City Developments’ kaleidoscope of projects

/ EdgeProp Singapore
December 24, 2020 6:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Having rolled out six new residential projects in Singapore in 2019 — at the rate of one project every other month — Singapore-listed property group City Developments Ltd (CDL) launched just one this year, namely, the 566-unit Penrose at Sims Drive.
A 60:40 joint-venture project between Hong Leong Holdings and CDL, Penrose sold a total of 341 units (63%) on its opening weekend, propelling it to the ranks of the top-selling projects of 2020. Launched at the end of September, it bolstered total new home sales for that month to 1,329 units — the highest in more than two years.
The site of the upcoming 540-unit Irwell Hill Residences on Irwell Bank Road, off River Valley Road in prime District 9 (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
CDL intends to roll out two projects towards the middle of 2021: the 540-unit, high-end private condominium Irwell Hill Residences located at Irwell Bank Road, off River Valley Road in prime District 9; and the upcoming redevelopment of Liang Court into a new integrated development, jointly with CapitaLand. The new project will have 700 apartments fronting the Singapore River, and also offering views of Fort Canning Park.
“We hold a positive view on the Singapore property market, supported by resilient homebuyer demand,” says Lee Mei Ling, CDL executive vice president and head of property development. “Also, the current attractive interest rate environment is conducive for property purchases and investments, especially when viewed with a medium to long-term lens.”

Renewal, redevelopment

Indeed, as one looks forward to the upcoming projects in 2021, it is an opportune time to revisit CDL’s spectrum of residential projects that were launched last year: from the 820-unit executive condominium, Piermont Grand, in Punggol, where prices started from just under $1 million; to the exclusive 154-unit Boulevard 88 at Orchard Boulevard, where the smallest unit is north of $4.5 million.
Showflat of a two-bedroom unit at the new Amber Park, a redevelopment of the former Amber Park built by CDL 34 years ago (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
One project that has stood out among the array is Amber Park, located at Amber Gardens in prime District 15. Developed jointly with Hong Realty, a subsidiary of Hong Leong Investment Holdings, the freehold, 592-unit private condo was launched in May last year. To date, 223 units (38% of the total) have been sold at an average price of $2,481 psf, based on caveats lodged as at Dec 18.
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CDL was the original developer of the former Amber Park too. Built 34 years ago, the 200-unit condominium towers with their cup-shaped balconies were iconic in the Amber Gardens-Amber Road enclave. In purchasing the former Amber Park for $906.7 million — making it the largest en bloc deal of 2017 — the CDL-Hong Realty joint venture wants “the new Amber Park to redefine seafront, East Coast living, just as it did more than 30 years ago”, says CDL’s Lee.
As such, Chan Soo Khian, founding principal and design director of SCDA Architects, was chosen as the design architect and landscape architect. Chan, famous for his design of luxury projects in the prime Orchard Road area, in Districts 9 and 10 — from Leedon Residence to The Marq on Paterson Hill and Nassim Park Residences — has now put his stamp of understated luxury on the East Coast.
Artist's impression of The Stratosphere - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Artist's impression of The Stratosphere, a 32,507 sq ft rooftop recreational deck — elevated 235 ft (71.6m) above sea level and connecting the three 21-storey towers (Photo: City Developments Ltd)

Sea, city, pool views

A standout feature at the new Amber Park is The Stratosphere — a 32,507 sq ft rooftop recreational deck — elevated 235 ft (71.6m) above sea level and connecting the three 21-storey towers. The Stratosphere features a 600m jogging track, yoga deck, sea-facing gymnasium, spa pool, gourmet dining, lounge, water feature and landscaped garden.
The views from the Stratosphere are also “unmatched”, says CDL’s Lee, as Amber Park is among the tallest towers in the Amber Gardens-Amber Road enclave. With the three residential towers occupying a footprint of just 35% of the 213,676 sq ft site, the rest of the area is freed up for facilities and landscaping.
In addition, Amber Park was designed with sustainability in mind, with multiple energy-efficient and innovative design features, winning it the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Gold Plus Award for sustainable design. Notable green features include optimal building orientation: with most of the apartments in a north-south direction, natural ventilation will be maximised, while heat gain is minimised. Sun shading devices and performance glazing for the façade provide comfort for building occupants.
Artist's impression of an apartment with views of the city skyline - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Artist's impression of an apartment with views of the city skyline (Photo: City Developments Ltd)

