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.
City Developments Limited (CDL) is a Singapore-listed international property and hotel conglomerate managing properties in 91 locations across 25 countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Asia and the Middle East. CDL boasts a global land bank of almost 7.2 million square feet comprising residential, retail, hotel, office and industrial space.
Project Name: Echelon
Address: Alexandra View
Site area: Approx. 107,130 sqft
Tenure: 99 years from 6th March 2012
Configuration: 508 units
68 1-bedroom units (452 sqft)
152 2-bedroom units (732 sqft)
68 3-bedroom Compact units (861 sqft)
68 3-bedroom Standard units (1,001 – 1,130 sqft)
72 3-bedroom Premium units (1,292 – 1,313 sqft)
38 3-bedroom Suite units (1,346 (without loft) – 1,475 (with loft) sqft)
38 4-bedroom Suite units (1,442 (without loft) – 1,572 (with loft) sqft)
4 penthouse units (4,047 – 4,069 sqft)
Maintenance fees: TBA
507 normal lots
5 handicap lots
6 electric car lots
Expected Completion: 2016
Echelon is a 508-unit condo development located at Alexandra View. At time of writing (June 2016), only penthouse units are still available.
Construction is almost done. The project is flanked by Ascentia Sky on the left and the upcoming Alex Residences on the right.
The project consists of two 43-storey blocks and is designed by the award-winning SCDA Architects. It has also won the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for its environmentally-friendly features.
The greenery interspersed throughout the development allows residents to have a view of nature. The sky gardens of the Tranquility Terraces on Levels 13 and 28 definitely add to this overall feel.
Facilities are organized into six storeys – Levels 1, 13, 15, 28, 30 and 42.
The health enthusiasts have the Fitness Terrace’s gym and yoga deck on Level 15 to get their daily dose of exercise at.
If you prefer the outdoors, the lap pool and tennis court are great options.
The spa lounge on Level 30 is perfect for winding down on evenings after work, or to relax at during weekends.
Lastly, Sky Echelon on Level 42 is good for hosting dinner parties or private gatherings. The view of the city skyline from there is also pretty amazing.
Only 2 penthouse units are available for sale currently. You get fantastic views of the city right from the comfort of your living room.
Kitchen appliances are from Smeg and Whirlpool.
An interesting feature of Echelon is that it is the first residential development to offer all its residents a built-in Hyflux Ultrafiltration Drinking Water System.
Suite, premium unit and penthouse residents get a home energy management system in the form of an iPad-controlled app that lets you manage and track power usage. This way, you could potentially save on energy bills on reduce environmental impact.
Some units come with double volume ceilings and these are perfect for those who like to work with space. Floor-to-ceiling windows in some of these units provide unobstructed views of Orchard Road, Marina Bay or Sentosa.
The master bedroom is probably large enough to accommodate a king-sized bed, and still have more than enough leg room.
Bathrooms have a wet and dry area as per usual and fittings are from Grohe and Duravit.
Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. Singaporeans and permanent residents account for an estimated 90% of sales currently.
Bukit Merah is situated in the southernmost part of the Central Region of Singapore. The Bukit Merah planning area is bound by Alexandra Canal and the Singapore River to the north and Harbourfront and Keppel Bay to the south. Redhill is one of the 13 sub-regions in the area.
Getting there: Location is a very big selling point for Echelon, with it being a city-fringe project. If you’re travelling by train in the mornings, Raffles Place MRT is a 10-minute ride from Redhill MRT. You will enjoy easy access to major expressways, so connectivity is enhanced.
The park connector along Alexandra Canal offers an alternative mode of transport in that you can actually cycle to the CBD area in less than 20 minutes.
Redhill MRT is a 5-minute walk away. From there, it is five stops down to City Hall MRT, where you have Raffles City Shopping Centre, Citylink Mall, Marina Square, The Esplanade and Suntec City Mall. For early morning commuters, Raffles Place MRT is 4 stops away.
The estate: Echelon is situated on the edge of the much sought-after Tanglin residential enclave and essentially between 3 well-developed neighbourhoods – Queenstown, Redhill and Tiong Bahru.
It is a short drive to various lifestyle hubs and shopping malls including the Orchard Shopping Belt, the Marina Bay district and the Southern Waterfront where Vivocity and Sentosa are located. Popular eateries at Rochester Park, Holland Village and Dempsey Hill as well as hipster haven Tiong Bahru are all also a stone’s throw away from the project.
