Park Nova is a luxury development located in District 10. Aside from its freehold status, the development also offers super spacious units and easy access to MRT stations and nearby amenities.
UOL Group Limited (UOL) is one of Singapore’s leading public-listed property companies with an extensive portfolio of development and investment properties, hotels and serviced suites. It owns and/or manages over 30 hotels in Asia, Oceania and North America through its hotel subsidiary Pan Pacific Hotels Group Limited.
Kheng Leong Group started as an international commodity and spice trading company which later evolved into an investment group with interests in property development and real estate investment. Today the group has a portfolio of projects with strategic partners across the Asia Pacific region as well as in Sydney, London and Los Angeles.
Project Name: Principal Garden
Address: Along Alexandra Canal in Prince Charles Crescent
Site area: Approx. 269,000 sqft
Tenure: 99 years
Configuration: 663 units
182 1-bedroom units (484 – 506 sqft)
304 2-bedroom units (764 – 807 sqft)
42 2-bedroom Dual Key units (861 sqft)
46 3-bedroom units (1,076 sqft)
23 3-bedroom Dual Key units (1,195 sqft)
19 3-bedroom deluxe + private lift units (1,238 sqft)
38 4-bedroom deluxe + private lift units (1,572 sqft)
3 4-bedroom + study + private lift units (2,002 sqft)
6 5-bedroom + study + private lift units (2,347 sqft)
Maintenance fees: TBA
663 normal lots
5 handicap lots
80 bicycle lots
Expected TOP: December 2019
Expected legal completion: December 2022
Principal Garden is a 663-unit development at Prince Charles Crescent which allows potential buyers the opportunity to own property on the fringe of the Mount Echo, Jervois and Bishopsgate area. At time of writing (Oct 2015), all unit types are available. The show flat is open to prospective buyers for two weeks starting from the 16th of October 2015. Balloting starts at the end of October.
Unit sizes range from 1- to 5-bedroom units. The lowest-priced unit on PropertyGuru is a 506 sqft 1-bedroom unit going for $750,000, which translates to around $1,550 psf. A 2,346 sqft 5-bedroom + study + private lift penthouse unit is going for $4,000,000 and this is an estimated $1,704 psf.
The Principal Garden show flat is on site and construction is in the early stages. The Crest, which is another condo development right next to Principal Garden is in the mid to later stages.
Principal Garden’s four 24-storey apartment blocks are right next to the Alexandra Canal Park Connector and the developers will be providing facilities for an active lifestyle, including a shared bicycle facility. The towers are also set back thus freeing up the site to create a foreground of open greenery. The linear positioning of the towers coupled with the tilted angle ensure that all units get a view of the surroundings.
The blocks are also elevated for better view enjoyment. The first unit on the second storey is at least 15m above the ground and this allows the landscape to extend under the towers. This also translates to more privacy for residents in those units.
Another interesting feature of the project would be its ’80-20 garden living’ concept. What this means is that the towers and facilities occupy less than 20 percent of the development’s total land area. A large ribbon of lawn weaves through the entire development, emphasizing the spaciousness and connecting the different gardens.
Facilities are another selling point and you will see some interesting ones.
The clubhouse near the entrance overlooks the expansive lawn and boasts facilities such as a wine lounge with rentable wine cellars, a private dining room and an outdoor dining terrace with bar.
Stacks 25 to 30 enjoy a bit of a premium with the principal sky club being located at the 24th storey of tower 99.
The sky club is the perfect place for parties or even just to relax. Facilities include a sky deck, sky dining/BBQ & pavilion, sky lounge, sky pool and sky jacuzzi.
The 150 sqm gym is surrounded by greenery and comes with 40 sqm of male and female steam rooms.
Showflat units are available for 2- to 4-bedroom units. Photos in this review are from all units.
