The Edge Singapore
The Reserve Residences banks on integrated transport hub status; prices from $2,300 psf
Joint venture partners and sister companies Far East Organization and Sino Group will preview The Reserve Residences at Jalan Anak Bukit off Bukit Timah on May 12, with its launch a fortnight later on May 27. “As this is going to be the first mixed-use integrated development with a transport hub in the heart of Bukit Timah, there would be a premium over the surrounding developments in District 21,” says Shaw Lay See, COO of the sales and leasing group at Far East Organization. “However, we are also conscious that we want to deliver value to our customers. So we will price it very competitively in alignment with the market.”
Shaw says prices will start from $2,300 psf. One-bedroom apartments of 441 sq ft will be priced from $1.11 million ($2,517 psf), while two-bedroom apartments are from $1.45 million. Three-bedroom apartments will start from $2.2 million, and four-bedroom units will be upwards of $3 million.
The mixed-use development will be integrated with a transport hub, with direct access to Beauty World MRT Station via an underground link and a new air-conditioned bus interchange on the second level of the upcoming three-storey mall Bukit V.
Designed by acclaimed Singapore-based architectural firm WOHA Architects, the mixeduse development sits on a sprawling 32,185 sq m (346,439 sq ft) site. It comprises eight residential blocks with 732 units and serviced apartment blocks with 160 units.
WOHA designed The Reserve Residences as a series of low-, mid-, and high-rise blocks from 11- to 32-storeys. There are four different collections across the eight residential blocks: The Reserve Residences, with 502 units of one- to three-bedrooms; Horizon Collection, with 167 units of three- and four-bedrooms offering expansive views; Creekside Collection, with 48 exclusive units of three- and four-bedders (levels six to 11); and Treetops Collection, with 15 premium units of four- and five-bedrooms, duplexes and penthouses with views of the Bukit
Timah Nature Reserve or panoramic views of the Bukit Timah area.
There are just five penthouses on the topmost level of the Treetops Collection (Level 32), with sizes from 231 sq m (2,486 sq ft) to 261 sq m (2,809 sq ft).
The development has over 70 facilities across seven levels at The Reserve Residences. They range from a 50m lap pool to an aqua gym with spa, a 600m jogging trail, a dog run and dining pavilions on level 33 with views of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and its surrounds.
Workpods at the Level 17 sky garden offer unblocked views of the neighbourhood. In addition to the communal facilities on the fourth and fifth levels, there are more communal facilities at the roof gardens on the 12th, 17th and 33rd levels.
Far East Organization and Sino Group won The Reserve Residences’ site — a 99-year leasehold site at Jalan Anak Bukit with a bid of $1.03 billion in August 2021. The public tender was a two-envelope system based on concept and price. The 50:50 joint venture partners submitted three of the five bids received, with different design concepts by different architects.
“This development tracks our successful launch of One Holland Village, another large-scale mixeduse development which attests to Far East Organization’s abilities to revitalise and transform
spaces to form vibrant communities well-loved by residents and the public,” says Shaw.
The 296-unit, One Holland Village Residences is 93% sold and scheduled for completion next year. The project hit a psf high of $3,426 when a 27th-floor, 2,088 sq ft, four-bedroom unit fetched $7.155 million last August. The second highest psf price of $3,391 was achieved in February for a 1,238 sq ft, three-bedder on the 26th floor was sold for $4.198 million.
The Reserve Residences is not the first mixeduse development integrated with a transport hub that Far East Organization has developed. The other is Watertown at Punggol Central, launched in 2012 and completed in 2017. The 992-unit Watertown condo sits on the four-storey mall, Waterway Point. It is linked directly to the MRT, LRT station and bus interchange.
Premium of a mixed-use integrated development
The convenience and accessibility of a mixeduse development integrated with a transport hub cannot be overstated, says Propnex CEO Ismail Gafoor. Assuming that the starting price of $2,300 psf at The Reserve Residences is a 15% premium to a standalone condominium, it translates to a price of $2,070 psf, continues Gafoor. “That’s equivalent to the price of a new suburban condo in the Outside Central Region (OCR) today,” he adds. “But The Reserve Residences is in the city fringe or Rest of Central Region (RCR).”