There is a bus stop right behind Echelon, along Alexandra Road with services 51, 122, 139, 186 and 970. Between them, these services cover different areas; Hougang to Jurong East, New Bridge Terrace, Toa Payoh to Bukit Merah, Shenton Way Terrace to St. Michael’s Terrace and lastly Bukit Panjang to Shenton Way Terrace.
You could also walk to the bus stop next to Redhill MRT.
As for school options, there are a few reputable ones nearby.
- EtonHouse International Pre-school
- SJI International School
- Hwa Chong International School
- Overseas Family School
The National University of Singapore (NUS), Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic are all within a 15-minute drive away.
Valley Point Shopping Centre is about a 3-minute drive away. It’s not a huge mall, but there’s a gastrobar, Starbucks and Fairprice Finest outlet there. Residents won’t have to travel far to get daily goods or their coffee fix.
Great World City is a 5-minute drive away. Boasting seven anchor tenants including Golden Village Grand Cineplex, the place offers a wide selection of dining and retail options.
Other malls in the vicinity include the Orchard Shopping Belt just five minutes away if you drive, Vivocity, Tanglin Shopping Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, The Anchorage, Queensway Shopping Centre, The Star Vista and Ikea Alexandra.
For some down time on weekends, residents can head to the Botanic Gardens, which is a 6 to 8-minute drive away. Recently honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its 74-hectare area is home to more than 10,000 species of flora. It’s a very pretty place and an ideal location for picnics or just relaxation.
Other recreational amenities near Echelon include Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Henderson Waves, Hort Park, Labrador Park and Kent Ridge Park. Tanglin Golf Course is a 4-minute drive away for the golfers.
SAFRA Mount Faber is about a 5-minute drive away. Kids will enjoy the swimming and bowling facilities at the site. There are a few dining options there too.
As for healthcare needs, Alexandra Hospital and Singapore General Hospital are a 3-minute and 5-minute drive away, respectively, making it very convenient for outpatient care or in the case of an emergency. There are also a number of general and specialist clinics at Great World City.
Caveated transactions for Echelon at time of writing (June 2016) stands at 487. Recorded transaction prices range from $794K to $6.9M (see Chart 1).
Echelon’s closest competitor would be Alex Residences, located right next to it. Its current median price is $1,707 psf to Echelon’s median of $1,764 psf. Residents at Alex Residences are also likely to be a good mix of owner-occupiers and tenants who like the project’s location.
Units at Alex Residences range from 1- to 3-bedroom units. To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 1- and 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, Echelon’s 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,673 psf while Alex Residences’ is $1,614 psf. Transactions for the units at Echelon range from $1.445M to $2.025M, and are between $1.501M and $2.156M at Alex Residences.
As for 1-bedroom units, Echelon’s have a median price of $2,025 psf and Alex Residences’ have a median price of $1,774 psf. Transactions for the units at Echelon range from $794K to $1.118M, and are between $763K and $973K at Alex Residences.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. Alex Residences has bigger 1-bedroom units but with 3-bedroom units, Echelon has larger units. 1-bedroom units are 452 sqft at Echelon and are between 474 sqft and 506 sqft at Alex Residences. 3-bedroom units are between 1,001 sqft and 1,130 sqft at Echelon. At Alex Residences, they are between 1,023 sqft and 1,044 sqft.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for Echelon, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for District 3 (Queenstown / Tiong Bahru) is around $3.84 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. However, the current median rental price for non-landed properties along Alexandra View in particular, is around $4.29 psf per month at time of writing.
At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 1,130 sqft at Echelon would go for around $5,800 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the median price for the unit being around $1.689M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4.1%. The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Alex Residences, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $5,300 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3.8% in annual gross rental yield.
A 1-bedroom unit at Echelon would go for around $2,600 a month and this would approximately be a 2.9% rental yield. With Alex Residences, you could get around $3,100 a month and this would be an estimated 3.7% in annual gross rental yield.
According to the estimated figures, rental yield for Echelon seems to be a bit higher with 3-bedroom units. Nearby amenities are almost exactly the same, with the projects being next to each other. Unit sizing however, differs between the developments.
Location is Echelon’s biggest selling point. Situated strategically on the city fringe, the project is just minutes away from the bustling Orchard Shopping Belt and CBD area.
Residents will also definitely enjoy the easy access to major expressways and proximity to nearby malls like Great World City. For families with children, the reputable schools nearby are another plus.
The only potential drawback would be that in terms of tertiary educational institutions, there aren’t any within short walking or driving distance.
Investment potential is high and this is clearly evident from the almost sold-out development. If you’re in the market for a penthouse unit in prime District 3, Echelon may be worth taking a look at.