The Reef at King’s Dock is a 429-unit, 99-year leasehold luxury condominium development by Mapletree and Keppel Land in District 4. The condo is located along Keppel Bay and features waterfront living and scenic sea views.
Singland (Singapore Land Limited) is one of Singapore’s largest property developers that count V on Shenton, Thomson Three and The Trizon part of their growing portfolio.
Project Name: Alex Residences
Address: Alexandra View
Site area: Approx. 69,980 sqft
Tenure: 99-year leasehold
Configuration: 429 units in 1, 40-storey tower
Unit types: 87, 1-bedroom units (474 – 506 sqft)
114, 2-bedroom units (657 – 678 sqft)
150, 3-bedroom units (883 – 1,033 sqft)
78, 3-bedroom units w/ utility (1,023 – 1,044 sqft)
Parking lots: 433 lots including handicapped
Expected TOP: Late 2017
Legal TOP: 2019
Alex Residences was designed by P&T Architects – one of South East Asia’s oldest and largest firms – to have a boutique hotel concept. Though boutique hotels have cosy, homely atmospheres in a small living space, Alex Residences manages to achieve the former while not sacrificing the latter much at all.
Given that it has a much smaller surface area compared to its immediate competitors, yet, with less stacks and gross area to build on, there’s more focus on delivering quality sized apartments in a building with a more attractive façade.
But the façade is merely one way developer Singland is approaching to draw attention to Alex Residences. After all, there’s much similarity between Alex Residences and Echelon’s façades though it must be said that this particular greyscale style looks better on a small development.
At the apex, on the roof, rests a massive structure, similar to the one that sits above Marina Bay Sands. This display structure may not light up on its own, but lights that shine upon it during night time are expected to make it look like it is glowing.
Like a beacon or lighthouse calling the weary sailor home, Alex Residences’ massive art décor piece will illuminate the way home for its residents after a long day at work. It also sets the small development apart from its peers rather magnificently.
Beneath the giant structure is an infinity pool. This is a rare addition for a residential development, let alone one on the roof.
Besides being 40-storeys with no penthouses so that everyone can enjoy the roof terrace without having to pay a premium to do so, Alex Residences also boasts a wide all-around view that is largely unobstructed.
And the side that is obstructed – the west- is also the side that gets the west sun but thanks to Echelon’s larger frame protecting Alex Residences, you won’t be baking in the apartment. It’s a small issue anyway since there are other units available that have totally unobstructed views. Units that face north for example, have unblocked views of Orchard Road and even Dempsey.
The Crest on Prince Charles Crescent in the north of Alex Residences is only 23 storeys so residents on the higher floors can see over The Crest. Behind The Crest are landed houses so the view stretches as far as Sentosa.
Alex Residences’ impassive tower takes advantage of the location quite well and being so tall and elegantly designed, it does create an atmosphere of sophistication. Even entering the lobby, with its high cylindrical pillars, gives it a Greco-Roman look made modern.
Showflat: Façades are the wrapping however, with the units being the prize. It behoves developers to follow through with good sized units that would match the extravagance or opulence of the exterior and showunits is the first wave of proofing that this can be done.
Alex Residences showunits share a lot in common with many other developments but it executes in a more luxurious way.
There are two showunits on display; a 2-bedroom 63 sqm (678 sqft) unit and a 3-bedroom + utility 106 sqm (1,141 sqft) unit.
2-bedroom Type B1a (63sqm): These units are generally the smaller and more popular units that are quickly bought for investment due to their lower quantum.
Units like these are not suitable for big families but adequate for newly married couples or a family of three. A family of four is possible, provided two persons share a room. It will be taxing on space but it is possible with smart renovation.
The unit, though similar to many of its ilk in layout and structure is actually slightly bigger than expected, with a more generous living and balcony area.
Marble floors across the living and dining area reflect the light easily, making the space feel brighter and bigger.
The living space is large enough for a couch or a sofa and a coffee table with the television wall mounted or placed upon a console.
Next to the living room is the open kitchen which is a modern architectural concept of new homes that is likely to trend for the foreseeable future.
Small units will almost always have this sort of layout as it is the most efficient given Singapore’s smaller land mass.
The kitchen is immediately accessible once you enter through the front door with the fridge on the right and the cooking space including oven visible.
The high and low cabinets are built-in between a solid surface work top. These cabinets, the top ones in particular, are anti-slam.
