One-North Eden — first condo launch in the area in 14 years

By Cecilia Chow & Charlene Chin
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
1 of 19
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - When Yoichi Kaga first visited the site of One-North Eden, he liked it very much. “It is surrounded by rich greenery, and there are many tech companies and R&D centres in the area,” says the managing director of TID, a joint venture between two major real estate firms, Singapore’s Hong Leong Holdings and Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan.
Kaga: There is currently a strong demand for residential units in the onenorth area; the launch of One-North Eden comes at an opportune time (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Kaga had arrived in Singapore 10 months ago — in late June after the “circuit breaker” was lifted. Prior to that, he was based in Mitsui Fudosan’s Hong Kong office.
An avid Star Wars fan, he also visited the Sandcrawler Building, which was inspired by the fictional transport vehicle in the original 1977 Star Wars movie. The eight-storey building was sold to US private equity group Blackstone for $175.8 million ($726 psf) in January.
The Sandcrawler Building is certainly a landmark in one-north, a master-planned cluster for R&D and technology companies. One-north has been positioned by master developer JTC Corp as “Southeast Asia’s Silicon Valley”. Plans are underway for the “greater one-north”, encompassing Science Park 1 & 2 as well as JTC’s Launchpad, a hub for start-ups.
One-north is also connected to National University Hospital and National University of Singapore. Other educational institutions in the vicinity include the Insead business school, Essec Business School, Fairfield Methodist Primary and Secondary Schools, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Anglo-Chinese Junior College as well as United World College of South East Asia (Dover Campus). Even Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU’s) alumni club and executive centre is located in one-north. The Ministry of Education Building is located nearby in Buona Vista.
Tech companies such as Grab and Razer have based their corporate headquarters in one-north, along with multinational firms such as British consumer goods company Unilever, whose Four Acres Singapore Campus is in Nepal Park. American consumer goods company Procter & Gamble’s P&G Innovation Centre is at Biopolis.
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Aerial view of one-north, where the upcoming 165-unie One-North Eden is scheduled for launch on April 24 (Credit: TID)

Strong demand for residential units

“There is currently a strong demand for residential units in the one-north area,” says Kaga in a press statement. “The launch of this project comes at an opportune time. It has been 14 years since a residential project was built here and private residential options are limited.”
Indeed, the last two projects that were launched in one-north were One-North Residences and The Rochester Residences. The 405-unit One-North Residences, by UOL Group and Kheng Leong, was launched in March 2007 at an average price of $900 psf, fully sold and completed in 2009. Recent transactions have ranged from $815,000 ($1,520 psf) for a 592 sq ft, one-bedroom unit to $3 million ($1,124 psf) for a 2,669 sq ft penthouse, according to caveats lodged from last October to March to date. Most units changed hands in the $1,400–1,500 psf range.
The Rochester Residences by United Engineers was launched just four months later in July 2007. The 366-unit The Rochester Residences is part of a mixed-use development that includes The Rochester Mall and a 271-room-cum-serviced apartment tower, Park Avenue Rochester. The project is located just across the road from Buona Vista MRT Station and The Star Vista Mall.
The Rochester Residences was therefore launched at a premium to One-North Residences, at an average price of $1,300 psf. Completed in 2011, units have changed hands at prices ranging from $1.28 million ($1,486 psf) for an 861 sq ft, one-bedroom unit to $2.6 million ($1,396 psf) for a 1,862 sq ft, three-bedroom unit, based on caveats lodged from last October to March to date.
It is not surprising that One-North Eden’s site was so hotly contested when it was put up for sale by tender two years ago. The tender closed with nine bids in September 2019. TID won the 99-year leasehold site with a top bid of $155.7 million or $1,001 psf per plot ratio (ppr).
One-North Eden is located within a 10-minute walk of two MRT stations, namely Buona Vista MRT Interchange Station (for the East-West and Circle Lines) and one-north MRT Station (Circle Line). Bounded by One-North Gateway and Slim Barracks Rise, One-North Eden will provide its residents with easy access to F&B and retail amenities at The Star Vista, Rochester Mall, and the upcoming One Holland Village condo.
One-North Eden has two residential towers of 13 and 15 storeys, including commercial units on the first level, with six units designated for F&B and one for retail use (Credit: TID)

Designed to appeal to owner-occupiers

The project is designed by P&T Consultants in collaboration with Japanese firm Hoshino Architects, with Singapore-based SuMisura as the interior designer for the units in the development. SuMisura designed the sales gallery as well as one of the two showflats at One-North Eden.
The project sits on a land area of 62,202 sq ft, and contains just 165 units in two residential blocks of 13 and 15 storeys. The first storey of the development has six commercial units designated for F&B use and one unit for retail use, which could serve as a gourmet grocer’s.
Apartment sizes start from 517 sq ft for a one-bedroom-plus-study, to 1,410 sq ft for a four-bedroom premium. One-bedroom-plus-study units make up just 24 units (14.6%) in the development; while two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-study units, with sizes of 689 to 797 sq ft, account for 70 units (42%). Another 39 units (23.6%) are three-bedroom compact and premium units, with sizes from 947 to 1,119 sq ft. The balance 32 units are four-bedroom compact and premium units, with sizes from 1,259 to 1,410 sq ft.
According to TID, apartments are priced from $995,000 ($1,925 psf) for a 517 sq ft one-bedroom-plus-study unit; $1.288 million ($1,869 psf) for a two-bedder of 689 sq ft; $1.768 million ($1,867 psf) for a 947 sq ft three-bedder; and $2.288 million ($1,817 psf) for a 1,259 sq ft four-bedder.
Due to its strategic location and unit sizes, Kaga expects One-North Eden to appeal to owner-occupiers. Besides its proximity to MRT stations, the development is also within a 15-minute drive to the CBD and Orchard Road. Located in District 5 in the Rest of Central Region, one-north was conceived with the work-live-play lifestyle in mind.
Showflat of a two-bedroom premium unit, with layout design by Angela Lim of SuMisura (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)

