What is the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW)?
Basically, the GSW was first mentioned in the national day rally 2013, emphasized again in 2019. The Greater Southern Waterfront is an area from Pasir Panjang to Marina East, spanning about 2000 hectares of land across 30 km of Singapore’s southern coastline. it is about 6 times the size of Marina Bay or the size of 2 Punggol town. The entire area will be transformed into a new gateway for live, work and play. It is a major development and will take place in stages for the next 5 to 10 years. Starting from Pasir Panjang Power district, Keppel club and Mount Faber.
IN THIS REVIEW
The Keppel club’s lease will expire in December 2021. Thereafter, it will make way for the first wave of the GSW transformation. The site will be used to accommodate about 9000 public and private housing units. 9000! That’s a lot of neighbors. And with every residential site, there will be amenities. It is near to 2 MRT stations and it is just a stone’s throw from Labrador Nature Reserve. Residential sites will definitely be a highly sought-after site given its prime location with panoramic sea views and connectivity to all parts of Singapore.
I was wondering what the prices will be like for public housing at Keppel club site and searched for the recent nearby HDB BTO prices in Queenstown. For a 5-room flat, prices are around $695,000 – $767,000. With a better site like this, it will likely to be much higher.
The Pasir Panjang Linear Park will connect all the places of interest along the GSW together. This will stretch from West Coast Park to Labrador Park. By strolling along the park, you will be able to witness Pasir Panjang port and the power district up close. Other connections in the future will also bring you to places like the Henderson Wave and Mount Faber. By 2023, Mount Faber will have a new funicular system that will bring people from the foot of the hill to the top and the rest of the southern ridges.
Next to Labrador Nature Reserve are 2 power stations. Most likely to be a recreation area. SLA and URA has launched a competition to call for ideas on what can be done at this site. The proposals are showcased, and residents can vote on what it is best to do with the site.
Pulau Brani and Sentosa are included in the GSW transformation too. Sentosa is one of the major attractions in Singapore. In order to stay competitive, a plan is in the work to rejuvenate the whole island. Firstly, Resorts World Sentosa will be expanded with 2 new areas in Universal Studios Singapore. SEA aquarium will be expanded 3 times its current size. The water promenade area will be developed, and MICE facilities will also be expanded. This will create 2800 jobs directly and full construction will be completed in 2025. A new lifestyle quarter called the Siloso Green will be added featuring eateries, shops, event space and waterfront accommodation. This will boost the night activities as currently only 30% of attractions are open 9 pm or later.
Not much information is available on Pulau Brani yet. Currently, it is home to the port terminal, but it will soon be transformed to house world class attractions similar to Sentosa Island and as well as a new resort called Downtown South similar to Downtown East.
Cruise Centre expanding?
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Tanjong Pagar Railway station is not only the starting point of the Rail corridor. It is undergoing a massive preservation effort and it will be linked to the future Cantonment MRT station.
Dyson new headquarters in 2021
The 110,000 sq ft national monument, Saint James Power Station used to be Singapore’s first coal power station in 1927. After which, it served as a warehouse to PSA until 1992. It is last used as Singapore largest entertainment complexes until September 2008 and returned to its landlord, Mapletree. In 2021, Dyson will move its global headquarter to St James Power station for further expansion.
Have you ever noticed that some MRT station numbers are missing when you take the train? Urban planning is planned far ahead in Singapore. We compared the railway system map in 2011 to the present one. You can clearly see that along the north south line, Canberra MRT (NS 12) station is the newest added station and is finally fully operational. By 2025, Hume MRT station (DT4) will be open to serve residents in the Hume area. But there is another station missing in between Harborfront MRT (NE1) and Outram MRT (NE3) station. If NE2 is to open, according to the position of this future station, it will be closer to Avenue South Residences and this will be a huge bonus to the residents. As the proximity to MRT station, will further enhance the appreciation of property prices.
URA 2 incentives to revitalize the CBD
CBD Incentive Scheme and Strategic Development Incentive scheme are introduced by URA to be in sync with the GSW for work, live and play. CBD incentive scheme will energize the central business district with wider mix of uses including residential and hotels. Strategic development incentive scheme will encourage current owners of commercial building and developers to increase the plot ratio and the freedom to choose on development controls if they have creative ideas to transform the landscape of the area.
Greater Southern Waterfront in the next 20 years
After understanding what is GSW, let us take a look what Avenue South Residences has to offer by visiting the showflat.
|Avenue South Residences|
|Expected T.O.P||15 May 2023|
|Number of Units||1001|
Avenue South Residences is a 99-year leasehold development developed by UOL. It has a site area of approximately 245,972 sqft, located along Silat Avenue with a total of 1074 units. In my opinion, it is densely populated compared to UOL’s previous project, Principal Garden, with a bigger site area of 268,713 sqft with only 663 units.
