The bling of Van Holland

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
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December 20, 2019 11:00 AM SGT
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Koh Brothers’ boutique luxury project, located just across the road from Holland Village, glitters with Swarovski crystal-encrusted faucets and bookmatched Italian marble

Van Holland  - Koh: You need to have ‘oomph’. You can’t always do the same thing.
Koh: You need to have ‘oomph’. You can’t always do the same thing.
A top executive who does not shy away from donning daring ensembles to promote his new residential projects is Francis Koh, managing director and group CEO of Singapore-listed property firm, Koh Brothers Group.
In 2003, it was a Star Trek-style uniform with padded shoulders for the launch of Starville, the first condominium with a rooftop observatory. At Parc Olympia, a sports-themed condominium with an air-conditioned, full-sized badminton court and function room, Koh was duly attired as an Olympian badminton player at the launch in 2012. Three years later at Westwood Residences, an executive condominium with a cycling theme, Koh was rigged out in biker’s gear.
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“You need to have ‘oomph’,” says Koh. “You can’t always do the same thing.”
For the upcoming launch of Van Holland, Koh’s focus has shifted from his personal wardrobe to the quality and finishing of the project. “I’m looking at it from the home buyer’s perspective,” he says. “These days, buyers are more selective. While there are some who could be looking for an investment, most of them are buying for their own use.”
Van Holland will preview on Jan 3, with indicative prices from $2,600 psf. The 69-unit luxury condominium is a redevelopment of the former 32-unit, freehold Toho Mansion that Koh Brothers purchased en bloc for $120.43 million in March last year.
Van Holland  - Bookmatched Italian marble flooring for the living room of every unit (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Bookmatched Italian marble flooring for the living room of every unit (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Quarry-hunting

Koh said he has spent the past year planning and preparing for the launch of the project. He even flew to Genoa, Italy, accompanied by an entourage that included representatives of Van Holland’s appointed design architect, M.A.N. Architects, and interior designer, D'Editor. They visited the marble quarry to select the marble blocks to be used for the Van Holland project.
“In the past, most of the quarry owners do not want to deal directly with individual end-users. They prefer to sell through dealers,” explains Koh. “I’ve been visiting Italy for the past 15 years. And it was only five years ago that that the quarry owner was willing to supply to me directly.”
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The units at Van Holland will have bookmatched marble – where every two or more adjoining marble slabs mirror each other – for the living room floor and as a feature wall in the master bathroom. “Bookmatched marble is like a work of art,” says Koh. “We want to educate people to appreciate marble. These days, most property developers use compressed or cultured marble, which is made up of crushed marble chips which are then bound together with resin to achieve consistency. Marble is natural, cultured marble is man-made.”
Even the floors of the balconies will be of the same marble. However, they will be cut into smaller tiles to prevent slippage, he adds.
Van Holland  - Master bathrooms will have a feature wall of bookmatched marble (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Master bathrooms will have a feature wall of bookmatched marble (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

The bathroom, the wardrobe and the waterfall

While in Italy, Koh and his design team visited sanitaryware manufacturer, Rubinetterie Fratelli Frattini, founded in 1958 by three brothers in San Maurizio d’Opaglio, a commune in the province of Novara, to the west of Milan. It is known for its luxury fittings, including Swarovski crystal-encrusted faucets, towel racks and bathroom hooks. Van Holland will be among the first condominium projects in Singapore to feature the F.lli Frattini brand of luxury sanitaryware, including those with Swarovski crystals, says Koh.
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It will be complemented by the top-end German brand of bathroom fittings and sanitaryware, namely, Duravit. The kitchen appliances and washer-dryer will be headlined by another premium German brand, Miele.
Even the wardrobe system selected for the master bedroom of all the units at Van Holland is of an Italian design. They will have a pull-down hanging rail, dehumidifier and LED lights. “I have this wardrobe system at home, and the pull-down hanging rail is very useful as I can hang a lot of things and not worry that it’s too heavy,” says Koh. “That’s why it maximises the use and efficiency of the wardrobe space.”
That is why Koh has decided to introduce the wardrobe system at Van Holland too.
Van Holland  - The dining area of a three-bedroom-plus study with enclosed kitchen equipped with Miele appliances (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The dining area of a three-bedroom-plus study with enclosed kitchen equipped with Miele appliances (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Besides the finishing of the individual units, attention has also been paid to the condominium facilities. A landscape feature that Koh hopes will become Instagram-worthy is a 10m waterfall (about two storeys high) at the drop-off area, which will be surrounded by greenery. “People can take pictures at the waterfall as that area will be accessible to the public,” says Koh.
There will be two infinity-edge swimming pools: One will be on the first level while the other will be at the rooftop terrace. Fronting the infinity-edge pool on the rooftop terrace is the clubhouse, which will have 1,200 sq ft of indoor and outdoor space. Within the clubhouse will be a wine cellar, an event space and pantry as well as kitchen.
“We sacrificed a unit at the rooftop in order to have a bigger clubhouse,” says Koh. “We paid a lot of attention to the design of the clubhouse as we believe it will be popular with the younger homeowners.” Besides the clubhouse, other facilities include a barbeque pavilion and a gym.
Van Holland will have two infinity-edged swimming pools and an instagram-worthy 10m waterfall at the drop-off area (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Van Holland will have two infinity-edged swimming pools and an instagram-worthy 10m waterfall at the drop-off area (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Holland Village vibe

