Trophy homes with a view

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
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February 18, 2019 9:49 AM SGT
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A peek at South Beach Residences – a luxury project coveted by the rich, discerning and well-travelled

South Beach Residences previewed on Sept 8, timed to coincide with the Singapore Grand Prix 2018 the following weekend. Within a fortnight, more than 20 units were sold, including the 6,728 sq ft, super penthouse that fetched $26 million ($3,864 psf).
Panoramic view from a high-floor unit at South Beach Residences (Credit: South Beach Consortium)
In November, South Beach Consortium, a joint venture between City Developments Ltd (CDL) and IOI Group, held a roadshow in Hong Kong. “It created heightened buying interest in the larger units which has continued in 2019,” says Samantha Tan, general manager of South Beach Consortium. “The orientation of the larger units was also a strong draw for the buyers.”
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By Feb 14, a total of 53 units have been sold. About 70-75% of the buyers are described as “international”, notably from the US, China, India, Indonesia and Japan. “They tend to be well-travelled and embrace the global trend of living in a downtown integrated development,” notes Tan. There were also those who bought multiple units. “As the project has only 190 units, some have bought more than one apartment to enjoy different views of Marina Bay and the city,” she continues.
The most sought-after units were those in “stack 8” with a direct view of Marina Bay and the F1 Pit Building and starting grid. These were the first to be snapped up. “We sold over 20 units during the F1 period, and these were all the four-bedroom units,” recounts Tan.
View of Suntec City, Marina Bay and the sea from one of the units at South Beach Residences (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Bragging rights

With such views, the units at South Beach Residences are regarded as “trophy assets”. There are also bragging rights associated with the privilege of inviting business partners and friends not just for dinner, but to enjoy the firework displays at “large-scale events” in Marina Bay – from the National Day Parade to the New Year countdown and the Singapore Grand Prix night race.
Other units have a view of Marina Bay, and the CBD, the sea and Sentosa Island in the distance. Meanwhile, there are also units which overlook the Civic District, with direct views of Raffles Hotel, Parliament House, St Andrew’s Cathedral. Another stack of units offers uninterrupted views of the Orchard Road shopping district.
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“It’s a matter of individual preference,” says Tan. “Some people like the view of Marina Bay and the activities around the bay. Others prefer a view of the historical district, which also has a view of Marina Bay and the CBD.”
The most coveted view: View of the F1 Pit Building and starting grid of the Singapore Grand Prix (Credit: South Beach Consortium)

Next phase released

As all 50 units of the first phase have been sold, South Beach Consortium has released another 25 units for sale. “Prices have been adjusted upwards for some of the units,” says Tan. “As the take-up has been good, we will closely monitor the market and launch any new phase at an appropriate time.”
South Beach Residences has 190 units and span the 23rd to 45th floors of the taller tower, with the 634-room JW Marriott situated on the lower half (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
South Beach Residences spans the 23rd to 45th storeys of the 45-storey tower. The lower half of the tower is occupied by the 634-room, luxury hotel JW Marriott Singapore, which opened in mid-December 2016. South Beach Residences and JW Marriott Singapore occupy the taller of two towers in the mixed-use development.
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The shorter tower is 34 storeys in height and contains over 500,000 sq ft of Grade-A office space. Anchor tenants include the likes of Bain & Co, Facebook and Rabobank.
The project is designed by renowned UK architectural firm, Foster + Partners, and the two towers at South Beach stand out against the city skyline with their distinctive profile. The interiors of the hotel and the residences bear the hallmark of French designer Philippe Starck.
A three-bedroom unit with a balcony offering views of the Civic District (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Downtown location

Beyond the prestige and the views, another attraction of South Beach Residences is its location within Singapore’s new downtown district. The integrated development includes a retail and F&B podium with an array of cafés, restaurants and pubs.
Residents will be able to enjoy special privileges when using JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach’s F&B establishments, spa, laundry and housekeeping services, says Tan. They will be able to use their “resident card” to dine at any of the hotel’s F&B outlets, and will only be billed on a monthly basis.
Furthermore, South Beach Residences is directly linked to two MRT stations, Esplanade and City Hall, and nearby amenities and attractions such as Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Suntec City and Raffles City.
The master bedroom suite has a view of the city skyline (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Another attraction within the South Beach integrated development is Madame Fan, a Chinese-themed F&B destination featuring a bar, private dining rooms and a Chinese restaurant located within the conserved building that formerly housed the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officers) Club. The former swimming pool of the NCO Club has been converted into an underwater theatre that features dance performances by “mermaids” and synchronised swimmers.
The JW Marriott facilities include 15 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom, featuring “icicle-like chandeliers” designed by Starck. The grand ballroom is a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.