‘Cosy atmosphere’

Given the campus-style office buildings, park-like environment and surrounding greenery, “the atmosphere at One-North is very cosy”, remarks Kaga. One-North Eden is thus designed to attract “the new generation of tech-savvy professionals and young families”, he says.
Amenities at One-North Eden will cater to a post-pandemic lifestyle and units are designed for the work-from-home era. For instance, function rooms in the development can double as meeting rooms or work areas. Facial recognition systems installed at the lobby, basement, and the common areas on the first and second storeys allow for hands-free access to the premises.
Units at One-North Eden come fitted with smart technology. Each home will be equipped with a digital door lockset, a Daikin Smart Hub that integrates smart devices onto a single-control platform to control air-conditioning in the living, dining and master bedroom. Owners of the four-bedroom units can use the smart mirror with a built-in speaker and microphone to access news, photos and their calendars.
Owners will be able to choose from a palette of warm or cool colour tones for the fittings in their respective units. Each apartment will also be furnished with appliances from Bosch and sanitary wares from Zucchetti and Geberit.
One-North Eden previewed on April 10, and is scheduled for launch on April 24. TID has appointed the two biggest marketing agencies for its project, namely PropNex Realty and ERA Realty Network.
The study of a two-bedroom premium unit (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)

‘Fear of missing out’

Ismail Gafoor, CEO of PropNex, expects demand to be “very positive” given that there has not been a new condo launch in one-north in 14 years. “Rental demand is expected to be very strong due to limited supply of residential units in the one-north area which has a workforce of close to 50,000,” he says.
Gafoor projects that investors at One-North Eden can expect both rental and price appreciation in the years to come, and reckons investors can expect rental yields of about 3%.
According to EdgeProp Research, recent rental transactions for one-bedroom units at One-North Residences were at $2,600 to $2,900 a month in February. The larger one-bedroom units in the 800–900 sq ft range at The Rochester Residences have been leased at $3,100 to $3,700 per month in February, according to EdgeProp tools.
Prices at One-North Eden may start from about $1,900 psf, but Gafoor expects some of the smaller units to cross $2,000 psf, given the limited stock. Even if prices cross $2,000 psf, it is still a value proposition, he reasons, pointing to Avenue South Residence at Silat Avenue, off Kampong Bahru Road. A city-fringe project in District 3, Avenue South Residence was launched in September 2019, and prices for many of the mid- to high-floor units have crossed $2,000 psf.
Besides investors, Gafoor sees interest from owner-occupiers too, mainly couples who are purchasing for their own use and families with children of school-going age. He expects the project to be “at least two times subscribed”.
No doubt, demand at One-North Eden is partly driven by the “fear of missing out”, says Nicholas Mak, head of research at ERA Realty. “After all, there are only 165 units in the development.”
With one-bedroom units starting from just below $1 million, and two-bedroom units priced from just below $1.3 million, One-North Eden is “very palatable” to investors, Mak says.
Storage space in the four-bedroom premium unit, with interior design by SuMisura (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)

‘Paradox of land prices’

Adjacent to One-North Eden are two development land sites — Parcel A and Parcel B at Slim Barracks Rise. Both 99-year leasehold sites are on the Confirmed List and scheduled for launch in June. Parcel A has a site area of 85,036 sq ft and can be developed into a new condominium with 265 residential units and 8,611 sq ft of commercial space. Parcel B is smaller, at 63,058 sq ft, and may yield 140 residential units and 4,306 sq ft of commercial space.
“Even if the two sites are launched for sale in June, assuming the tenders close three months later in September, the earliest the two new projects could be launched for sale by the respective developers will be at the end of next year,” points out Mak.
If demand for units at One-North Eden proves to be strong, bidding for the two sites at Slim Barracks Rise is likely to intensify, resulting in higher land prices, adds Mak. “This is the paradox of land prices, where more supply leads to higher prices of the new projects.”
Lee Liat Yeang, senior partner of corporate real estate practice at Dentons Rodyk, agrees: “In my view, the two neighbouring plots at Slim Barracks Rise will not temper demand for One-North Eden,” he says. “The project should ride the pent-up housing demand in the one-north area that has been deprived of new supply for more than a decade.”
Living room of a four-bedroom premium unit with double-volume ceiling height (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
If anything, investors and buyers at One-North Eden will surmise that future launch prices of these new projects are likely to be higher, with land costs expected to be higher, adds Lee.
One-North Eden is scheduled for completion by December 2024. Competition for tenants is expected to be limited even then, notes Mak. The two existing 99-year leasehold projects, One-North Residences and The Rochester Residences, would be 15 and 13 years old respectively. Hence, One-North Eden, being the newest in the area, will be able to command a rental premium, he reckons.
In fact, One-North Eden is an example of TID’s “Blue Ocean Strategy” — to find sites where there is “no severe competition”, says Kaga. “Finding such a site is actually very difficult,” he adds.

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