The showflat itself is stunning in every way. Have you ever been to a museum? It feels like a museum rather than a show flat. Throughout my exploration, there is never a dull moment, every turn there will be something to look forward to. Once you are in the showflat, I entered behind the curtain and was greeted with large screens all over the room. Mainly showing the GSW and the developments in the area for many years to come.
Right after that, it is the Avenue South Residences show model.
Avenue South Residences is marketed as one of the most anticipated launch in district 3. Due to the fact that it is in close proximity to the GSW area. This is probably the first project at the doorstep of the GSW. It will be the biggest transformation in Singapore for a long time to come. UOL launched Avenue South Residences with 3 unique collections. Heritage, Horizon and Peak collection. Heritage collection is made up of 5 blocks with 4 storey apartments, 86 units in total, these 5 conserved blocks are built by Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) before HDB was established. It is similar to the ones in the Tiong Bahru conservation area.
The units in the Horizon collection are typical units and are situated on the lower floors from level 3 to level 35. The Peak collection is from level 37 to 56. The Peak collection units come with higher end finishing and fittings.
70% (747) of the units are 1- and 2-bedroom types. With the bulk of units being smaller bedroom types, it is clear that this project is targeted for 1st time buyers, small families or investment.
|Unit Type||Area (sq ft)||Number of units||Total number of units||% of development|
|Living/Dining||Vinyl Flooring||Marble Flooring||Marble Flooring|
|Wet Kitchen||Vinyl Flooring||Porcelain||Porcelain|
|Master Bedroom & All Bedrooms||Vinyl||Timber||Engineered Wood|
|Bath 3||Porcelain||Porcelain/Marble (Type DP1/DP1 PH)||Porcelain</Marble (Type DP1/DP1 PH)|
|Balcony||Porcelain||Porcelain||Porcelain with raised flooring|
|Private lift lobby||–||Marble||Marble|
The development includes very unique facilities as compared to recent new launches I’ve seen. Because the development is on a slope, many of the facilities are located on the “3rd Storey”. This may be confusing but it is not located literally on the 3rd Storey. If you look at the site plan, you can see that many facilities are still on the ground floor. UOL calls it the 3rd Storey because of the nature of the sloping land that it is located on.
But when I say that there are many unique facilities it is also because there are so many indicated on the site plan. From a Rock Wall, to the multiple trails, to your common BBQ pits and 50m lap pool. There are also karaoke rooms, a mini golf site, a bicycle park, and fruits and herb gardens.
There is also a Childcare Centre and commercial shops within the compound. There is also one important side gate along ‘The Wilderness’ area, this will lead you to the rail corridor and will take you to Cantonment MRT station.
In the 2 towers, there are sky gardens on every few levels. The Sky gardens are situated on different levels for the different views of Singapore. But the highlight will be on the 56th Storey, there are 4 function rooms. It will a good place to host a party and overlook the entire skyline from above.
1 bedroom Horizon (Type A1) at 527 sqft is consider rather big for a new development. Some new developments at this size is actually a 1 + study unit. Quite a standard layout for 1 bedroom. Because of the size, the entrance is wide and welcoming. The kitchen is sufficient for 2 to prepare meals and put kitchenware like coffee machine and rice cooker.
The living and dining are acceptable, the interior designer did a good job by putting a customized sofa across the living and dining. For a small unit, clever use of space is important.
Bedroom is not big here. Once you fit in a king size bed. There will be not much room to put anything else.
2 Bedroom Horizon Collection, 732 sq ft
The size is comparable to many new developments. When you enter the unit, you will not look straight into the living and dining area for privacy. There will be L-shaped walkway where you can build more storage space.
At 732 sq ft, there is an option to make it an enclosed kitchen, suitable for a small family.
For units like this, you need to make full use of the space given. I like the idea of tucking the dining in a corner to allow a bigger common space. The living, sufficient to put 3-seater sofa and a small coffee table. Anything more, will make the living look small.
The common room is enough to put a queen size bed. Other than you have to consult an ID for advice.
The common toilet is big, it has a luxury hotel vibe. The mounted furnishings and wall hung toilet bowl make it look more spacious.
The master bedroom can easily fit a king sized bed and maybe a small table at the side.
The master toilet in marble flooring with the curved mirror along with the lightings, creates a sophisticated and cozy look.
A bigger 3 bedroom comes with a store, a dry and wet kitchen and a balcony in the master bedroom. At the entrance, similar to the 2 bedroom, it allows you to have privacy and you will be able create more storage space. For a 3 bedroom, it is always nice to have a dry kitchen, extra space to prepare food for the family is always a good idea.
The living room size is acceptable, but it will not be sufficient if the whole family decides to be at the living room at the same time.
The common rooms are able to fit queen sized bed.
