everyday thing, especially if driving in the city direction.

 

Schools

Being near the city centre (where land is scarce and expensive), there are a very limited number of schools in the immediate vicinity.

For parents with  school going children and concerned about geographical based preferential entry for primary schools,

Within 1km:

Stamford Primary School

Within 2km:

St Margaret’s Primary School (Girls)

Farrer Park Primary School 

 

External (Pricing)

The most direct comparison for City Gate can be made with the 360-units Concourse Skyline development diagonally across Beach Road. The Concourse Skyline development was launched in 2008 and completed in 2012. As of end of May 2014, it is only 67% sold. (ouch!) Hardly inspiring figures for City Gate.

Below we present the data for private caveats lodged for the Concourse Skyline over the past two years:

 

The 660-units Duo Residences further down Beach Road towards City Hall, which launched in December 2013 to an overwhelming response was sold at a price range of $1,540 to $2,585 psf with an average of $2,149 psf. Current percentage of the Duo Residences sold is 93.2% though you can be sure most of these unsold units are larger ones commanding huge asking prices (S$2.5 million and up)

Based on the Concourse Skyline and Duo Residences pricing, we should reasonably expect City Gate to be priced from about $1,750 to $1,850 psf onwards. But do check out the Concourse Skyline as well when considering the City Gate project. They are not too far off from each other in terms of location and if the developer starts pricing unreasonably, Concourse Skyline could actually get a sales boost that it sorely needs. 

 

According to the pricing details released so far, it seems the developer is pricing the project above Concourse Skyline and trying to one up the price there.

All the units pricing stated here are for 18th floor units.

Three bedroom Dual Key units will be starting from $1935 psf ($1,750,000 for a 904 sqft unit).

Two bedroom units from $2,103 psf ($1,178,000 for a 560 sqft unit)

Two bedrooms Dual Key units from $2,035 psf ($1,380,000 for a 678 sqft unit)

One bedroom units from $2199 psf ($948,000 for a 431 sqft unit)

We do think any potential buyers should definitely take a look at the available Concourse Skyline units before they plunk any hard earned money down for a City Gate unit. You could perhaps find a better priced  or better unit at the same price there if you look and bargain hard enough. The Concourse Skyline developer must be very happy now when they see the City Gate pricing driving buyers their way.

World Class Land’s record is a bit of a mixed bag based on its last two projects, The Hillford and Waterfront at Faber. The Hillford (being the first 60 year LH residential project) sold out on its opening weekend. Waterfront at Faber located at the fringe of Clementi sold 81 units out of 147 units launched out of a total of 210 (38.5%) in its debut month. At least it is not the 10% during debut that we are seeing at Trilive in Kovan (poor pricing by Roxy Pacific Holdings).

World Class Land seems to have strong projects in its hand. But the pricing strategy seems to mirror that of the other developers: Pricing a project with a premium to surrounding projects with a premium (sometimes significant premium). We understand the need for margins and profits. But with Concourse Skyline just next door an ready to move in, we feel that WCL might be playing its cards dangerously here.

 

Development (Unit)

There will be 311 residential units together with 188 retail units located at City Gate.

The show suites located at Keypoint is one of the grander ones we have seen, which makes us wonder again how much the marketing budget for this project is, and ultimately, it is the buyers who will be paying for for the grandeur at the show suites.

Development (Building)

Building Mock up Photos uploaded...

 

We like the design of the building, though we did notice some questionable design of the corridors.

Final Thoughts/ Summary

Pending full review.

Reviewed on 19 July 2014
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