Kallang Riverside Review

Project:Kallang Riverside Review
District:D12
Region:Core Central Region (CCR)
Address:51 Kampong Bugis
Tenure:Freehold
Site Area:56,048 sqft
No. of Units:212 Residential + 7 Commercial
Expected T.O.P:June 2018
Developer:Singapore Johore Express Pte Ltd
PSF ($):1900 - 2300
Information to Note

Marketed as a rare freehold project in the Kampong Bugis area, we are fairly excited about the Kallang Riverside project. The location and views are great. This city fringe project is one of the few projects that has got us at ProperSquare excited with its potential. 

The Kallang Riverside project is developed by The Singapore Johore Express Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based bus company. This is its first foray into property development on this piece of freehold land. We can only imagine how much cash flow the family owned business is going to be banking given that the freehold land was handed down from decades ago. We estimate it to be at least a $250 million windfall (from the land) for the company after accounting for costs. Afterall, this is how you do business right? People will always pay much more for a beautified building/development than an empty plot of land.

URA Masterplan 2013 Draft for Kallang:

 

 

Developer's Sales kit, here:  Download Brochure

External (Location)

Site Location:

 

Surroundings (General)

Located on the city fringe right alongside the Kallang Riverside Park, the freehold Kallang Riverside project enjoys a commanding view over the Kallang Basin. The Kampong Bugis area is set to be transformed into a waterfront living residential area under the URA Masterplan Draft 2013. The Kallang Riverside project is the second project to be launching in this area after The Riverine by the Park condominium was completed in 2010.

Bonus: Free fireworks display during National Day celebrations held at the future National Stadium located southeast at the Sports Hub area across Sungei Kallang.

View from Nicoll Highway:

 

 Some additional information about Kallang:

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_220__2008-12-02.html

 

Amenities

There are not many amenities at present in the Kampong Bugis area. Just ask The Riverine residents! Thankfully, there are 7 commercial units located at the ground floor of the Kallang Riverside project to serve the needs of the residents, though we cannot figure out how these shops are going to survive (in the early days before the rest of Kampong Bugis gets developed) with only 212 residential units supporting them. The site beside Kallang Riverside and the adjacent plot to that are both designated as Residential with Commercial at 1st storey. Thus, there are likely to be more amenities in the immediate vicinity in the future. How long that will take is anybody’s guess though.

There is a massive congregation of shops at Kitchener Complex area next to Lavender MRT. But that entails a good 600 meters / ten minutes’ walk.

Another good congregation of convenience is located at the Southbank / North Bridge Road Food Centre and its attendant HDB blocks which house many other mom and pop shops of their own. This is at a more palatable walking distance of 450 meters by using a pedestrian bridge (Rochor Link) across Sungei Rochor.

If you are one for convenience, we would point you towards the Southbank or Citylights condominiums. They are located at a far more convenient, albeit crowded location. Kallang Riverside is for buyers who prefer a much quieter location at the cost of some convenience. 

 

Transport (MRT/Buses)

The good news for MRT users is that the distance to Lavender MRT station is a walk of around 450 metres via a park shortcut (roughly the same distance as the walk to the bus stop). The bad news is a large part of the way will be unsheltered.

For buses, it is a good 250 meters from the main entrance of Kallang Riverside to the intersection of Kallang Road via Kampong Bugis Road. Residents will then have to make a right turn and walk another 200 meters to reach the bus stop along Kallang Road. There are a grand total of 14 buses that serve this bus stop! Bus services include 2, 7, 12, 13, 32, 33, 51, 63, 67, 80, 100, 141, 197, 980 and NR7. Buses 13 and 67 will bring residents to the Bendemeer Downtown Line station opening in 2017. There are no lack of buses along Kallang Road at all.  

Thankfully, Kallang Riverside is a tower development. Thus the need for residents to walk even further from deep within the development is alleviated. And the above mentioned distances apply to all the units uniformly. 

 

External (Pricing)

Pricing is expected to be from $1,900 psf onwards to $2,350.

