The Atelier is an upcoming 120-unit freehold luxury apartment in District 9, located within touching distance to the Newton MRT station as well as several reputable schools.
CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies headquartered and listed in Singapore. Its diversified global real estate portfolio includes integrated developments, shopping malls, serviced residences, offices and homes. Core markets include Singapore and China with Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam being potential new growth markets.
Project Name: The Interlace
Address: Depot Road
Site area: Approx. 869,320 sqft
Tenure: 99 years from 11th February 2009
1,040 residential units
8 retail units
2-bedroom units (807 – 1,604 sqft)
3-bedroom units (1,259 – 3,789 sqft)
3-bedroom + study units (1,593 – 5,253 sqft)
4-bedroom units (1,938 – 5,694 sqft)
garden house units (2,874 – 3,886 sqft)
penthouse units (3,154 – 6,308 sqft)
Maintenance fees: Approx. $248 – $662
1,046 normal lots
10 handicap lots
76 strata lots
Actual TOP: October 2013
Actual completion: March 2015
The Interlace is a 1,040-unit development along Depot Road, known for its design and architecture. Most recently, it made headlines for bagging the prestigious ‘World Building of the Year’ title at the World Architecture Festival. At time of writing (Nov 2015), all units except for the 2-bedroom ones, are available. 2-bedroom units may be available for rental.
Unit sizes range from 2- to 4-bedroom and penthouse units. The lowest-priced unit on PropertyGuru is an 807 sqft 2-bedroom unit going for $1,100,000, which translates to around $1,363 psf. A 5,877 sqft 4-bedroom penthouse unit is going for $6,585,600 and this is an estimated $1,400 psf.
The development is complete and residents have already moved in. The project consists of 31 blocks of apartments stacked in a hexagonal arrangement. Facilities are spread over the entire development.
For functions or family gatherings, there is the party pavilion, BBQ promenade and clubhouse.
The landscaping at The Interlace includes private roof top gardens and communal sky gardens.
Children will love the water park with different pools.
This is the view from one of the sky gardens.
And, the view from one of the roof top gardens.
There is a row of retail units near the entrance of the condo. Residents can thus get essentials quite conveniently.
Outfitted units are available for 3- and 4-bedroom units and are part of the CapitaLand Designer Series. Photos in this review are from both types of units.
- homogenous and/or ceramic tiles with matching tile skirting for living, dining areas, foyer, yard, utility, pantry store, pantry, household shelter, terrace and balcony
- marble with marble skirting for living, dining areas, foyer, yard, utility, pantry store, pantry and household shelter in penthouse units
- homogenous and/or ceramic tiles with matching tile skirting or timber parquet with timber skirting or laminated flooring with matching skirting for family, study and passageway
- marble with marble skirting or timber parquet with timber skirting or laminated flooring with matching skirting for family, study and passageway in penthouse units
- homogenous and/or ceramic tiles for bathrooms, powder room, water closet, and kitchen
- timber parquet with timber skirting or laminated flooring with matching skirting for bedrooms
- homogenous and/or ceramic tiles and/or pebble wash and/or timber deck for private roof garden
- fire-rated timber door and/or aluminium framed glass door for main entrance and secondary entrance
- hollow core timber door and/or timber and/or aluminium bi-fold door for bathrooms, bedrooms and powder room
- timber framed glass door and/or aluminium framed glass door for kitchen
- aluminium framed bi-fold door or louvered aluminium door for yard and utility
- aluminium framed bi-fold door with fixed acrylic panel for water closet
- aluminium framed glass door for enclosed staircase to private roof garden, terrace, balcony and courtyard
- metal door for private roof garden to common corridor
- approved steel door for household shelter
- solid surface vanity top with wash basin and mixer, shower screen with shower mixer set, water closet, paper holder, towel rail and mirror for all bathrooms
- 2 sets of wash basin and mixers and long bath with bath and shower mixer set for master bathrooms in penthouse units
- solid surface vanity top with wash basin and tap, water closet, mirror, hand towel rail and paper holder for powder room
- wash basin and tap, shower set, water closet, soap holder and paper holder for water closet
- sink with tap for pantry
- built-in wardrobes for all bedrooms
- wall-mounted air-con from Mitsubishi Electric for living, dining and family areas, bedrooms and study
Cabinets with solid surface countertops and a stainless steel sink come with the kitchen. Appliances provided include a gas stove and hood, a refrigerator from Samsung and a built-in oven from Bosch. The space in the 3-bedroom kitchen is sufficient for two people to comfortably move around in. Smaller units come with an induction stove and microwave oven instead. While the windows are good for ventilation, they also offer great views.