- engineered timber flooring with timber skirting for living, dining areas and all bedrooms
- marble tiles for master bathroom
- porcelain/homogenous tiles for common bathrooms, kitchen, yard, water closet and balcony
- fire-rated timber door for entrance
- timber swing doors for bedrooms and bathrooms
- powder-coated aluminium-framed glass sliding door for balcony
- timber-framed/aluminium-framed with glass infill sliding door for kitchen
- aluminium-framed slide and fold door for water closet
- glass shower compartment and door with shower set, vanity top with basin and mixer, wall-mounted water closet, paper holder, towel rail/robe hook and mirror for all bathrooms
- pedestal water closet, basin with tap, shower set and paper holder for water closet
- built-in wardrobes for all bedrooms
- ceiling concealed ducted air-con for living and dining areas
- wall-mounted air-con for all bedrooms
First and foremost, you have the option of going either with the ‘cool’ or ‘warm’ scheme for finishes around the unit. There are separate colour combinations for general finishes and bathroom finishes. The warm scheme is based on a more contemporary palette with lighter wood tones. The cool scheme lends a rustic finish to the unit with darker wood tones.
Cabinets with quartz countertops and a stainless steel sink come with the kitchen. Appliances provided include a built-in oven, a gas cooker hob and hood, a refrigerator and a washer cum dryer all from Smeg. The kitchen in the 2-bedroom unit is an open kitchen so technically two people could be using it at any one time.
Once you enter the apartment, the kitchen is on the left for the 3-bedroom unit. Facing the living area, it can accommodate two people as well.
The 4-bedroom unit has an open dry kitchen facing the living area with the kitchen behind it. Kitchens in the bigger units come with a coffee machine and wine cooler.
The inner wet kitchen is similar to the one in the 3-bedroom unit and can fit two people at any one time.
The kitchen is connected to the yard which includes the water closet and utility room in the bigger units.
This is the view from the kitchen in the 2-bedroom unit. The dining area is to the side and the living room extends to the balcony. Finishes are in the ‘cool’ scheme.
In the 3-bedroom unit, the living area is wider with the balcony stretching the same length.
Not unexpectedly, the space is even larger in the 4-bedroom unit. Here, finishes are in the ‘warm’ scheme.
The common bedrooms can generally fit a queen-sized bed with some room for movement.
Going with a single bed however, frees up more space.
For families with kids, the loft bed cum study option may be ideal.
Master bedrooms can accommodate a king-sized bed and still have maneuvering space.
Bathrooms have a wet and dry area as per normal with fittings are from Hansgrohe.
Master bathrooms have a different look with the marble tiles. They are also slightly larger and come with a rain shower. The above bathroom is in the ‘cool scheme’.
The 4-bedroom unit will also include a bathtub in the master bathroom. Here, finishes are in the ‘warm’ scheme.
Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. Since the city-fringe project is surrounded by foreign embassies, an estimated 10-15% of buyers are expected to be foreigners.
Etymology: Bukit Merah is a large New Town and is actually a hill situated in the central-south region of Singapore. It was a much larger hill located at the present Henderson housing estate, but was trimmed in 1973 when the kampongs in the surrounding area were demolished.
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. Its 13 sub-regions include Alexandra, Bukit Ho Swee, Bukit Merah Central, Bukit Merah View, Bukit Purmei, Cantonment, Depot Road, Harbourfront, Keppel, Mount Faber, Redhill, Telok Blangah and Tiong Bahru.
Bukit Merah means red hill and Malay legend has it that the place got its name from a mysterious event involving a clever young boy and a jealous king. The name is not to be confused with Redhill however, which is another area in the same vicinity.
Getting there: Location is a very big selling point for Principal Garden, as a project right at the fringe of the city. 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.
Turning left and driving down will get you onto the Central Expressway (CTE). Driving straight ahead will get you onto the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). The Central Business District (CBD) area is a 5-minute drive away via Alexandra Road which joins up with Havelock Road.
The park connector along Alexandra Canal offers an alternative mode of transport as you can actually cycle to the CBD area in less than 20 minutes.
Redhill MRT is a 7-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: Principal Garden is nestled in a quiet enclave along the recreational waterway of Alexandra Canal, on the fringe of the embassy district. It is also fronted by the Bishopsgate and Chatsworth Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) estate.
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 near Principal Garden, 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.
As for school options, there are a few reputable ones nearby.
