Malaysian-based developer Gamuda Land has managed to nail this, as its first foray into the Singapore market, Gem Residences, located in Toa Payoh, has had resounding success.
In line with the Singapore government’s plan to rejuvenate Toa Payoh and a few other select areas under the “Remaking our Heartland” scheme, initiatives such as a facelift for the iconic pedestrian mall in the town centre, and the addition of more greenery and mini parks, are expected to make Toa Payoh a more desirable address.
Gamuda Land chief executive officer Ngan Chee Meng shared that their maiden journey into the Singapore property market was initially very challenging and a steep learning curve for them.
“Given the scarcity of land in the island-state, the Singapore government has various measures set in place to regulate its remaining land and is transparent in all its dealings with interested parties.
“As such, we realised very early on that if we wanted to penetrate the market, we would need local property knowledge. That is why we have partnered Evia Real Estate Pte Ltd and Maxdin Pte Ltd,” Ngan explained.
“Launched in 2016, Gem Residences was the first condominium to be launched in Toa Payoh since 2009.
“We noticed a demand for private housing in this area. Private development is extremely rare, and being close to town and the CBD, Toa Payoh is a highly accessible location with plenty of public transportation for the residents.”
There were also those who were looking for an upgrade from their HDB and Executive homes to private housing which didn’t have ownership restrictions set by the government.
“The market in Singapore is challenging, and there are a lot of uncertainties amongst developers regarding investing in Singapore, especially with the cooling measures set by the authorities.
“For us, we took a contrarian approach – while others were cautious and adopted a wait-and-see approach, we went in and focused our efforts on making our development work,” said Ngan during a media visit to its showroom in Toa Payoh.
He went on to say that Gem Residences was designed to enhance the quality of living for its community. Residents will enjoy good quality homes and conveniences within a secure environment where 45% of the area is dedicated to landscaping.
“Gem Residences is the first condominium in Singapore to emulate a club lifestyle. It is where the community comes together at the many ‘gathering places’ within the comfort of their home,” he said.
Some of the key facilities available at Gem Residences include a 24-hour concierge, clubhouse, gymnasium, 50m-lap pool, jacuzzi, salt water jacuzzi, children’s pool, garden pavilion, tennis court, roof garden, amenities for pets including a pet pool, run and shower, multi- storey carpark and a playground.
Residents of Gem Residences will be able to enjoy everyday services delivered to their doorstep, such as on-demand chefs or hotel or airline bookings.
On top of that, they will also be offered weekly on-site free medical consultation.
In the first two days of Gem Residences’ launch in May 2016, 60% out of the total 578 units in the two 38- and 39-storey towers were snapped up.
The 99-year leasehold 12,154.6sq m site at the junction of Lorong 6 and Lorong 4, Toa Payoh, attracted a top bid of S$345.86mil (RM1.02bil) from a group that consisted of Gamuda Bhd, Evia Real Estate Pte Ltd and Maxdin Pte Ltd, which works out to about S$755 (RM2,232) per sq ft.
Built-up areas for the units range from 452sq ft to 2,045sq ft.
The Green Mark-certified building which was slated for completion by December 2020 will be ready in 2019, one year ahead of targeted completion schedule.
Prices start from S$570,500 (RM1,686,562) and only 23 units are left as 95% of the units have already been sold.