Inspired by the Japanese concept of ‘forest bathing”, Verdale is tucked away in lush greenery and comes with smart storage solutions. But how does this project fare? Here’s our review.
8 St Thomas
8 Saint Thomas Walk, Orchard / River Valley, Orchard / Holland (D09-10)
Project Name: 8 St Thomas
Address: 8 & 10 St Thomas Walk
Carpark: 250 lots in Basement plus additional electric car charging lots
Configuration: 250 units in two 35-storey blocks
Unit Types: 39 x 1BR units (441 – 517 sq ft)
94 x 2BR units (549 – 1,044 sq ft)
81 x 3BR units (1,141 – 1,302 sq ft)
14 x 4BR units (1,744 & 1,755 sq ft)
20 x 4BR Dual Key units (1,690 sq ft)
2 x Penthouses (2,422 & 2,659 sq ft)
TOP: January 2018
Two things hit you when you walk off the quiet St Thomas Walk through the drop off area, and into 8 St Thomas proper – sophisticated elegance and space. The first is in the lines of the blocks themselves and their sleek profiles. It is also in the curves of the swimming pool, the overhead walkway, the communal areas that draw your eye through shaded areas and tree-lined walkways. The second of those – space, is perhaps the most surprising. This is in District 9 after all, and a short downhill stroll from Orchard Road, space is at a premium. But 8 St Thomas seems to have it in abundance, and uses it well. As you venture into the units themselves, a third characteristic hits you, but we will come to that later.
The layout of the site, with the two towers being at either end of the pool and facilities, is what gives the impression of space. Despite being in an area surrounded by other condos, you never feel hemmed in or in the shadow of another unit. The development’s position, situated as it is on the corner of a junction, helps with that, along with the design.
Running in between the two towers and around the pool is a second storey garden trail featuring a waterfall. This serves the dual purpose of giving residents a contoured path on which to stroll while providing shade for those on ground level.
As well as the lap pool, kids’ playground, gymnasium, tennis court, barbecue areas, splash pool and fitness corner, there is also a spa alcove whose niftily designed walls and roof let natural light and air in but cuts out the direct sun. It also makes for some spectacular photos.
4BR Dual Key 1,690 sq ft (type DK1)
As soon as you step inside one of the units, the third cornerstone on which 8 St Thomas is built upon becomes strikingly evident. Few developments, especially in Districts 9 and 10 are able to offer their residents such stunning panoramas, and every aspect of each unit is designed to take full advantage of the views, the space and the natural lighting.
All of the master bedrooms, and many of the other bedrooms and rooms, feature floor to ceiling windows on at least two sides. This gives not only incredible views over River Valley all the way to MBS, the CBD and beyond, but also allows in natural light and makes the whole room appear so much larger. An additional thing to take note of is because Bukit Sembawang, 8 St Thomas’ developer has held the project for a number of years waiting for the optimal time to complete and launch, the units feature the now banned bay windows.
They work well though, working hard to give additional shelving, and also giving an option for seating for those with no fear of heights.
The spacious living rooms also make full use of the windows/views/natural lighting. Throughout the development, the flooring is marble, and all bathrooms feature sanitary ware by Villery & Boch and Grohe sanitary fittings.
The second master bedroom in the Dual Key unit is not as impressive as the first, but nevertheless is still large enough to easily accommodate a double or king size bed. What you lose in floor space due to the bay window, they are at a height to alleviate the need for a bedside table.
The unit has two kitchens. Both feature a free-standing fridge and washing machine cum dryer. The three-bedroom section has an oven, while the one-bedder has a combi-microwave oven.
4BR 1,744 sq ft (type D1b)
The dining and living room areas once again make full use of the project’s design, with light coming in from the windows and the balcony. The marble flooring throughout also helps to create a sense of light and space.
The spacious kitchen, like all those at 8 St Thomas, features Miele appliances.
Once again, the master bedroom is the star of the show. With views stretching down to the Singapore flyer and beyond, you will be looking forward to waking up in the morning.
All the units in block 8 boast both a private lift and a common one, and the 8 St Thomas floor plan shows that there are 5 sky terraces in block 8, and 6 in block 10. Each slightly different, but everyone designed to make the most out of the elevation in terms of breeze, fresh air, and views. A natural living green canopy shields the noise from River Valley Road, and the direct sun.
A utility room has the separate Miele washing machine and dryer, and the balcony is easily large enough for a picnic table or loungers. No better place to enjoy your morning coffee of evening glass of wine.
1BR 441 sq ft (type A4)
It is not always the case, but even the 1-bedroom units within 8 St Thomas condo feel like they are grand and spacious. The bedroom has the now trademark views, and once again the hard-working bay windows add a layer of usable space.
The lounge is a decent size and can accommodate a settee as well as a coffee table and small dining table or desk. The kitchen is small but functional, and has an integrated fridge, combi-microwave oven and a washing machine cum dryer.
The bathroom features a neat idea that is not evident on first viewing. It has two doorways, which means it serves as an en suite, but also means that if you are in the lounge area, you don’t have to go into the bedroom to visit the bathroom.
Another example of the grandiose design of the one bedders comes with the balcony. It is like having an additional lounge or dining room, one that comes with natural ventilation and a view that beats most of what the television networks can offer.
3BR 1,302 sq ft (type C1)
Block 10 is designed and laid out slightly differently, as are the units as a consequence. All boast the aforementioned features and views and use the natural lighting as well as those in block 8. The three-bedder unit has the Miele washing machine and dryer within the unit, but tucked away so as not to steal valuable space.
The bathroom has to feature one of the best places to have a bath on the whole island. Soaking in the tub after a stressful day’s work, with the city lights as a backdrop is something that everyone should do at least once.
Gourmet dining, located on the sky terrace offers residents the chance to cook – or be cooked for, while overlooking the cityscape below.
2BR 807 sq ft (type B2)
The large wet kitchen for the 2-bedroom units are larger than many 4-bedders in other projects.
Like with every unit at 8 St Thomas, they are fitted with a home automation system that controls lighting and the Daikin air conditioners as well as access to the unit. This can all be done on your smartphone, meaning that you can cool down your home in time for your arrival, without the need to have the air con running all day.
The development sits in between Orchard Road and Great World City, a short walk from both. It is also just yards from Killiney Road with its profusion of eateries, as well as a 24-hour FairPrice, SAM and the post office. Somerset MRT station on the North-South Line is a 5-minute walk, and when the Great World City MRT station comes online in 2021, the Thomson-East Coast Line will be the same distance away for residents.
Robertson Quay is a short downhill walk, and from there it is a pleasant stroll along the river to Clarke Quay in one direction and Zion Food Court in the other. Education-wise, 8 St Thomas is close to River Valley Primary School, Raffles Girls Secondary School, St. Margaret’s Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore Management University, Chatsworth International School and ISS.
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Districts 9 and 10 are awash with very good new condos, but there is certainly a place for one of 8 St Thomas character and attributes. The interest and sales at its soft launch in August back that up. Its proximity to Orchard Road, as well as the expat enclaves of River Valley and Robertson Quay, mean it has a lot going for it. Great World City, even without its MRT which is due to open in the next few years, also offers a lot, including a Golden Village Cinema.
The way 8 St Thomas has been priced is clever. Unit prices starting below $1.5 million are considerably more affordable than many recent launches in the neighbourhood. 8 St Thomas should prove that even in the face of stiff competition, if you provide the market with a good enough product, and price it intelligently, you can be successful.
Read our Step-by-Step Guide to buying a condo