Digital experience at Allgreen’s Fourth Avenue sales gallery

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/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
August 21, 2020 9:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - It wasn’t Covid-19 that triggered the team at Allgreen Properties to adopt a 270-degree, multi-sensory, immersive digital experience for the new Fourth Avenue Residences sales gallery. Rather, it was science fiction; to be exact, the 2002 Steven Spielberg science fiction movie Minority Report set in 2054. The human-computer interface created by then MIT PhD research student John Underkoffler for the movie 20 years ago has become very real today.
The 3D holographic displays - EDGEPROP Singapore
The 3D holographic displays allows people to navigate the virtual showflats using hand gestures (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Anson Lim, senior general manager for residential marketing and sales at Allgreen Properties, describes the version at Fourth Avenue Residences sales gallery as “reimagining Tom Cruise in Minority Report”. Unlike Minority Report, which cost US$102 million to make, Allgreen Properties invested about $300,000 in its “270-degree multi-sensory immersive theatre, holographic showflat displays and Interactive 3-D project model app” for the sales gallery. “We thought of doing a total digital experience even before Covid-19, but the timing turned out to be good,” he says.
For instance, the 3D holographic, 16-inch (40.6-cm) displays were imported from the US, and use hand gestures to navigate around six different showflats. One can also zoom into a specific unit in the project and see the actual view from the unit as one moves up each floor – from the fourth, fifth or 10th floor, explains Lim. The good thing about using hand gestures (in this case, one’s fist) instead of touchscreen in this Covid-19 era is that it is contactless, he adds. “We are the first developer to adopt this cutting-edge technology.”
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The move towards a digital experience was also motivated by a very practical reason: site constraint. This is because the original sales gallery was situated on the actual site of the project, and had to be demolished last December to make way for construction of the 476-unit, high-end private condo. It is located on Fourth Avenue, just off Bukit Timah Road in prime District 10. “We needed to have another sales gallery to continue with our marketing efforts,” explains Lim.
Lim - EDGEPROP Singapore
Lim: We thought of doing a total digital experience even before Covid-19, but the timing turned out to be good (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The developer also wanted a location close to the actual project. Fortunately, just across the road on Fourth Avenue is a piece of vacant land that Allgreen Properties had leased from the Singapore Land Authority under a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL). It was used to build the sales gallery of its other project under the Bukit Timah Collection, namely the 285-unit Royalgreen, which was launched last October. That led to the idea of carving up part of the TOL site, specifically the car park, to be developed into the new gallery for Fourth Avenue Residences. This also makes it convenient for marketing agents to “cross-sell” the projects, says Lim.
The land area that was carved up was only 250sqm(2,691sqft)–about20%to25%ofa typical sales gallery that can accommodate three showflats. Without the luxury of space for physical showflats, Allgreen opted for “a new digital experiential journey” for the new gallery. “While it was planned last December — even before the Covid-19 circuit breaker measures — it turned out to be the right move to leverage the digital platform for our marketing and sales efforts,” adds Lim. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation and unlocked new growth opportunities.”
However, Covid-19 did cause a delay in the opening of the new sales gallery by some three to four months. “Because of the circuit breaker, we only completed the carcass of the sales gallery in early April,” recounts Lim. “We had originally targeted to open the new sales gallery in April.” But the circuit breaker had meant the closure of all sales galleries and suspension of physical viewing and sales activity for 2 1⁄2 months.
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The new Fourth Avenue Residences - EDGEPROP Singapore
The new Fourth Avenue Residences sales gallery sits on Fourth Avenue, across the road from the actual site and is directly opposite Royalgreen's sales gallery (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Since the opening of the sales gallery on Aug 1, Allgreen has sold 20 units at Fourth Avenue Residences. This is a pick-up in sales momentum compared to July, when 11 units were sold; and June, when seven units were sold. Average price of units sold to date is $2,371 psf, based on caveats lodged with URA Realis. “The overall average price has been maintained, even though there were some price adjustments for different units,” notes Lim.
For instance, Allgreen is currently offering buyers a selection of one- and two-bedroom units where maintenance fees will be waived for the first two years. “We believe buyers of such units tend to be investors who want to rent out their apartments,” explains Lim. “With two years’ complimentary maintenance fees, they will be able to enjoy a better rental yield.”
One-bedroom units are priced from $1.1 million, and two-bedroom units from $1.4 million. These entry prices have enticed those from the Outside Central Region (OCR) areas of Bukit Batok, Hillview Avenue and Upper Bukit Timah, as well as those from the city-fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR), for instance, the Serangoon area. “About 40% of the buyers are those from OCR, with another 30% from RCR and 30% from the Core Central Region, including those in Districts 9, 10 and 11,” notes Lim.
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Fourth Avenue Residences - EDGEPROP Singapore
Selected one-bedroom (showflat pictured) and two-bedroom units at Fourth Avenue Residences are offered for sale with conservancy charges free for the first two years (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Fourth Avenue Residences is also benefitting from the buzz in the Bukit Timah area, following the launch of a residential and commercial site at Jalan Anak Bukit in June. The government land sales (GLS) site is located near the up- coming Beauty World integrated transport hub.
In the future, Fourth Avenue Residences will be linked to the adjacent Sixth Avenue MRT Station on the Downtown Line. The MRT station will also be directly connected to an upcoming 1.4km sky park that will be built above the Bukit Timah canal, and will also stretch to Elm Avenue and the Rail Corridor. It will form part of the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor between Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road and extended to the Kallang Riverside in the future.
Lim foresees there could be some delay in the project completion period, which was originally scheduled for August 2022, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak in the foreign workers’ dormitories over the past four months. “The construction workforce hasn’t fully resumed work yet, and some of the workers have also opted to return to their home country,” he says. “That will affect the construction period for projects, and we think the delay could be more than six months.”
However, the residential market appears to be resilient despite Covid-19, observes Lim. The URA private residential property price index actually showed a 0.3% q-o-q uptick in 2Q2020 compared to a 1% drop q-o-q in 1Q2020. “It shows that prices have stabilised,” notes Lim. Meanwhile, 2Q2020 clocked total private new home sales of 1,713 units, which actually surpassed what analysts had predicted, he points out.
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