Principal Gardens is also within proximity to these International Schools:
- 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 400m 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 2-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, as well as 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 5 to 6-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 Principal Garden include Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Henderson Waves, Hort Park, Labrador Park and Kent Ridge Park. Tanglin Golf Course is a 3-minute drive away for the golfers.
SAFRA Mount Faber is also a 3-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, Singapore General Hospital is a 4-minute drive away, so it will be 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.
Apartments at Principal Garden are priced relatively attractively, starting from $770K for a 1-bedroom unit, $1.18M for a 2-bedroom unit and $1.7M for a 3-bedroom unit.
Principal Garden’s closest competitor would be The Crest, located right next to it. TOP for the project is scheduled for June 2018. Its median price is $1,734 psf to Principal Garden’s estimated $1,595 psf. This price differential is likely due to the price the developers paid for the respective land plots, with UOL and Kheng Leong dishing out $821 psf ppr for Principal Garden, and Wing Tai and UE E&C putting up $960 psf ppr for The Crest.
The resident mix at The Crest is probably similar to that of Principal Garden – owner-occupiers who like the location of the project and investors looking to lease. Units at both developments range from 1-5 bedroom units and penthouse units.
For a better understanding, we will be looking at 3-bedroom and 1-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. With reference to guide prices, Principal Garden’s 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,580 psf while The Crest’s is $1,695 psf. Transactions for the units at Principal Garden start at $1.7M, and range from $1.6M to $2.4M at The Crest.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. By comparison, 3-bedroom units at The Crest have generally larger proportions and are between 1,033 sqft and 1,335 sqft. At Principal Garden, they are 1,076 sqft.
Overall, In terms of sale prices alone, Principal Garden presents a better option.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for Principal Garden, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for projects in District 3 (Queenstown / Tiong Bahru) is around $4 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. The current median rental price at Princes Charles Crescent alone, is also $4 psf per month. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 1,076 sqft at Principal Garden would go for around $5,200 to $5,400 a month, after factoring a 20% premium for its new build. With the starting price for the unit being around $1.7M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 3.7%.
For investors holding on to 1-bedroom units, rental price for a 495 sqft unit at the current rates would be an estimated $2,400 to $2,600 a month. With the starting price for the unit being around 770K, annual gross rental yield would be around 3.9%.
The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at The Crest, on the other hand, would probably fetch around $5,700 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 3.3% in annual gross rental yield.
With a 1-bedroom unit at The Crest, rental would be around $3,300 a month and this would be an estimated 3.1% in annual gross rental yield.
According to the estimated figures, rental yield for Principal Garden is higher than The Crest. With The Crest being only next door, there are no real differences in terms of nearby amenities. Unit sizing differs slightly with units at The Crest being generally larger. Overall, Principal Garden seems to be the safer bet in terms of future rental yield.
Location and price point are the biggest pull factors with Principal Garden. Residents will get a premium space in a well-known neighbourhood at a lower price point compared to other projects in the area.
Residents will also definitely enjoy the easy access to major expressways and proximity to nearby malls like Great World City and The Orchard Shopping Belt. For families with children, the reputable schools nearby are another plus.
Principal Garden boasts good views for all its residents. The north and northeast facing towers provide an unobstructed view of the Chatsworth GCB area. The south facing blocks come with an excellent view of the Alexandra Canal.
While it is true that location is a very big plus point with this development, a potential drawback would be that there is no MRT station within close walking distance. Redhill MRT is about a 700m walk away, according to the distance plotted on a map, or about a 7-minute walk. For some, this could be a long walk, but if the developer were to provide a shuttle bus service, it would alleviate the issue.
Investment potential is high with the project being located on the fringe of the embassy row and within short driving distance of the town and CBD areas. The configuration is such that 70 percent of total units are smaller units, which supposedly command higher rental potential.
Principal Garden gives potential buyers the chance to own property in a luxury neighbourhood at a relatively lower price, at least in its initial launch. Property consultants have suggested that the next round of buyers will not be able to enjoy current prices, so if you think that the project is worth investing in, you should go down to the showflat for a viewing soon.