Gafoor expects The Reserve Residences to achieve sales of at least “40% to 50%” given that slightly more than half of the units are one- and two-bedders, which will attract investor interest. “Being an integrated development located in the Bukit Timah belt of District 21 is a draw.” Based on the launch prices of selected completed, mixed-use integrated developments, PropNex’s research shows that these developments can command price premiums ranging from about 14.7% to 29.3% compared to the surrounding residential projects.
When it comes to rental premiums, the difference is even starker, with mixed-use integrated developments commanding premiums ranging from 21.1% to 61.5%, says Gafoor (see tables).
“The Reserve Residences will be the only new launch of a mixed-use development integrated with a transport hub in 2023,” adds Huttons CEO Mark Yip. Across Singapore, there are only nine integrated transport hubs (ITHs). The Land Transport Authority (LTA) defines them as fully air-conditioned bus interchanges seamlessly linked to MRT stations and adjoining commercial developments like shopping malls. Six have been completed and three are underway, including The Reserve Residences. “Buyers favour developments linked to integrated transport hubs for their convenience, rarity, capital appreciation and rentability,” adds Yip.
While prices at The Reserve Residences may start from $2,300 psf, the price range will be relatively wide, given that units start from the fourth to the 32nd level and the variety of unit types with different views, says SRI managing partner Ken Low.
‘Melting pot of Bukit Timah’
Just across Jalan Jurong Kechil are two other developments, the 120-unit freehold The Linq @ Beauty World by BBR Holdings and the upcoming 99-year leasehold condominium at Bukit Timah Link by Bukit Sembawang Estates.
Last November, Bukit Sembawang paid $200 million ($1,343 psf per plot ratio) for the 99-year leasehold, 49,633 sq ft site in a land tender. The site can potentially yield 160 residential units. The project is targeted for launch by the end of the year.
Given that the site at Bukit Timah Link is in front of the Beauty World MRT Station exit, SRI’s Low expects the developer to price the new development at “no less than $2,600 psf”.
The Linq @ Beauty is a redevelopment of the former Goh & Goh Building by BBR Holdings. It has a mix of residences and commercial and retail space and will be linked underground to the Beauty World MRT Station. On the first day of launch in November 2020, 115
units (96%) of the 120 sold at an average price of $2,165 psf, based on caveats lodged. The final unit sold for $2,378 psf in December 2021.
In March this year, a 431 sq ft, one-bedroom unit at The Linq changed hands in a sub-sale for $1.18 million ($2,741 psf). The seller purchased the unit for $1.007 million ($2,339 psf), recording a capital gain of 17.2% in just over two years and four months.
The Reserve Residences and these new developments will rejuvenate the area when completed, says Low. Further renewal could take place if the strata-titled owners of ageing mixed-use developments such as Bukit Timah Plaza (completed in 1976) and Beauty World Plaza (completed in 1982) are successful in their collective sale attempts.
Targeted for completion by 1Q2028, The Reserve Residences will be “the melting pot for the Bukit Timah”, declares Low. “There aren’t any significant shopping malls in the area currently,” he says. “In the future, you will have the best of both worlds –— a mix of the old and the new.” The new mall at Bukit V will have over 20,000 sq m (215,280 sq ft) of retail space, with a Cold Storage supermarket, F&B offerings, education centres and medical services. Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre, Beauty World Centre (a mall built in 1984) and Bukit Timah Plaza will be within walking distance.
Locals to drive demand
Based on the profile of buyers at new project launches in the OCR and RCR over the past three years, at least 90% of the buyers were Singapore citizens, says Eugene Lim, key executive officer and head of research and market intelligence, ERA Realty Network. He adds that permanent residents (PRs) accounted for 5% to 7.5% of buyers, with foreigners having a small representation of less than 5%.
“We anticipate locals to be the main demand driver for The Reserve Residences,” adds Lim. “Given that the most recent cooling measures primarily affect foreign investors, it is unlikely to impact the sales of The Reserve Residences.”
The Reserve Residences is within 1km of popular schools such as Methodist Girls’ School and Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School. Well-regarded schools such as Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Hwa Chong Institution, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), National Junior College and the National University of Singapore are just a short drive away.
“Given that the project is near many top schools in the Bukit Timah belt, many families will find the project attractive,” says Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.
Besides families, Sun expects units at The Reserve Residences to attract investors looking at long-term rental income. “Such integrated developments attract tenants as they can commute easily to other parts of Singapore since the development is integrated with a major transport node like an MRT station and a bus interchange.”