Though it inhabits a smaller surface area, the kitchen is spacious, provided residents avoid putting too big a dining table in the space. Removing the dining table completely allows for more opportunity to custom build or purchase of additional storage space.
And with the fridge, oven and even washing machine/dryer (kept in the built-in closet flushed to the wall opposite the fridge) provided, by reputable brand De Dietrich no less, the amount of things you need to buy is greatly reduced.
For the purpose of this showunit, one of the bedrooms had its walls removed for a better look inside.
The actual door faces the inside of the narrow corridor, so the walk-in space at the showunit is actually meant to be walled off.
That wall allows for the orientation of the living space to change based on preference. All bedrooms have timber flooring which are easy to maintain and look great on their own.
With timber flooring, there’s little need to add carpets or rugs because the natural beauty from the grains and textures of the material requires very little ‘dressing up’.
Though in the long run, timber flooring needs refining to reduce or remove scratches and stains. It also gets noisy over time, which may make the inclusion or a rug or carpet a necessary addition.
The common bedroom can take a queen sized bed but that would be a poor use of the space. Typically, singles or bunk beds are a better option as it at least leaves room for some mobility and added customisation.
The master bedroom on the other hand requires a queen sized bed at the least. The additional space it is given dovetails into a master bathroom which with downlights at the bottom of the built-in mirror with vanity cabinets adds to that overall boutique hotel look.
It is quite spacious too, both the master and common bathrooms. While the bedroom décor benefits from classy interior decorating, the bathrooms on display are close to what is offered.
The 2-bedroom unit does exactly what it is meant to do; provide an attractive and sufficient living space for small families. In this regard, this unit type in Alex Residences succeeds. It feels inviting and self-contained with everything you would need to in a cosy apartment.
3-bedroom Type C2-1G (106sqm): The 3-bedroom unit displayed is the ground floor unit (which is technically the third floor if you count the lobby on the actual ground floor and the gym above it) and like the units on the 39th floor, are high ceiling apartments.
Typical ceiling height is about 3m but high ceiling units are 4.6m. Unfortunately, ground floor units, which are also 3+1 utility room units, are fully sold out.
An excellent thing about the 3-bedroom apartments is its enclosed kitchen. All units, 3-bedrooms and onwards have enclosed kitchens.
The size certainly allows for partitioning and with a bigger kitchen that comes with a gas cooker, the heavier cooking can now be contained with the sliding door shut.
The kitchen is quite big and more than comfortable for at least two people to be working inside.
But this spaciousness has its drawbacks as the pantry is significantly smaller in this unit and condo than it is in other mass-market developments.
While this may pose a problem for residents with helpers whom they were intending to houseinto the pantry, it does not change the fact that the pantry in this development or any development for that matter, is hardly a suitable place to fit a regular sized human.
The pantry here is sufficient for shelving to store canned goods and other assorted stuff. If this must absolutely be a maid’s room, then a bed has to be customised in order to fit.
Otherwise, it’s an excellent store room to have at the back of the kitchen that does not interrupt your space when cooking.
High ceilings are divisive; some people love them, others don’t care for them. High ceilings do provide a lot of opportunity to maximise vertical space which owners should be doing anyway.
For the common bedroom shown here, instead of the typical bunk bed (which is shown in the other common room), this one instead sports a library at the top.
The black steel rungs adds a level of sophistication to an already luxurious looking apartment and the hanging lights enhances the overall vibe.
Of course, to pursue this sort of interior decorating would cost more money as the unit comes bare without the library and lights, but it is a good display of some of the uses of a high ceiling.
And the aforementioned bunk bed, in the other common room is yet another smart usage of the space provided.
More vertical space, especially where bedrooms are concerned, is a feat unto itself so having the wherewithal to build upwards is a boon. It also makes a 3-bedroom apartment fit for six people with two sharing a room.
The only place where the high ceiling does not work well in is the common bathroom. The height here is more of a casualty as it doesn’t offer anything other than an innate sense of scale.
The master bathroom however, is as cosy and boutique looking as the master bedroom.
The warmer colours and downlights helps to ‘pull’ the ceiling down for a cosier, more intimate feel. With very large spaces or high ceilings, sometimes in order to diminish the size for a snugger aesthetic, warmer colours are used to elicit the effect.
In the master bathroom, this was done masterfully.
The darker colours also makes the master bedroom pop without drawing attention to the high ceiling. Obviously a bunk bed is unnecessary here so all that ceiling height goes unused unless chandeliers are hung.
