Oxley Holdings: Winning with design intent

By Amy Tan / EdgeProp Singapore | October 25, 2019 3:00 PM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Even in the face of stricter property cooling measures, Singapore-listed Oxley Holdings’ executive chairman and CEO Ching Chiat Kwong is undeterred. “It is definitely a challenge, but challenges create [room] for imagination,” he says.
Since April last year, the group has rolled out 10 residential projects in Singapore, each with its own distinctive style. This strategy bodes well for Oxley. At the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards 2019 on Oct 18, it swept 12 awards, including Top Developer.
Oxley Holdings’ executive chairman and CEO Ching Chiat Kwong (left) receiving the Top Developer Award (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
“We are honoured to have won the Top Developer Award as this is the first time and we faced strong industry players,” Ching says.
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Its projects, 1953 and Riverfront Residences, also won multiple awards, including Design Excellence, Innovation Excellence, and Top Development, among others. Meanwhile, Affinity at Serangoon, Mayfair Gardens, and The Verandah Residences were recognised for Landscape Excellence, Top Development, and Marketing Excellence, respectively.
Ching reveals that to differentiate their projects, his team at Oxley carefully thought out the design intent of each project. “The design intent of each project [matches] with the site location, whether it is in the Central or Non-Central region. This is to create a certain lifestyle for buyers,” he explains.
This approach also helps Oxley to woo buyers as they become more discerning given the number of residential launches in the market. “Buyers are now savvy so they would want the design of a project to suit their lifestyles before committing,” he adds.

Unique projects

For instance, 1953, which clinched five awards, was conceived as an iconic landmark. Located at the junction of Balestier and Tessensohn Roads, the freehold, mixed-use development comprises 58 apartments and 14 strata commercial units spread across six conservation shophouses and a sleek six-storey residential block annex. The conserved buildings presented an opportunity for Oxley to pay homage to the area’s history while adding a modern twist.
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Located at the junction of Balestier and Tessensohn Roads, 1953 was conceived as an iconic landmark (Photo: Oxley Holdings)
“Responding to the essence of the Balestier neighbourhood, 1953 adopts a similar blueprint of the original shophouses, where early immigrants settled and built their lives. The merchants would set up their businesses on the ground level, and the family residence would be on the upper storeys,” Ching says.
Elsewhere, The Verandah Residences, at the junction of Pasir Panjang Road and South Buona Vista Road, was inspired by the black-and-white bungalows of Pasir Panjang’s colonial past. When the freehold project was launched in April last year, it was sold out within three months. The development has 167 apartments and three strata houses.
The Verandah Residences was sold out within three months of its launch (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Over at Bukit Timah, Oxley envisioned the 99-year leasehold Mayfair Gardens as an upscale project similar to those found in London’s Mayfair. As such, the luxury project has elements of the Georgian architecture of Mayfair in London.
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According to Oxley, the rationale for this design is to make Mayfair Gardens stand out from the slew of upcoming projects. “We drew similarities between Bukit Timah and Mayfair in London as Bukit Timah is a prime district rich in heritage, nature and amenities,” says Ching. The project has 215 one- to four-bedroom apartments and penthouses.
Mayfair Gardens has elements of the Georgian architecture of Mayfair in London (Photo: Oxley Holdings)
Meanwhile, the design concept for the 99-year leasehold Affinity at Serangoon was inspired by luxury resort living. The project has 1,002 one- to four-bedroom apartments, 10 penthouses, 40 townhouses and five retail shops. To cater to the needs of residents, Oxley has provided 88 condo facilities. The project also has water elements that stretch across its grounds and divide the development into three man-made islands housing facilities such as a clubhouse, a gym and lounge decks.
Affinity at Serangoon has 1,002 one- to four-bedroom apartments, 10 penthouses, 40 townhouses and five retail shops (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
At Hougang Avenue 7, the 99-year leasehold Riverfront Residences has a total of 1,472 units, comprising nine 17-storey blocks of one- to five-bedroom apartments, 21 strata-landed houses and six strata shops. The four- and five-bedroom premium units come with private lift access. Located close to Sungei Serangoon, Oxley has angled the blocks towards the river to maximise the views of residential units. The project has more than 100 condo facilities that are spread across three coves: Resort, Lifestyle and Botanic.

Making waves overseas

Aside from Singapore, Oxley has also diversified overseas. Currently, the group has overseas business presence in 10 geographical markets: the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Australia.
Riverfront Residences has more than 100 condo facilities that are spread across three coves: Resort, Lifestyle and Botanic (Photo: Oxley Holdings)
One of its overseas flagship projects is Royal Wharf. The freehold waterfront project on the banks of the River Thames in London spans 3.9 million sq ft and has 3,385 apartments and townhouses, 161,460 sq ft of office space, and 53,820 sq ft of retail and F&B space. More than 90% of the residential units at the project have been sold and are expected to be substantially completed by the end of next year.
In May last year, Oxley was appointed by the Irish government to develop a 1.98 ha parcel at Connolly Station, Dublin. Oxley holds a 90% stake in the 300-year leasehold site which will comprise 1,358 accommodation-related units, commercial and community spaces. In Oxley’s 2019 annual report released on June 30, Ching states that he is confident of Dublin’s property market outlook due to Ireland’s pro-business environment. At the same time, he believes that Dublin serves as an attractive location for businesses looking for an alternative to London.
More than 90% of the residential units at Royal Wharf have been sold (Photo: Oxley Holdings)
Closer to home, Oxley’s The Peak in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is currently under construction and the retail mall is expected to commence operation in FY2020. CapitaLand Retail Management has been appointed to manage the mall. In addition to the retail space, The Peak development includes residential and soho units. Collectively, the project is 87% sold.
Next year marks Oxley’s 10th anniversary of its incorporation and listing on the Singapore Exchange. Over the years, Oxley has evolved from a Singapore residential developer into an international real estate developer in the residential, commercial, hospitality and industrial spaces.
Looking ahead, Ching says he intends to continue “positioning Oxley as one of Singapore’s top developers by providing quality homes catered to the needs and aspirations of homeowners”.
“We are always on the lookout for investment opportunities and will not hesitate to top up our landbank if we come across good opportunities,” he says. “We are [also] open to expanding our footprint in the global market.”
For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out Oxley's projects research page: 1953, Riverfront Residences, Affinity at Serangoon, Mayfair Gardens, The Verandah Residences, Royal Wharf, The Peak
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