SDB’s Hijauan in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: The oft-used adage for any property development is “location, location, location” which certainly describes Hijauan on Cavenagh, Selangor Dredging Bhd’s (SDB) latest Singaporean residential offering.

Hijauan, which means “greenery” in the Malay language, is situated a mere five-minute walk from the famed Orchard Road. It sits on 0.45 acres or about 19,806 sq ft land behind the Istana — Singapore president’s official residence — and is next to a 25,000-sq ft lush state land.

SDB has launched the project in Malaysia (Sept 6) to be followed by Singapore on Sept 19 amid global market uncertainties. According to SDB managing director Teh Lip Kim, properties in and around the Orchard Road are always in demand. Moreover, there are few units similar to Hijauan available in the vicinity of the popular shopping strip.

The preview of this low-rise residential project on Cavenagh Road was held in Malaysia first. “We are a Malaysian company and so we like to give Malaysians the first choice to preview our Singaporean projects,” said Teh.

Due to its proximity to the Istana, Hijauan has a plot ratio of only two. The six-storey building offers 41 luxury apartments.

The land was acquired via an open tender en bloc sale in July 2010 for S$42 million (RM103.8 million). It had a building called Cavenagh Mansions on the land which has since been demolished. Hijauan will feature five garden units, 28 typical units and eight penthouses. The unit sizes measure 462 sq ft to 1,884 sq ft selling between S$1.2 million and S$3.5 million. Six penthouses come with private roof terraces. Each unit will have its own lift lobby.

To enter each unit one has to pass by the eight feet copper doors. Units come partially furnished with appliances, kitchen cabinets, wardrobe and water heaters that provide hot water to bathrooms and the kitchen. The appliances include an electric cooker hob and hood, refrigerator, microwave oven, dishwasher and washing machine cum dryer. Moreover, the living area and bedrooms have air-conditioning units.

Design of the project, while modern contemporary, is given hints of nostalgia with some 70s styled motifs scattered throughout the structure. The motif can be seen in a stylised square perforated galvanised steel feature wall at the drop-off area designed by David Hiscock. The feature wall is made up of numerous cut-out squares of galvanised steel that is bent in different angles and directions, reflecting the surroundings giving the wall a fluid and vibrant look. However, hiding behind the feature wall are air-conditioning compressors.  

“The square motif is also seen on the copper-plated doors into each unit that gives a sense of grandeur,” SDB communications and corporate affairs manager Yeoh Guan Jin explained.

Additionally, 3,600 sq ft of land is designated for a garden area to be planted with eucalyptus trees, tea trees, and spider and fairy lilies. Such plants are commonly found in colonial bungalows.

Hijauan is the fourth project in Singapore for SDB. The Malaysian developer’s first residential project is Jia on Wilkie Road. It is fully taken-up and handed over in 2010. The project has 22 condo units with a gross development value (GDV) of S$55 million.

The second is Gilstead 2 on Gilstead Road where only seven out of 110 units are still available. Sitting on 0.8 acres, the project has a GDV of S$200 million. Next is the recently launched mixed development Okio on Balestier Road, which was 80% sold since it was launched in Singapore in April and in Malaysia in May. All of SDB’s Singapore projects were previously redevelopment sites acquired en bloc.

The developer is currently looking to purchase more land in Singapore and more details will be forthcoming.

SDB has slated the launch of its Batu Feringghi residential development in Penang in November. The 4.7-acre site was purchased for RM24.6 million in January 2008. The project has an estimated GDV of RM200 million and is said to be the last pocket of beach front property along Batu Feringghi.

In the UK, SDB purchased a property in London’s Kensington High Street for £9.825 million (RM46.86 million) in March this year. The property has an existing four-storey building with HSBC Bank as its tenant. The main purpose of this purchase is to understand the property market in the UK before making any other plans with regard to property development, said Teh.

This article appeared on the Property page, The Edge Financial Daily, September 9, 2011.

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