But with warmer colours, the bed on a platform and long and dark curtains tapering at the end, the room feels cavernous if not spacious. It certainly does not feel small or conventional, which is important for the developer to show.
In closing, the vibe for the 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom ground units are so comparatively different that it’s easy to forgive someone for thinking they might be from two different projects. This is partly due to the 2-bedroom’s more conventional layout.
However, both units do deliver where it matters on finishing and fittings. Providing the basic appliances like induction stove, hood, oven, fridge, washing machine and dryer from a reputable brand like De Dietrich no less, ramps up its favourability.
It’s unfair to judge the value of a unit based on the brands of appliances provided but where many mass-market projects utilize common trustworthy brands for appliances, it’s an added bonus when the brand in question can add to the quality of the project by its name alone.
The single tower of Alex Residences stands like a glistening stalagmite over the horizon, staking a claim over the skies in the Redhill new town. This lone tower, painted in varying shades of grey with reflective sides that catch the sun, faces heavy competition from the other developments that sit like giant statues carved from steel and rock.
But of all the four that fight in a tight space, it is the smaller Alex Residences that show the most promise in this burgeoning estate.
Valley of the Four Peaks…
Metropolitan, Ascentia Sky, Echelon and Alex Residences. These four residential developments are of varying size and shape but all dot the immediate horizon bordered only by Redhill MRT station.
Opened in 1988, the station with its trademark reddish-pink façade, is one of the oldest train stations along the popular East-West Line. It also represents the most convenient form of transport for the numerous residents or both private and public housing that flank both sides of the train tracks.
Where the condominiums are, are quieter and less chaotic as Alexandra Road runs in front of the condos but ingress and egress is reserved for residents of those developments along the private Alexandra View.
The land next to Metropolitan has been successfully tendered for, and will be the site of a new mixed development. For the near future at least, construction noise might be par for the course for all the residents within the area.
The only development that escapes unscathed from the upcoming noise pollution, is Alex Residences, the piercing tower that dares break ground with its larger counterparts.
It sits along Alexandra View – a private road developed specifically for Ascentia Sky and Echelon – and is within sight of the MRT station.
The walk there takes five minutes, maybe less if speed is of the essence but the important bit is this; Alex Residences is very close to the station so as to be convenient but far enough that the noise from the trains affect it less than it would Echelon and the other three.
And with the mixed development upcoming and a supermarket already expected to be built within its premises, denizens of Alex Residences benefit from the new amenities no more than five minutes from the main gate without having to endure discomfort from the impending construction.
But future supermarket aside, Alex Residences is also closer to the Delta Sports Complex and Clubfit Gym. No doubt condo facilities provide all the basic fitness necessities but having a larger and more social environment to spur you can’t hurt.
The nearest school – Gan Eng Seng Secondary – is about 610m from Alex Residences on its right and along Alexandra Road. Past that is the Beo Crescent Food Centre along Lower Delta Road where PSB Academy also sits. But there is little need to travel in that direction when a quick jaunt to the other side of the MRT station toward the HDB flats will already furnish you with a variety of local food options.
And if you’re partial toward travelling too far in the merciless Singapore heat, then pause at Redhill MRT station and choose from the 7-11, Bakery Point, Ananas Café and several other small food stalls to purchase your food.
Like many stations these days, Redhill also has several ATMs (UOB, POSB and Citibank), a cash deposit machine and even a dentist in case of an oral emergency. Amenities are slowly increasing their quantity here which is a good thing for new residents.
Alex Residences showflat, which was just relaunched is three minutes from Redhill and immediately visible even whilst on the train approaching the station.
Though existing residents may find the things to do here slightly wanting, a sudden deluge of shops and eateries will only serve to increase prices of the units while at the same time bring this relatively quiet enclave up to the standards of neighbouring Tiong Bahru.
Thus, new buyers and early adopters to Redhill will find that now, while everything is in a semi state of growth and flux, is a good time to invest.
It is the proverbial calm before the storm and in a few years with a shopping mall and supermarket in the vicinity, the prices that may appear high now will look modest by comparison.
Alex Residences occupies a much smaller surface area than its two closest competitors, Echelon and Ascentia Sky but where it loses out in land size, it more than makes up in almost every other aspect, including price.
While Echelon and Ascentia Sky are closer by a few meters to the MRT station, the added savings of a couple of minutes walk comes at a price premium.