Wave of Chinese buyers

Chinese nationals are believed to account for half of the international buyers. The buyer of the $26 million super penthouse is also said to be a Chinese national. “South Beach Residences appeals to buyers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” says Bruce Lye, managing partner of Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI).
Escalators leading to the retail and F&B podium as well as the entrance to the Esplanade MRT station on the Circle Line (Credit: Sameui Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Many of these Chinese buyers are purchasing units at South Beach Residences for their own use. “Singapore is a safe haven,” says South Beach Consortium’s Tan. “They like to bring their families here because of the quality education and the city-state’s location as a base for their regional businesses.”
About 12 of the 53 units sold at South Beach Residences to date were brokered by PropNex, according to Dominic Lee, the firm’s head of luxury team. Of the 12 buyers, 11 were from China and one from India. There were also multiple unit purchases among this group of buyers, he says.
“These buyers are very discerning,” observes Lee. “They don’t just buy units in any project. They like South Beach Residences because of the prestige, the fact that JW Marriot Hotel is just below and the view from their unit, especially those with direct views of the F1 Pit Building and the starting grid.”
The conserved building that houses the meeting rooms of JW Marriott Singapore (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Four units at South Beach Residences were sold on Feb 1 alone, and these were also purchased by Chinese buyers who bought two units each. Both these deals were handled by Rochelle Chow, an agent with SRI.
These two buyers are believed to be friends from the same province in China. Both purchased two adjacent three-bedroom units of 2,099 sq ft and 1,916 sq ft each on the 42nd and 43rd levels respectively. The one who purchased the two units on the 42nd level paid $6.95 million ($3,309 psf) and $6.57 million ($3,427 psf) respectively; while the other who purchased the two units on the 43rd level directly above paid $6.98 million ($3,324 psf) and $6.6 million ($3,443 psf) respectively. The total amount spent by each buyer was over $13.5 million and these transactions were done without need of financing.

High-rise appeal

“They bought the units for their own use,” says SRI’s Lye. Besides its prestige, South Beach Residences is favoured by this group of well-heeled buyers as it is a new development. “The view from the units was also key in their decision,” he adds.
The children's pool at the sky garden on the 32nd floor of South Beach Residences (Credit: City Developments)
Besides the four units at South Beach Residences, SRI also brokered the sale of a 3,918 sq ft penthouse at V on Shenton for $10.08 million ($2,573 psf) and a three-bedroom unit on the 36th floor there that fetched $3.638 million ($2,061 psf) on Jan 30, according to caveats lodged that day. Both buyers were also said to be Chinese nationals, and the sales were brokered by SRI agent Andy Goh.
V on Shenton is a 510-unit development located on Shenton Way, and is a redevelopment of the former UIC Building by United Industrial Corp. The residential tower is part of a mixed-use development that contains a new Grade-A office tower bearing the name of the old landmark.

Collectors of luxury units

Some of the Chinese buyers at South Beach Residences are “collectors” of units in CDL’s other luxury projects, notes PropNex’s Lee. They have also purchased units in the 124- unit New Futura on Leonie Hill Road and the 174-unit Gramercy Park on Grange Road, both freehold projects in prime Districts 9 and 10 respectively that were developed by CDL.
The residents' lounge at the basement level from the carpark (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Lee therefore anticipates that CDL’s upcoming luxury development, Boulevard 88 (the redevelopment of the former Boulevard Hotel), to also be sought-after by these individuals. The project will front the prestigious Orchard Boulevard and it will be a 28-storey tower with 154 units – a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments as well as penthouses.
Boulevard 88 is part of a mixed-use development that includes the eight-storey, boutique hotel with 190 rooms called The Singapore Edition, a collaboration between Granmil Holdings (a CDL and Hong Leong Holdings joint venture) and American real estate developer and hotelier, Ian Schrager, together with Marriott International. The Singapore Edition is positioned as “the first true international luxury-lifestyle brand”, and will mark the fifth city in the Asia-Pacific to feature the five-star brand under Marriott.
SRI’s Lye reckons the new launches of such luxury projects will continue to find favour with international buyers. “These buyers want a brand new product where they can move in immediately,” he says. “They don’t want an old place where they have to go through the headache of having to fix up. They are also very selective in light of the property cooling measures, which means a higher additional buyer’s stamp duty.”