Special Report


Keppel Land Live: Thinking Unboxed

Tiong Bahru was developed in the 1920s as Singapore’s first public housing estate by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), the predecessor of the Housing and Development Board. It is still a coveted location today, as evidenced by the strong sales at Keppel Land’s Highline Residences, the newest condominium in Tiong Bahru. Homebuyers snapped up more than 200 of the 270 units that were released when Highline Residences was officially launched in 2Q2016, according to Keppel Land. Since then, the 500-unit condo has seen strong demand, with less than 40 units still available.

Tiong Bahru has been named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by American fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue and travel websites Skyscanner and Traveller. It was also one of the stops on the itinerary of Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, during their official visit to Singapore last month, when they visited places related to their interests in the arts and heritage conservation. Within the estate, the royal couple also visited the Tiong Bahru Community Centre and Tiong Bahru Market, which are close to Highline Residences by Keppel Land, the newest condo in the estate.

In 2003, URA gazetted 20 blocks of pre-war flats and 36 units of shophouses built by SIT in Tiong Bahru for conservation. “This is possibly the only intact public housing scheme from the [pre-war] period to be found in Southeast Asia today,” according to URA. Owing to its conservation status, the area is expected to retain its low-density character. This means the view from Highline Residences that overlooks the picturesque SIT flats is likely to be preserved.

The Tiong Bahru Community Centre is located within the conservation area, across the street from Highline Residences. It was originally built in 1951 and was Singapore’s first community centre. It reopened on July 23 after a two-year facelift with new features and activities, including zumba and trampoline classes for fitness buffs and coding classes for children.

Located beside the conservation area and within a five-minute walk of Highline Residences is the Tiong Bahru Market, which first opened in 1951 and was redeveloped at a cost of $16.8 million about a decade ago. This year, it underwent a three-month renovation that was completed on May 20, and houses 259 market stalls and 83 hawker stalls. In addition to popular food stalls at the market, such as Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice and Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee, which have received the Michelin Bib Gourmand, the trendy cafés and eateries in Tiong Bahru such as Creamier, PS Café, Forty Hands as well as PoTeaTo bistro and café are also popular with foodies.

Tiong Bahru is famed for the food at Tiong Bahru Market and for its trendy cafés and eateries. (Photo credit: The Edge Singapore)

Highline Residences is also within a five-minute walk of the Tiong Bahru MRT station, which is just three stations away from Raffles Place. The Tiong Bahru station is directly connected to Tiong Bahru Plaza. The 215,000 sq ft mall reopened last year after a $90 million refurbishment and has 155 shops across its five storeys. It is integrated with Central Plaza, an office tower, via an air-conditioned linkway.

As Highline Residences is close to Outram, which is located beside Singapore’s downtown, the commute to the CBD by car takes just minutes. The Outram Park MRT interchange currently serves the East-West Line and the North-East Line. It will also serve the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line, which is slated to open in stages starting from 2019. The TEL will connect Outram Park to Orchard station, and its famed shopping belt, in just two stops.

Within a five-minute walk of Highline Residences is the Tiong Bahru MRT station, which is connected to retail mall Tiong Bahru Plaza (Photo credit: The Edge Singapore)

While developers have snapped up more than 30 collective sale and Government Land Sales sites since 2016, none of the sites have been in Tiong Bahru. Therefore, the units still available for sale at Highline Residences are the last in the limited supply of new homes in the coveted Tiong Bahru estate. Three bedroom units starting from $2.05 million are still available, as are four-bedroom units from $2.37 million and penthouses from $4.26 million.

The architect for Highline Residences is Mok Wei Wei of W Architects, a practice famed for its innovative and contemporary designs. Highline Residences is expected to receive its Temporary Occupation Permit in 1Q2018. In addition to a designer home in one of Singapore’s most historic and popular estates, residents can also enjoy lifestyle privileges such as complimentary games and special rates for golf, limousine services and yacht charter, as well as discounts at selected F&B outlets*.

(The article was first published on EdgeProp)