Smaller units which are always the quickest to sell, are priced lower at Alex Residences than at Echelon. Keep in mind that the smallest 1-bedroom units at Alex Residences are at 44 sqm or 474 sqft whereas at Echelon, they are at 452 sqft.
So for a 1-bedroom unit to transact at $940K in Alex Residences against a 452 sqft in Echelon at the same price, then as an investment, Alex Residences is the better choice because of its bigger size and better location.
Median psf for 1-bedroom (44 – 47 sqm) units in Alex Residences are around $1,744. Echelon’s 1-bedroom units (42 sqm/452 sqft) have a median psf of $2,075. It is expected for smaller units to have higher psf so this is normal.
For example, 87 sqm (936 sqft) 3-bedroom units in Ascentia Sky have a median psf of $1,326 while 86 sqm (926 sqft) 3-bedroom units at Alex Residences have a median psf of $1,607. In this regard, even transacted prices for Ascentia Sky for 3-bedroom units come in lower than Alex Residences.
Conventionally, developments closer to MRT stations get to command a higher quantum but in this case, being sandwiched between the train tracks and the main road that sees quite a bit of traffic, not to mention glare from the sun, have taken bites out of its perceived value.
So, when you start comparing transacted prices in relation to location and orientation, then Alex Residences comes slightly on top, beating Echelon handily and even Ascentia Sky, despite that project coming in at lower quantums.
As for 1-bedroom units, only Alex Residences and Echelon have them, with the units being bigger but priced lower at Alex Residences. Echelon is also a much bigger development so technically, they could get away with pricing their units at lower psf than Alex Residences, which they did not do.
Rental however, is a different beast because the entire stretch consisting of Ascentia Sky, Echelon and Alex Residences and even to a lesser degree, Metropolitan, is a goldmine.
When the new mixed development with its supermarket and modern shopping amenities is built at the plot of land next to Metropolitan, opposite Ascentia Sky, rental prices which are already significantly higher here due to foreign interest, than in other districts is expected to skyrocket.
3-bedroom units typically rent out at an average of $5,000 currently. Median rental yield for Alexandra Road is already at 4.2%. Even for Metropolitan, rental per month for 3-bedroom units share an average of $5,000 to $6,000 depending on floor and orientation.
With Gleneagles Hospital located at Tanglin, this little area is also popular among wealthy Indonesians who come to Singapore regularly for medical check-ups there.
The majority buyers are Singaporeans, with at least 50% of local buyers being HDB upgraders but Alex Residences has a slightly higher concentration of foreigners due to its location, proximity to MRT station and local eateries as well its luxury boutique façade.
Pricing and size makes it attractive and as an excellent rental location, it stands as a good form of future investment.
In this day where every developer calls their project ‘unique’, it becomes a feat to actually justify how unique a mass-marketed condominium or apartment building can truly be.
But for projects that can go against the grain and deliver something familiar and yet execute it in a more varied and attractive way, it starts to stand out of the crowd a little bit more.
Alex Residences is one such project.
It’s hard to miss despite its smaller size because of where it is located as well as the future décor piece on the roof. Though Alex Residences stands next to its larger counterparts, it’s of a distance where it looks like it stands apart from the pack rather than a part of it.
Alex Residences has quite a lot of good things going for it. Their smallest units are generous in space and their biggest units are such luxurious apartments that you won’t notice the absence of penthouse units.
Living on a high ceiling 3-bedroom unit on the 39th floor for example, is as penthouse-like as you can get.
And with good reason, because at 40 storeys high, Alex Residences towers over many other developments – Echelon aside – like The Crest to the north, and cast a wide and unhindered view as far as the coast in Sentosa.
Closer afield, the upcoming mixed development with its supermarket adds much needed amenities within walking distance to Alex Residences.
Singapore may be a small place and a 10 minute walk is not exactly that long a time but the heat here puts a dampener on things. Walking more than five minutes anywhere will be an exhausting affair under the hot sun.
This absence however is a boon to early adopters as prices reflect the current situation. The developer has not seemed to “future-price” the project in order to demand a higher price.
Alex Residences without a doubt is in a prime location, being five minutes to the MRT station but not so close as to be bothered by the trains unlike Metropolitan or Ascentia Sky.
And when the new mixed development is up, residents at Metropolitan, Ascentia Sky and to a point, Echelon, will have to endure the construction noise and dust before another towering development obstructs their views.
Alex Residences however, merely resides serenely by the wayside, aware of the commotion but unaffected by it and yet, will reap just as much of the benefits of having it there as the other three.