Luxury fittings

Most of the apartments at Amber Park will have views of the sea, the city skyline or the pool. Unit mix ranges from one-bedroom-plus-study, sized from 463 sq ft, to five-bedroom-plus-study of 2,336 sq ft. There are also four penthouses — each with six bedrooms — ranging from 4,392 to 5,005 sq ft.
The units at Amber Park will be fitted with top-end, Swiss brand V-Zug kitchen appliances and feature quartz countertops. Bathroom sanitaryware and fittings will be from Villeroy & Boch and Grohe. Living and dining area will have marble flooring, with engineered timber flooring for the bedrooms. Premium four- and five-bedroom units, the five-bedroom-plus-study and penthouses will have private lift access.
When the project was first launched last year, three of the four penthouses were snapped up, including the largest 5,005 sq ft unit, which fetched $12.6 million ($2,517 psf). The other two 4,392 sq ft penthouses fetched $11.88 million ($2,705 psf) and $12 million ($2,732 psf) in May and July, respectively, according to caveats lodged. Units are priced from $1.097 million for a one-bedroom-plus-en suite-study apartment.
Amber Park has dual access from Amber Gardens as well as Amber Road, with the upcoming Tanjong Katong MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast Line located just a three-minute walk away.
The clubhouse at Haus on Handy which sits within a conserved bungalow, will have a range of facilities including a gym studio, freeform studio and club lounge (Photo: City Developments Ltd)

Melding of arts, shops and entertainment

Another project in its portfolio that was launched in 2019 is the 188-unit Haus on Handy, located at Handy Road, just off Orchard Road. CDL acquired the 99-year leasehold site of 51,626 sq ft for $212.2 million or $1,722 psf per plot ratio (psf ppr) in January 2018.
According to Lee, CDL saw great potential for the site, given its location in prime District 9 —just a two-minute walk from the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, an interchange station for three lines, namely the North-South, North-East and Circle Lines. Haus on Handy’s site is also within easy access of offices, prestigious schools, dining, shopping and entertainment options in the neighbourhood of Orchard Road and Bras Basah Road.
Located within the arts and heritage district, Haus on Handy is surrounded by art galleries and museums. Hence, the developer will provide a covered walkway that connects the project to The Cathay, a mixed-use development that includes a cineplex and a mall. The project is also directly across the road from Plaza Singapura mall, which is linked to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.
Haus on Handy comprises two residential towers of nine- and 12-storey, with a total of 188 units (Photo: City Developments Ltd)
The design architect for Haus on Handy is Architects 61, one of the most established, homegrown architectural firms in Singapore; while the landscape architect is Coen International.
Haus on Handy comprises two residential towers of nine- and 12-storey. On the site is a heritage bungalow, which will be conserved and converted into a clubhouse offering a range of facilities for residents including a gym studio, freeform studio and club lounge. On the rooftop is a sky garden, with facilities such as a yoga lawn, fitness area, rooftop lounge and a nutmeg garden.

The brass tacks

The project has a mix of one-bedroom to three-bedroom dual-key units, with sizes from 420 to 980 sq ft. In addition to luxury fittings such as V-Zug kitchen appliances as well as Villeroy & Boch and Grohe sanitaryware, the developer is providing built-in display shelves and power points for charging stations in the kitchen.
The conserved bungalow that will be converted into a residents' clubhouse at Haus on Handy (Photo: City Developments Ltd)
Since the project was launched in July 2019, about 35 units (18%) have been sold to date at an average price of $2,869 psf.
Prices start from $1.188 million for one-bedders; $1.668 million for two-bedders; and $2.708 million for three-bedders. Selected units will come with a complimentary pull-down Murphy Bed, says CDL’s Lee. “Tactical promotions for selected units will be offered for a limited period,” she adds.