Wave of renewal in Pasir Panjang

Angela Teo / EdgeProp | August 5, 2017

Pasir Panjang is still “an estate in transition”, says T J Neo, an agent with Huttons Asia who specialises in marketing properties in the neighbourhood. The area is benefiting from its proximity to Mapletree Business City, the CBD, onenorth in Buona Vista and Science Park. Neo sees the full potential of Pasir Panjang being realised when the container port is relocated from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas and the whole area is transformed into the Greater Southern Waterfront, which will be three times the size of Marina Bay.

Another draw of Pasir Panjang is its proximity to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Kent Ridge campus, National University Hospital, INSEAD Asia campus, and popular lifestyle enclaves at HarbourFront such as VivoCity, Sentosa Island, Holland Village and Chip Bee Gardens, reckons Mary Sai, executive director and head of commercial sales at Knight Frank Singapore.

Pasir Panjang has an interesting legacy. Back in the 1920s and 1930s, it was known as the “millionaire’s row” as it was lined by seaside houses and bungalows along the coast before the West Coast Highway was built. Prominent businessman and philanthropist Lee Kong Chian and tycoon Aw Boon Haw once had mansions there.

Desirable residential enclave

By the 1970s, Pasir Panjang had become a desirable landed housing estate for the middle class. The 1990s saw the influx of private developers and the advent of low-rise condominiums and townhouses. These include Chuville, a freehold townhouse development with just 10 units that was completed in 1990; Barossa Gardens, which comprises 25 strata terraced houses and was completed in 1997; and Redwood West, a condo block completed in 1997.

Renewal started to pick up over the past decade as some of the old developments were sold in the last collective sale fever and new residential developments were built. These include the 138-unit Parc Imperial by Fragrance Group that was completed in 2010; the 52-unit Seasuites by Link THM, completed in 2015; the 14-unit West-N condo Aurum Land that was completed in 2008; and West Shore Residences, a cluster housing project with just eight units.

Where The Village Centre and Cold Storage Pasir Panjang supermarket once stood is a new mixed-use development called Viva Vista by listed property developer Oxley Holdings. Viva Vista contains 144 apartments and 106 shops. The freehold development was completed in 2014. Next door is Icon @ Pasir Panjang, another mixed-use development with 31 strata shops and 18 apartments that was completed in September 2015.

Most of the new apartment and condo projects contain compact apartments, mainly one- and two-bedroom units, which appeal to young executives working in the Pasir Panjang Distripark, the commercial buildings on Pasir Panjang Road, as well as Mapletree Business City, the HarbourFront area and the CBD. These units are also popular with parents of children studying at NUS, foreign students at INSEAD and investors looking at rental income, notes Huttons’ Neo. “For investors, the strong expatriate base and future capital growth make developments in Pasir Panjang very attractive,” he adds.

As such, the buyer profile in Pasir Panjang has shifted over the past decade with more investors entering the market, notes Knight Frank’s Sai.

Spate of new developments

Listed property developer TEE Land will commence sales at its new development on Pasir Panjang Road called 24 One Residences on the weekend of Aug 5 and 6. The project contains just 24 units in a five-storey block. Half the units are two-bedroom apartments from 484 to 624 sq ft, with prices starting from $900,000. Another eight units are three-bedroom apartments of 807 sq ft. These are priced from just below $1.4 million.

There are also two 4-bedroom duplex apartments with a 6.5m ceiling height, and these are 1,572 and 1,593 sq ft. There are only two penthouses of 1,313 sq ft each that contain three bedrooms. The duplexes and penthouses are priced from $1.9 million to $2.3 million.

TEE Land acquired the 12,930 sq ft freehold site at 241 Pasir Panjang Road last November through its purchase of shares in Ley Choon Development, a subsidiary of construction firm Ley Choon Group Holdings, for $11.5 million. The Ley Choon unit had purchased the site at Pasir Panjang for $13.23 million in December 2012. The firm had intended to develop the site into a cluster housing project with seven units.

On the site at 241 Pasir Panjang Road was a bungalow built in the 1930s. It has been torn down and construction of TEE Land’s new condo block is already underway. The compact units at 24 One Residences are designed to appeal to a mix of owner-occupiers and investors, says Fanny Cheng, assistant general manager of TEE Land, in an email. She expects the project to see strong demand from investors, as potential tenants are likely to be those studying at tertiary institutions, such asNUS and INSEAD, as well as those working in one-north, the CBD, Mapletree Business City and business parks nearby.

24 One Residences is a five-minute walk from the Haw Par Villa MRT station on the Circle Line and is also accessible via the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Marina Coastal Expressway. TEE Land’s Cheng says the units will appeal to singles and young families.

Near 24 One Residences is The Orient, a 52- unit boutique development by Aurum Land, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Woh Hup. The project is also currently under construction.

More en bloc deals in the area

Meanwhile, Oxley Holdings snapped up Redwood West on Pasir Panjang Road for $121 million ($1,350 psf) last month in an en bloc purchase. It intends to redevelop the site into a new residential project.

Adjacent to Redwood West is Harbour View Gardens, which another listed property group, Roxy-Pacific Holdings, purchased for $33.25 million last August. The existing Harbour View Gardens is an apartment block with just 14 units sitting on a 30,745 sq ft freehold site. Roxy-Pacific says it intends to redevelop the site into a new residential project with two blocks and a total of 57 units. The project is expected to be launched in 1H2018.

“With this latest wave of renewal taking place on Pasir Panjang Road, and more compact apartments coming up, the area is developing into an interesting residential enclave with a mix of locals and expatriates,” says Knight Frank’s Sai. “It’s also one of the few neighbourhoods on the city fringe that have predominantly freehold properties.”