Chip Eng Seng prices TMW Maxwell from $3,188 psf, with 85% of units between $1.5 mil and $2 mil

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
The sales gallery of the TMW Maxwell conceptualised by Formwerkz Architects with interior design by design studio Farm (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - In Singapore, some buildings straddle the border of two districts and play a pivotal role in the transformation of an area. Such is the case for the former 13-storey Maxwell House, which sat at the border of the CBD and Chinatown. Built in 1971, Maxwell House bore the address of 20 Maxwell Road for the next 50 years. It was considered part of District 1 and the CBD, and hence part of the Core Central Region (CCR).
In April 2021, Maxwell House was acquired en bloc by a 40:30:30 joint venture between Chip Eng Seng Corp, SingHaiyi Group and Chuan Investments for $276.8 million. Redeveloped as the new TMW Maxwell, the building is now accessed from Tras Street, a quieter side street flanked by conservation shophouses just off the Maxwell Road thoroughfare. (See potential condos with en bloc calculator)
The change in address to 31 Tras Street and building orientation places TMW Maxwell in Chinatown in District 2, which means it is now in the Rest of Central Region (RCR).
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former Maxwell House - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The former Maxwell House at 20 Maxwell Road (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Even though the development was ineligible for the CBD Incentive Scheme or the Strategic Development Incentive Scheme, the collective sale committee of the former Maxwell House had obtained an Outline Planning Permission to increase the plot ratio from 4.3 to 5.6. As a result, TMW Maxwell enjoys a 30% uplift in plot ratio with a gross floor area (GFA) of at least 233,987 sq ft.
“When this collective sale site [former Maxwell House] was launched, we immediately began thinking about a vertical garden concept amid a concrete jungle and how we can make working from home enjoyable for people,” says Raymond Chia, group CEO of Chip Eng Seng.
URA sees this location as “a vital gateway that seamlessly connects the Conservation Area of Club Street and Ann Siang Hill to the Tras Street-Tanjong Pagar Conservation area”, says Michael Ng, executive director of CEL Development, the property arm of Chip Eng Seng.
URA even engaged a design advisory panel (DAP) comprising a panel of architects to assess the project’s design. “The DAP looked at the aesthetics and how it blends in with the rest of the CBD,” says Peter Wee, general manager of business development and marketing at CEL Development. “Getting the planning permit and written permission took some time.”
Model of TMW Maxwell - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Model of TMW Maxwell with 324 residential units from the fourth to 20th floors and 11 commercial units from the basement to the third level (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Vertical gardens, flexible spaces

The 20-storey TMW Maxwell was designed by established Singapore-based architectural firm Formwerkz Architects. The future mixed-use complex will have 11 commercial units from the basement to the third level and 324 residential units from the fourth to 20th floors. The mixed-use project has a 99-year lease from April 2023. It is targeted for completion by early 2027.
The commercial units — a mix of retail and F&B — in the first four levels of the building make up about 20% of the GFA. The F&B units on every level will face the pedestrian walkway, and there is a through-block linkway for people to walk through Tras Street. (Find Singapore commercial properties with our commercial directory)
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Landscape consultant Compound Collaborative has designed the public area as an “outdoor living room” with cosy seating areas, especially the amphitheatre seating that stretches from the basement to the third level. “This is a focal point for URA as they want to revive this stretch of Tanjong Pagar and Tras Street,” says Ng.
From the fourth to 20th levels is a series of vertically stacked gardens, offering amenities from lounges to pools, a viewing deck and quiet corners where people can read, meditate or work. These are for residents’ use only and continue to the rooftop where there are more facilities, including dining areas, clubhouse, gym and a 25m infinity lap pool with jacuzzi, aqua seating and deck chairs.
RAYMOND CHIA - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Chia: This concept that we have at TMW cannot be replicated anywhere else (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘Quantum play’

About 62% of the units at TMW Maxwell are studios with sizes from 476.3 to 479.4 sq ft. They are designed as “flip/switch units” with spaces that can be transformed to suit the needs of the residents, from a movable walk-in wardrobe with a pull-out workspace to a queen-size Murphy bed with an integrated sofa, a pull-out dining table at the kitchen counter and a concealed pull-out table at the balcony, an ideal place for wine on quiet evenings.
Justin Quek, deputy CEO of OrangeTee & Tie, sees the flip/switch studios as “fresh, bold and relevant to the target demographic who will appreciate the live-work-play concept of this vibrant neighbourhood in Tanjong Pagar”.
The flip/switch concept “is ideal for those who may not necessarily spend much time at home, yet appreciate the flexibility of spaces for work from home or even entertaining”, says Quek. “This is balanced with keeping the spaces efficiently sized to keep prices more palatable.”
Another 21% of the units are one-bedroom and one-bedroom-plus-study, ranging from 510 to 567 sq ft. There are also five units of one-bedroom lofts of 843 to 870 sq ft. Two-bedroom and two-bedroom dual-key units with sizes from 792 to 860 sq ft account for the remaining 15% of the units.
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showflat of the switch/flip studio - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The showflat of the switch/flip studio with movable walk-in wardrobe and the sofa in the living room with the Murphy bed stowed behind (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
“At TMW Maxwell, we have created a live-work-play concept to suit the lifestyle of those who want to live near the city,” says Chip Eng Seng's Chia. “People working from home may not want to work within their apartment all day. For a change of scenery, they may go to one of the quiet corners in the vertical gardens or the landscaped seating areas downstairs.”
About 85% of the units at TMW Maxwell will be priced between $1.5 million and $2 million. Prices will start from $3,188 psf.
Marcus Chua, CEO of ERA Singapore, says TMW’s pricing “is at a sweet spot”, as 37.2 % of the residential transactions this year have been in the $1.5 million to $2 million range.
“With predominantly studios and one-bedroom units, and prices between $1.5 million and $2 million, TMW is focusing on a quantum play,” says Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex.
dining and kitchen area - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The dining and kitchen area of the two-bedroom premium showflat designed by design studio Farm (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Target audience