This area is just behind the kitchen. In this unit, it is elevated and made into sort of a lounge area. It could be where you have the dining area too. You can pretty much see the entire development and the surroundings through the windows.
The living area is quite spacious with an amazing view as well.
Bedroom sizes at The Interlace are all larger than average. Here, the common bedroom can fit a king-sized bed, but going with the queen option frees up more space.
The other common bedroom can fit two single beds and still have more than sufficient space for movement.
The master bedroom can fit a king-sized bed and still be very spacious. There are windows around the entire room, so the views are great.
The common bathroom can accommodate one person at a time. There is a wet and dry area as per normal and fittings are from Bravat.
The master bathroom is definitely bigger, and comes with a bathtub.
The yard area leads to the utility space, which then leads to the water closet. The utility area is again, larger than usual with direct access to the water closet, making it the perfect space for your helper, if you have one.
The stairs leading to the roof garden is just outside, next to the entrance.
The view from the roof garden is honestly, pretty fantastic. It overlooks the entire project on one side, and stretches out to town areas on the other. The area is perfect for parties, family gatherings or just for you to relax in, in the evenings.
The kitchen in the 4-bedroom unit is bigger and leads to the yard area with the utility space and water closet. The windows again give you spectacular views of the surroundings.
The living area is very spacious and extends to the balcony beyond.
The balcony leads to the roof garden on top.
The bedrooms and bathrooms are very similar to the ones in the 3-bedroom unit, except that all bedrooms in the 4-bedroom unit come with a balcony.
The kitchens in the 4-bedroom multi-generation unit, are again larger than your typical dual key units.
The living spaces in the respective wings.
Bedroom and bathroom sizes are once again, very similar to the ones in the 3-bedroom unit.
Buyers are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers and those looking to lease. An estimated 25% of buyers appear to be HDB upgraders. Singaporeans and permanent residents account for approximately 83% of sales.
Unit types are spread out among the blocks.
Etymology: Telok Blangah is a housing estate to the southwest of the Singapore Central Business District. It is part of the Bukit Merah Planning Area, under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
Telok Blangah in Malay means ‘cooking pot bay’ and refers to the area behind Keppel Harbour, which supposedly resembles the shape of a clay cooking pot. The area is known as sit lat mng in Hokkien, which means ‘Singapore gate’ or ‘north west gate’.
The origins of the place can be traced back to when John Turnbull Thomson, a British civil engineer credited with Singapore’s early infrastructure, painted ‘Telloh Blangah’ depicting a village at the foot of Mount Faber (formerly Telok Blangah Hill) in 1849.
Getting there: The Interlace is a short drive away from many major locations. Orchard Road is a 10-minute drive away, Marina Bay a 12-minute drive and Raffles Place a 15-minute drive. VivoCity is a 9-minute drive away and East Coast Park a 15-minute drive. You will also enjoy easy access to major expressways, so connectivity is enhanced.
Going left will take you to Mount Faber in under a minute. The Central Expressway (CTE) exit is 5 minutes down the same route. Going right will have you on Alexandra Road after the traffic junction and on to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) in 2 minutes. The Central Business District (CBD) area is a 12-minute drive away via the CTE.
Labrador Park MRT is a 10-minute walk away. From there, it is two stops down to Harbourfront MRT, where you have VivoCity and Sentosa. Dhoby Ghaut MRT is five stops down and from there, the Orchard Shopping Belt is not far off. For early morning commuters, Raffles Place MRT is a 13-minute ride away.
The estate: The Interlace is located at the junction of Alexandra Road and Depot Road. Currently, it is surrounded mainly by residential and commercial areas. According to the 2014 Master Plan by the URA, there are plans to expand the residential areas beyond Alexandra Road, across from The Interlace.
Situated near Singapore’s Southern Ridges, The Interlace offers accessibility to several nearby amenities including schools, malls, business hubs and parks.
There is a bus stop right in front of the project with services 57, 175, 195 and 408. Between them, these buses cover areas such as Bishan, Novena, Raffles Place, Clementi, Pasir Panjang, Orchard, Kallang, Tiong Bahru and River Valley. Service 408 only operates on weekends and public holidays and is a loop service from Harbourfront to Telok Blangah, Depot Road, Alexandra Road, Henderson Road and back again.
As for school options, there are a few reputable ones nearby.
VivoCity 8 is a 9-minute drive away. Anchor tenants at Singapore’s largest mall include Golden Village Cinemas, VivoMart and Tangs Department Store. The mall boasts 340 stores.