For the convenience of future residents, there is a covered overhead pedestrian bridge linking Van Holland to the Holland Village MRT Station across the road. It makes Holland Village accessible too, as it is just a four-minute walk from Van Holland. “Holland Village is a very vibrant enclave today,” says Koh. With the completion of the new developments in the future, he expects it to be “even more vibrant”.
Van Holland sits on a 47,662 sq ft, elevated freehold site. The project will benefit from the rejuvenation of Holland Village, with the upcoming mixed-use development One Holland Village, by a consortium made up of Far East Organization, Sekisui House and Sino Land.
The One Holland Village development is located on the site of a former public carpark, and the government had launched the site for sale under the two-envelope tender system based on design first, and then the highest bid price from the short-listed candidates.
In fact, the consortium led by Far East Organization won the Holland Road government land sale (GLS) site for $1.2 billion in May 2018, just two months after Koh Brothers purchased the Toho Mansion site.
The mixed-use One Holland Village has 296 residences, which the consortium launched on the last weekend of November. More than 110 units have been sold in under a month. The 99-year leasehold project also set new benchmark prices when prices of units soared above $3,000 psf and hit a high of $3,363 psf for a luxury, 3,358 sq ft unit on the 26th floor that was sold for $11.3 million.
According to Christine Sun, head of research for OrangeTee & Tie, the Holland Road enclave is highly sought after. “It is quite rare to have new developments launched in the area,” she adds. “Hence the demand for new homes should remain healthy for these new projects.”
Being within walking distance of the amenities of Holland Village such as supermarkets, eateries and pubs as well as the Holland Village MRT Station makes Van Holland desirable too, says Sun. “Boutique projects remain popular among buyers, especially those who value privacy,” she adds.“The freehold tenure and prime District 10 location will also appeal to both investors and owner-occupiers.”
Van Holland has two five-storey blocks. In the block fronting Holland Village are 53 apartments ranging from one-bedroom units starting from 495 sq ft, two-bedroom units from 657 sq ft, two-bedroom premium units from 775 sq ft, three-bedroom and three-bedroom premium units from 1,130 sq ft, to four-bedroom units of 1,345 sq ft.
The second block, which is more exclusive, has just 16 units of which two are duplexes. They range from two-bedroom-plus-study apartments of 1,001 sq ft; to four-bedroom and four-bedroom-plus-attic with sizes from 1,593 to 1,991 sq ft. All the 16 units in this exclusive block come with a private home-lift that goes to every floor.

Upcoming launches in Holland Road-Farrer Road

Van Holland is also likely to be one of the first few projects right out the gate at the start of 2020, says Sun of OrangeTee. The project is jointly marketed by ERA Realty Network and OrangeTee & Tie.
Apart from Van Holland, there are three other projects in the pipeline for launch in the Holland Road-Farrer Road enclave, observes Tricia Song, Colliers International Singapore’s head of research. They are: Leedon Green (former Tulip Garden) by MCL Land and Yanlord Group which is expected to have 638 units; the 319-unit Hyl on Holland (the redevelopment of the former Hollandia and The Estoril) by Far East Consortium International and Koh Brothers in an 80:20 joint venture; and the former Olina Lodge, which will be redeveloped by Kheng Leong Co into a luxury 59-unit boutique development.
Koh is unfazed by other upcoming launches in the neighbourhood in 2020. “If you have a good concept, a niche project, you will sell well,” he says. “That’s why I’m confident about [Van Holland].”
He believes his passion for the project is a key differentiator too. “We want our buyers to appreciate the Italian craftsmanship – from the bookmatched marble, sanitaryware with Swarovski crystals, to the wardrobe system. Our project is very unique and it will appeal to a select group of buyers.”
For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out these projects' research page: Van Holland, Parc Olympia, Starville, Westwood Residences, One Holland Village, Leedon Green, Hyll on Holland, Olina Lodge
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