Peter Wee, CEL Development’s general manager of business development and marketing, believes young people working in the CBD would be a primary target audience. “They appreciate living close to their place of work as the development’s near Tanjong Pagar, Robinson Road and Cecil Street,” he says. “It’s also across the road from the F&B and bars at Ann Siang Hill, Club Street and Chinatown.”
Maxwell Food Centre is directly across the street; in the future, there will be F&B options on the lower floors of TMW Maxwell. Chip Eng Seng’s Chia shares that instead of selling the 11 commercial units under one strata title, Chip Eng Seng will be curating the retail and F&B tenants. “We want to ensure a good mix of F&B and retail,” he says.
TMW Maxwell is just a two-minute walk across the road to Maxwell MRT Station (Thomson-East Coast Line). From there, it is just one MRT stop to Shenton Way. Tanjong Pagar MRT Station (East-West Line) is also within walking distance, with Raffles Place one MRT stop away and City Hall two stops away.
TMW MAXWELL SHOWROOM - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The sales gallery and artist's impression of the series of stacked gardens from the fourth to the 20th floor and continuing to the rooftop (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Its location at the border of the CBD is part of its attraction, notes PropNex’s Gafoor. “It’s not totally in the heart of the CBD because it’s just across the road from Maxwell Food Centre, with Chinatown nearby,” he adds. “TMW, therefore, has the best of both worlds. It should attract young singles and couples who like the convenience of the work-live-play concept and the fact that you don’t need to commute too far to work downtown.”
Apart from locals, Gafoor expects TMW Maxwell to also attract permanent residents and foreigners from the five countries with a free trade agreement with Singapore. This is because they are eligible for the additional buyer’s stamp duty remission, adds Gafoor. The five countries are the US, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The 215-unit Skywater Residences, with a mix of one- to four-bedroom units housed within the topmost floors of Singapore’s future tallest tower at 63 storeys and 305m high. It is a redevelopment of the former AXA Tower (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Upcoming developments nearby

Chip Eng Seng’s Chia is well aware of the upcoming projects in the area. Shortly after the joint-venture partners purchased the former Maxwell House, the 351-unit One Bernam was launched in early May 2021. While the average price across One Bernam is $2,528 psf, units from the 24th floor have been sold at prices from $3,001 to $3,340 psf since last September, based on caveats lodged. To date, 54.4% of the units at One Bernam have been taken up.
In the pipeline is the launch of 246-unit Newport Residences (redevelopment of the former Fuji Xerox Towers) on Anson Road, part of a freehold, mixed-use development that includes serviced apartments, offices and retail.
There is also the 215-unit Skywater Residences, with a mix of one- to four-bedroom units housed within the topmost floors of Singapore’s future tallest tower at 63 storeys and 305m high. The project is a redevelopment of the former AXA Tower at 8 Shenton Way by Alibaba and Perennial Holdings in a 50:50 joint venture. Chip Eng Seng and SingHaiyi acquired a 21% stake in PRE13, the entity of Perennial Holdings that holds the 50% stake in AXA Tower. Skywater Residences is designed as an ultra-luxury development.
Malaysian group IOI Properties will develop a new 748-unit residential development, Marina View Residences, with a luxury hotel at Marina View. The project is located on a site near Shenton Way MRT Station that the developer won as a sole bidder in a government land sale tender for $1.508 billion in September 2021.
Maxwell House landlens - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
TMW Maxwell is a redevelopment of the former Maxwell House and is located in District 2 of Chinatown (Source: EdgeProp Landlens)
In late June, Chinese developer Kingsford Group won the tender for the site at Marina Gardens Lane by submitting the highest bid of $1.034 billion ($1,402 psf per plot ratio) jointly with Obsidian Development and Polarix Cultural & Science Park Investment. The 99-year leasehold site of 131,805 sq ft is zoned for residential with commercial at the first storey and can be developed into a 790-unit residential project with 8,073 sq ft commercial space.
However, Chip Eng Seng’s Chia is confident in his product. “This concept that we have at TMW cannot be replicated anywhere else,” he says.
Besides singles and Dink (dual income, no kids) couples, Mark Yip, CEO of Huttons Asia, sees TMW appealing to investors looking to tap the rental demand from working professionals in the CBD. Yip expects investors to find the dual-key units attractive. “The unit mix and sizes are geared towards the local market and should see a healthy response,” he adds.
TMW Maxwell presents “a good investment” in District 2 for investors, according to ERA’s Chu. “District 2 commands the second highest rent of $7.34 psf per month for one- and two-bedroom condo units, trailing only District 6, the High Street, Beach Road area,” he says.
Based on the rental and sale transactions in the Tanjong Pagar-CBD area, the location is already popular with young professionals, notes OrangeTee’s Quek.

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