Other nearby malls include Queensway Shopping Centre, IKEA and the entire Orchard Shopping Belt with malls like 313@Somerset, Orchard Central, Paragon, Wisma Atria and ION Orchard.
Mapletree Business City is a 3-minute drive away, making The Interlace the perfect residence for professionals working there and possibly going to be employed there in future. The upcoming Mapletree Business City II is slated to open in 2016, meaning more jobs as well.
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll be happy to know that Telok Blangah Hill Park is just next to The Interlace. It is also connected to Mount Faber Park as well as Hort Park and Kent Ridge Park, further down.
Other recreational amenities near the project include Bukit Merah Community Centre, Bukit Merah Public Library, Telok Blangah Community Club and the Singapore Sports Hub. Keppel Club is a 4-minute drive away for the golfers.
SAFRA Mount Faber is a 2-minute drive away. Kids will enjoy the indoor playground (Kidz Amaze) and the bowling facilities at the site. There are a few dining options there too.
As for healthcare needs, Alexandra Hospital is 500m away. Bukit Merah and Queenstown Polyclinics are both within a 5-minute drive away. There are also a number of general clinics around Bukit Merah Central.
New sale transactions for The Interlace according to Realis is 804. Recorded transaction prices range from $834K to $6.075M (see Chart 1).
The Interlace’s closest competitor would be Skyline Residences, located 1km away, along Telok Blangah Road. Launched in mid 2011, its median price for the past four quarters is $2,096 psf to The Interlace’s $1,240 psf. Residents at Skyline Residences are likely to be a mix of owner-occupiers who like the location and the fact that the project is freehold as well as investors looking to lease.
Units at Skyline Residences range from 1-4 bedroom units and penthouse units while The Interlace consists of 2-4 bedroom units and penthouse units.
To have a clearer picture, we will be looking at 3-bedroom units in particular, across both developments. According to caveats, The Interlace’s 3-bedroom units have a median price of $1,067 psf while Skyline Residences’ is $1,934 psf. Transactions for the units at The Interlace range from $1.11M to $2.73M, and from $2.29M to $2.92M at Skyline Residences.
Before deciding based on these numbers alone, we should look at unit sizing as well. There is a wider range of sizes for units at The Interlace. 3-bedroom units range from 1,259 sqft to 3,789 sqft. At Skyline Residences, they range from 1,292 sqft to 1,346 sqft.
Looking at these figures, The Interlace is clearly the more affordable option.
Future Rental Potential
To understand what rental prices will be like for The Interlace, we need to look at rental prices for other projects in the area.
The current median rental price for projects in District 4 (Telok Blangah / Harbourfront) is around $4.40 psf per month at time of writing, based on rental transactions for the past 4 quarters. The current median rental price for units at The Interlace however, is around $3.62 psf per month. At these rates, a 3-bedroom unit around 1,500 sqft at The Interlace would go for around $5,500 to $5,700 a month. With the median price for the unit being around $1.7M, the annual gross rental yield at the current rate would be an estimated 4%.
The current median rental price for units at Skyline Residences however, is around $4.60 psf per month. The median unit size of a 3-bedroom at Skyline Residences would therefore fetch around $5,800 a month at today’s rental rates. This translates to around 2.8% in annual gross rental yield
According to the estimated figures, The Interlace seems to have a higher rental yield for 3-bedroom units. Keeping in mind the distance between the projects, the choice of nearby amenities differs quite a bit. Skyline Residences is a short walk away from Telok Blangah MRT and a short drive away from VivoCity. With regard to unit mix, Skyline Residences offers the additional 1-bedroom unit. In terms of unit sizing however, The Interlace has some pretty big units.
Overall, The Interlace seems to be a safer bet in terms of rental yield.
Without a doubt, The Interlace is known for its iconic design and build. It is also the perfect option for buyers looking for condo units with more space and bigger rooms. Further, the project is a short drive away from major landmarks including the Orchard Shopping Belt, VivoCity and the entire CBD area.
Residents will also enjoy easy access to major expressways like the CTE and AYE as well as the arterial Alexandra Road.
There are quite a few international schools surrounding The Interlace but residents will have to travel quite a bit for local schools, the nearest of which would be Blangah Rise Primary School and Bukit Merah Secondary School. There are however, a host of reputable schools within a 5km radius including Anglo Chinese School, Junior College, the National University of Singapore and INSEAD.
Investment potential for the project is high with its 2-bedroom units all sold, and many even being currently rented out. The developers have offered discounts on many unit types, so securing a unit at The Interlace now may be good move, if you’ve had an eye on the project for some time now.
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