Our initial opinion is that the pricing is somewhat high. At $1,900 psf onwards for a city fringe location that does not have fantastic public transport infrastructure at present (and likely in the future as well) but does come with a very good view (for certain units), we would advise buyers to exercise caution for this project even though its freehold status technically gives buyers plenty of leeway in holding the property even if the market goes into a steep correction.

As of May 2014, $1,900 to $2,300 psf could actually get you a small unit at the 6 years old Sail @ Marina Bay if you are lucky enough. The 17 years old, 929-year leasehold UE Square at River Valley Road, which is much nearer to town, is also going for only $1,500 to $1,600 psf. 

Neighbouring Southbank (99-yr LH mixed development; 197 units in a 40 storey residential block; completed in 2009) and The Riverine by the Park (freehold residential; 100 units over 30 stories; completed in 2010) developments had last transacted prices of $1,600 to $1,800 psf in the past one year, though the number of transactions have been very low. 

South Bank transacted prices according to caveat lodged with URA from April 2012 to May 2014:

 

The Riverine by the Park transacted pricing from March 2012 to May 2014:

(Not a lot of transactions / demand that we can see for this project)

 

Put simply, we have ample reservations about the pricing for this side of Singapore if prices start to dive in the CCR. The freehold status might help owners ride out a steep correction with plenty of time to spare on the lease. But when we compare Kallang Riverside to other developments around Singapore, we think the pricing is slightly on the high side and affords a certain degree of risk to buyers who might not have enough cash on hand to ride out any corrections.

 

Development (Unit)

 

 

Development (Building)

Plenty of details are provided in the marketing brochure. Download it here if you have not done so.

Analysis of site / actual land site

The entire Kampong Bugis area is scheduled to be developed into a private residential area.

The Kallang Riverside building is in a north-south facing orientation. The prime stacks are very obviously the ones facing the Kallang Basin. If you are thinking about buying the north facing stacks, stop reading now and look for better resale units at Citylights or Southbank. We think one of the key aspect of the Kallang Riverside project is its guaranteed view of the Kallang Basin for the south facing units. If you are not buying for the view, there are really better, cheaper and more convenient options out there.

 

Building Architecture

We see the efforts of the architect to try to make the building stand out from other recent condominium developments. But alas to us, it seems like it came from the same mould from which the design for Alex Residences, Ascentia Sky, Commonwealth Towers were derived. There are attempts to soften the sharp edges of a typical tower building with the implementation of curves at the communal facilities levels and the roof top. And we think the effects are quite successful at breaking up the typical monotony of a tower building. Overall, we like the overall design of the building though we still dislike the protruding balconies. We think those do not in any way help to beautify buildings. 

 

Facilities

In the typical tower development fashion, the facilities for Kallang Riverside are all located within the building itself. The full suite of facilities are here (Take note the swimming pool is not a full lap pool (< 50m)). Facilities are located on the 2nd, 5th, 6th and 24th storey of the building. So do take notice if you are planning to choose any units near these levels, in consideration of the noise and privacy issues from the proximity to these levels. 

 

Final Thoughts/ Summary

The Kallang Riverside is the first residential project developed by the Singapore Johore Express Pte Ltd company. Having the first mover advantage at the Kampong Bugis area, Kallang Riverside has arguably one of the best views in the area. South facing units get a great view of the Kallang Basin but north facing units will face inland towards future residential sites. (We would strongly advise against getting a north facing unit. Paying $1,900 psf to enjoy the view of construction sites and their associated pollution is something we definitely do not want our readers to endure.)

However, psf pricing is slightly on the high side (even with its freehold status) and we would advise readers to buy with caution, especially considering the current dull property climate. 

 

 

On an ending note, if you are interested in purchasing a unit at this property and require further advice, do let us know via contactus@propersquare.com or +65 9081-5456 and our team will be ready to help you evaluate your options further. At the same time, your property purchase through us will help us to keep this great review site running and make the local property landscape a better one for everyone!

 Thank you for your support for the ProperSquare site and reviews!

 Sincerely,

 Team ProperSquare

 

 

 

Reviewed on 24 May 2014
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