74% of units at The Wisteria priced below $1 million

/ The Edge Property
March 14, 2016 10:44 AM SGT
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This weekend (March 12 and 13), listed construction & engineering company BBR Holdings and its consortium partners at NorthernOne Development will officially launch The Wisteria. It is a mixed-use development with 216 apartments sitting on top of the two-storey Wisteria Mall. It is on a 99- year leasehold site of 105,054 sq ft at Yishun Ring Road, a 10-minute walk from Khatib MRT station.
Facilities at The Wisteria include a swimming pool, clubhouse and fitness deck. Click here more listings at The Wisteria
BBR Holdings CEO Andrew Tan realised the potential of the site when he first visited it. He later submitted a bid for the land tender, which closed in January last year. “Here was a big HDB heartland, and there were no amenities in terms of shops and F&B outlets,” he says. “So we felt that a mixed-use development with a supermarket and food court as anchor tenants will cater not only to the needs of residents in the development, but also the neighbourhood.”
At the close of the tender for the mixed-use site at Yishun Avenue 4 in January 2015, there were only five bidders. BBR and its joint venture partners submitted the winning bid of $185.09 million ($629 psf per plot ratio) under Nothern Resi and Northern Retail, wholly owned companies of NorthernOne Development. The main shareholder of NorthernOne Development is Northern Development with a 50.1% stake, while the other shareholders are Santarli Venture (29.9%), MUSE Capital (18%) and AHPL (Investments) with 2%. Northern Development is, in turn, a joint venture between BBR Holdings and contractor Hexacon Construction.
The project has a total gross floor area of 294,150 sq ft with 60% designated for residential use and 40% for retail. The Wisteria Mall has about 100 shops. Anchor tenants to date include Fairprice Finest, which is taking up 15,000 sq ft, and Kopitiam food court with 16,000 sq ft. The two anchor tenants have taken up about 40% of the net lettable area in the mall. Keppel Land Retail Consultancy has been appointed the development and project manager.
Beyond the potential of the location, Tan was drawn to the site because it was the first government land tender to stipulate the mandatory use of PPVC (prefabricated, pre-finished volumetric construction) technology. BBR was one of the early adopters of PPVC. In January 2014, it won a $196 million contract to build a new hall of residence for Nanyang Technological University. It was Singapore’s first public high-rise development deploying PPVC. “We were very happy to be among the first to adopt this game-changing technology in Singapore,” says Tan.
BBR’s subsidiary, Singapore Piling & Civil Engineering, has been appointed the main contractor for The Wisteria. While PPVC may cost 18% more than the conventional building method, it requires 30% fewer workers on site, says Tan. It is also 20% more efficient in terms of time saving as infrastructural works on site will not hinder the construction of the upper floors, which is done concurrently at the factory. As much of the construction work will take place off-site or even offshore in Shanghai, there will be less noise and dust on site, he adds.
“All the walls, floors, air-conditioning units and lighting points will be pre-assembled and fitted out at the factory before they are moved to the site,” says Tan. Each unit is divided into several modules. For instance, one module will contain the living room, another will have the kitchen and utility room, while a third will contain the bedrooms. The modules will be fitted together on site like Lego blocks to create a complete unit. Units have to be installed one floor at a time. The Wisteria is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Despite deploying PPVC, The Wisteria is still able to offer a wide selection of unit types. Homes will come fitted with Electrolux kitchen appliances and smart home features such as a Yale digital lock system that can be activated by password or key card as well as remote access via the integrated ABB-free@home system. Homeowners can use the ABB-free@home system to control lighting and air-conditioning in their units using smart devices.
At the initial launch, the developer will offer a 5% discount to homebuyers. With the discount, the price of one-bedroom apartments sized from 441 sq ft will start at $469,600. Two-bedroom units sized from 635 sq ft will cost upwards of $635,200. Three-bedroom units from 893 sq ft will be priced from $877,200, while four-bedroom units of 1,173 sq ft will start at $1.07 million. Average prices range from $916 psf to $1,168 psf. About 74%, or 80 units, will be priced below $1 million. “The units are priced very affordably for a residential development sitting on top of a shopping mall,” adds Tan.
This article appeared on Issue #719 City and Country section (Mar 14, 2016).

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