V on Shenton rides CBD transformation

By Charlene Chin
/ EdgeProp |
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The area in the CBD that has undergone the biggest transformation is the stretch on Shenton Way. The former Robina House at No 1 Shenton Way was redeveloped into the One Shenton twin towers, with 341 residential units.
Next door to One Shenton is Shenton House at No 3 Shenton Way, a strata-titled mixed office and retail development with a 99-year lease from 1969. The strata owners are attempting a collective sale.
Adjacent to Shenton House is the former UIC Building at No 5 Shenton Way. The 40-storey building was completed in 1973 and used to be the headquarters of United Industrial Corp (UIC). It has since been demolished, and a mixed-use development — V on Shenton — has been constructed on the site. V on Shenton now comprises a 54-storey, 510-apartment tower and a 23-storey office tower that still bears its legacy name.
Rejuvenating Shenton Way
V on Shenton’s façade, which resembles the honeycomb pattern of a beehive, was designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel (Credit: UIC)
That stretch of Shenton Way has become more vibrant since the completion of V on Shenton last year, which also marked the debut of OUE Downtown Gallery across the road. Both OUE Downtown Gallery and V on Shenton-UIC Building are linked by a sky bridge across Shenton Way.
V on Shenton was designed by renowned Dutch architect Ben van Berkel. To differentiate it from other neighbouring towers, Van Berkel introduced hexagonal grids on the building’s façade, resembling the honeycomb pattern of a beehive. At nightfall, the office and residential towers light up, changing gradually from white to blue.
OUE Downtown Gallery is, in turn, a refurbishment of the former DBS Towers One and Two— two office blocks linked by a street-level podium with a 262m frontage on Shenton Way — which OUE purchased for $870.5 million in August 2010.
OUE Downtown Gallery also underwent a $30 million facelift. It has a good mix of retail and F&B offerings from The Providore, with a multi-concept store in the basement level containing a wine room, café, grocer, bakery and cooking studio; Venue by Sebastian, a restaurant by the former chef-partner of Restaurant Ember; and Express by Chatterbox, a lighter, no-frills version of the famous Chatterbox at Mandarin Gallery of Mandarin Orchard hotel.
Leisure pods on the sky garden of the 24th floor (Credit: UIC)
With the completion of V on Shenton and UIC Building, as well as the opening of OUE Downtown Gallery, all the elements of work-live-play are now in place, giving the CBD new life, says Silvia Wang, assistant general manager (residential marketing) at UIC.
There has been a wider acceptance of working, playing and living in the CBD, agrees Ong Choon Fah, CEO of Edmund Tie & Co. ET&-Co moved its office to UIC Building about a year ago, after more than two decades at Shaw Towers on Beach Road. The CBD used to suffer from a hollowing-out on weeknights and weekends. “These days, on weekends, you don’t see many cars in the CBD, but there are lanes and lanes of cyclists,” adds Ong. “It’s nice to see life returning to the city after office hours.”

She recounts a recent morning when she was going to work and saw a resident from V on Shenton in the next building decked in shorts and slippers, popping by Mellower Coffee for his breakfast. Ong sees a trend towards a “collarless society”, where the lines between blue- and white-collar workers are blurred. “People are a lot more casual in what they wear to work these days,” she adds.
Steady sales
The eighth floor of V on Shenton h ouses facilities such as swimming and spa pools, a tanning deck and a lounge (Credit: UIC)
Since V on Shenton was launched in 2012, the development has been clocking steady sales and is 86% sold today. Only 70 units remain available, most of which are the larger three-bedroom units of 1,356 to 1,765 sq ft. In addition, five penthouses of 3,315 to 6,814 sq ft are still available. Most of the studios and one- and two-bedroom units have been taken up.
About half the buyers are said to be Singaporeans, with the rest foreigners, mainly from China, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia, says UIC’s Wang. While the buyers of the smaller units are investors, most of the buyers of the larger units tend to be owner-occupiers. Many millennial Singaporeans also enjoy the convenience of city-living, she adds.
The prices of the remaining units start from $1.6 million for a studio, with an average asking price at $2,550 psf.
In line with the more bullish sentiment in the residential property market, the volume of transactions and prices achieved have also increased. At V on Shenton, the average price of units sold for the first four months of the year was $2,381 psf, up 18.4% from the average launch price of $2,011 psf in August 2012.
Capitalising on views
Residents can enjoy skyline views of the CBD from V on Shenton (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The highest absolute price achieved at V on Shenton was for the biggest penthouse of 7,255 sq ft, sold at launch for $13.4 million. The buyer was said to be a “penthouse collector”. Meanwhile, the highest psf price so far was achieved by a 452 sq ft studio on the 51st floor that was sold for $1.46 million, or $3,225 psf.
Residents at V on Shenton can enjoy unobstructed views of the sea from their apartments, as well as the sky gardens on the 24th and 34th floors of the 54-storey tower. The eighth floor houses facilities such as swimming and spa pools, a tanning deck and a lounge.

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