Master bedroom is good enough for a king-sized bed. There is a balcony here, I would prefer to have just one balcony in the unit and make it a bigger master bedroom.
4 Bedroom Premium
This unit comes with private lift.
I like that the 4 bedroom unit comes with 1 bedroom that is separated from the other 3 bedrooms. For those owners with young growing kids that wish to have their private space will love this. Opposite the room, that is where the common toilet is situated. It felt like a junior master bedroom at this corner.
The living room and dining are spacious and the dry kitchen is in a good position with small wine chiller provided. It is good for hosting where you don’t need to walk to the wet kitchen for drinks.
I like that there is a door for wet kitchen and is separated by a long walkway. Those who love heavy cooking will appreciate that the smell and oil is kept in the contained space. While walking into the wet kitchen there will be one row of storage space, it is deep and spacious. The wet kitchen is sleek and modern. It comes with more storage space on both sides. You will find another entrance in the same space that leads you to the public lift.
The highlight of the master bedroom will be the walk-in wardrobe. It is the epitome of luxury. The walk-in wardrobe is achieved without hacking any walls or using any rooms. It is within the confine of the master bedroom.
4 Bedroom Peak Collection
It is the same layout as the Horizon collection.The difference is the quality of furnishing. All bedrooms are using engineered timber flooring instead of timber flooring in horizon collection. In the master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe comes with one island storage unit (Type DP1 only). The bathroom and sanitary ware are from Laufen/Hans Grohe. Electrical appliances are all from Gaggenau.
Avenue South Residences is located along Silat Avenue just off Kampung Bahru road. Although it is in a central location, it is slightly lacking in convenience and connectivity. Don’t get me wrong, at Avenue South Residences the main source of public transport will be by bus, it is well connected with bus stops within 5 mins walk that can take you to your destination. But the nearest MRT station is nowhere near the 500 m radius. The nearest MRT station will be Cantonment, and it will only be completed in 2025, and it is also a 9 mins walk from the side gate of Avenue South Residences.
Most people could probably take a bus to reach the station or to Outram MRT station which is further down the road.
Another concern will be that the nearest shopping centre to Avenue South Residences is Vivo City, which is a 3 min car ride and an 8 min bus ride. Schools wise, parents will be happy to see that a childcare centre (in the development), kindergarten and primary schools are all within walking distance. For essentials like coffee shops, clinics, ATMs and supermarkets, these are all within a 5 min reach.
|Unit Type||Number of Units||Size (Sq ft.)||Share Value||Estimated Maintenance Charges per Month (Subject to GST) – SGD|
|1 Bedroom – Type AC1, AC2, A1, A2||242||474/495/527||5||$190|
|2 Bedroom – Type B1, BC1, BC1-G||224||657/807||6||$220|
|2 Bedroom Premium – Type BP1, BP2, BP3, BP3-PH, BC2||281||689 – 807||6||$220|
|3 Bedroom – Type C1, C1-PH||103||947/1119||6||$220|
|3 Bedroom Premium (Heritage) – Type CC1, CC1-G||16||947-1001||6||$220|
|3 Bedroom Premium – Type CP1, CP1-PH||104||1,109 – 1,302||7||$260|
|4 Bedroom Premium – Type DP1, DP1-PH||104||1496 – 1668||7||$260|
|Avenue South Residences||3||99 years||$1950|
|One Pearl Bank||3||99 years||$2394|
|Stirling Residences||3||99 years||$1903|
|Margaret Ville||3||99 years||$1872|
The selling price is at an average of $1961 psf. The prices at Avenue south seems acceptable. UOL bought the land back in April 2018 at $1138 psf. Inclusive of their construction and marketing costs, the estimated break-even price should be at $1679 psf.
Comparing with the new developments in District 3 and nearby Sky Everton (D2).
Although Sky Everton is in a different district, its location is the nearest to Avenue South Residences. In terms of location and lease tenure (Freehold), Sky Everton will be more favorable, but as every property that is freehold you will definitely need to pay a premium for it.
If we are comparing with projects in District 3, it looks attractive with the proximity to CBD and the future transformation.
The question is, yes, the GSW and SGH transformation will definitely add value to the property but I feel that the wait is too long for it to happen. It will take a good 20 years before you see the full transformation. However, there is no denying that when the GSW is completed, your price appreciation for this property will happen. But will the tenure be worth it? In addition, the fact that the MRT station is a long walk away adds to my concern.
Again, comparing with recent new D3 projects, Artra, Stirling Residences and One pearl Bank. All these projects have one common attribute, their proximity to an MRT station. They also have more amenities readily available for residents.
Overall my verdict is that Avenue South Residences is a good project that is worth investing in a central location. UOL is definitely one of the better developers in my opinion. Good entry prices for Avenue South Residences make it a reasonable choice for buyers to consider and is a development for a longer term.