Fifties feel to SDB's Village At Pasir Panjang

THE good old days, when children ran around in the open while their parents and elders mingled, are some of the elements Selangor Dredging Bhd (SDB) hopes to have at its new low-rise residential project in Singapore. Christened Village At Pasir Panjang, it was launched in Singapore and Malaysia on Dec 7.

"We are trying to bring back the kampung [village] feel of the 1950s. A time when things were much simpler, when people congregated in the evening and watched their children play and sit under the coconut trees," explains SDB communications and corporate affairs manager Yeoh Guan Jin.

The development has a gross development value of S$260 million (RM650.64 million) and is expected to be completed in 2016. Located on a 2.5-acre freehold site in Pasir Panjang Road at the west coast of Singapore, it is near West Coast Plaza, National University of Singapore and the popular 123.5-acre West Coast Park.

The architectural facade of the project draws references from the "black and white" houses of the 1950s.

One of the project's main features will be a lawn area measuring 7,430 sq ft. "A large lawn area with enough space for children to run around and play is the centre of attention in this project instead of the pool." says Yeoh. "The lawn will be at a 12° gradient. We wanted some flexibility in our concept and not just a typical flat field. Even the coconut trees will be planted in a random pattern. This will give a carefree environment."

Moreover, the buildings will shield the lawn area from the main road so it will be quieter — ideal for lying on the lawn or on one of the deck chairs that will be provided and read a book. For a more relaxing ambience, water art pieces will be placed at the side of the 50m swimming pool.

The Village will comprise 148 apartments housed in nine clusters of five-storey buildings. The units will have built-ups from 818 sq ft to 2,303 sq ft with a starting price of about S$1.4 million or between S$1,650 psf and S$1,660 psf. Each unit will come with one parking spot.

Each cluster will have its own lift core and each access card is programmed to allow a resident access to only the level he or she lives on. The project is also earthquake-resistant, which is a standard feature for all SDB's products.

The units will have 2, 3 and 4-bedroom layouts with a Datum Line throughout the space to provide a sense of connectivity between the living spaces, says Yeoh. Each unit will be furnished with built-in wardrobes; built-in kitchen cabinets with sink, cooker hob and hood; refrigerator; oven; washing machine-cum-dryer; single or multi-split air conditioning in the living/dining room, master bedroom and other bedrooms; hot water supply; and an audio intercom system.

Other amenities will include a 350m jogging path that will link to the playground and other common areas like a clubhouse. There will also be a gym and function room.

Ideal for rental
For investors, this project will be ideal for rental income, says Yeoh. The expected rental returns for a 2-bedroom is estimated to be S$3,000 to S$4,500 per month, with the 3 and 4-bedroom units fetching an estimated S$5,500 to S$6,500 per month.

Rental yields in the area, according to Yeoh, are between 3% and 6% based on a price of S$1,300 to S$1,700 psf. As the starting price for the Village is S$1,650 psf, Yeoh believes yields will be about 3%.

Although recent cooling measures by the Singapore government have somewhat affected the property market in the city-state, Yeoh believes it will recover soon. "Measures like the increase in stamp duty have dampened the market but we believe that this effect is only temporary. People will get used to it eventually.

"And the fact that Singapore is always attracting new and foreign senior management talent means there will be continuous demand for property as well. For example, in Malaysia it might take you six months to rent out your unit. In Singapore, it takes one month or less. The demand will still be there but it just takes time for people to get used to the new policies."

The Village is SDB's fifth project in Singapore after Jia (fully sold and handed over), Gilstead 2 (fully sold), Okio (95% sold) and Hijauan (50% sold).

SDB's Singapore projects have done well and in the future, the group hopes to increase its Singapore portfolio to 50% from the current 30%, says Yeoh. However, it is not neglecting its projects in Malaysia. For FY2012 ending March 31, the group will see the launch of a new project in Kota Damansara; SS2 Hub commercial development near Five Stones in SS2; and Jia in Melawati that will feature superlink houses.

This story first appeared in The Edge weekly edition of Dec 17-23, 2012.

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