Saturday, March 27, 2010


Artist Impression
District: 9
Location: River Valley
Address: 100 Kim Seng Road
Developer: Lippo Group
Tenure: Freehold

Fuelled by the newspaper report that Jackie Chan had bought a whole floor (3 units) of CENTENNIA SUITES last week, the wife and I decided to brave lunch (and jet lag) to check out the sales gallery yesterday.

CENTENNIA SUITES is located on the site of the former Kim Seng Plaza, diagonally across the road from Great World City. This is supposedly the last freehold site along Kim Seng Road, and consists of one tower of 36-Storey with 97 apartment units residing on a 60,000sqft plot. The expected TOP “on paper” is 31st December 2015, but we understand that the condominium may be ready by 2014.

CENTENNIA SUITES is developed by The Lippo Group, who is also responsible for building The Trillium (another freehold condo) next door, as well as recent projects like Newton One Newton), The Marina Collection (Sentosa Cove) and the newly launched Holland Collection (Holland Road).

The sales gallery was rather quiet during lunch time yesterday, which suites us fine as we hate having to squeeze through tons of people just to catch a glimpse of the showflats. This is the reason why the wife and I prefer to visit showflats on a weekday… unless our day jobs get in the way of things of course.

The first thing we like about CENTENNIA SUITES is that the unit layouts are pretty standard – you get 3 different types of unit (excluding the 2 penthouses) and each unit type has the same layout. The difference in size of each unit type is only a reflection of how big/small the private lift lobby (all units are served by private lifts) and balcony/planter areas are. This makes it less complicated for buyers to select their preferred unit - you just need to decide on how many bedrooms you want, and on which floor. But more importantly, it also makes it easier for us to review.

The different unit types available at CENTENNIA SUITES are very generous in size. And as a departure from most newly launched projects these days, there are NO 1-bedroom units here:
• 2-Bedrooms (32 units): 1238sqft
• 3-Bedrooms (32 units): 1755 – 1819sqft
• 4-Bedrooms (31 units): 2217 – 2303sqft
• Penthouses (2 units): 3315 & 4004sqft

The apartment units start from the 4th floor onwards, and each floor (other than the penthouse level) will have 3 units. In terms of unit orientation:
• Stack #01 (2-bedders) – These faces Kim Seng Road
• Stack #02 (3-bedders) – These faces Trillium and Yong Ann Park
• Stack #03 (4-bedders) – These faces the Singapore River

Access into the condo is via an access road located between The Trillium and CENTENNIA SUITES.

In terms of facilities, these are found on the ground level as well as the “sky terrace” located on the 2nd floor. At the ground level, you get:
• 50m lap pool and several “themed” pools
• Sunbathing deck
• Spa Oasis with Spa Beds, spa seats and “Aquagym”
• BBQ and Gourmet pavilions
• Children’s play agora
• Fitness court

At the “sky terrace” you find:
• Multi-purpose room with pantry
• Entertainment deck
• Viewing and lounging deck
• Toddler’s fun court
• A “suspended” gym that overlooks the Singapore River.

However, there is no tennis court in CENTENNIA SUITES, which is rather disappointing for a supposed “high end” project. A total of 107 (inclusive of 2 handicap) carpark lots are available in the basement.

There is only one showflat on display in the sales gallery – a 2303sqft, 4-Bedroom unit (Type C4).
4-Brm Layout

As you exit from the lift into your private lift lobby, you find an en-suite bedroom just before you enter the living/dining area – The wife and I loved this concept, as this bedroom is especially handy as a guest room. Since it is separated from the main “bedroom” area, it allows for privacy for both the hosts and their "stay over" guests.

The living/dining area is rectangular in shape, and comes with 3m high ceiling as well as a powder room for guests use. The floor is made up of beautiful 90cm x 30cm marble slabs in matt color – this is probably the most eye pleasing marble flooring we have seen till date. And best of all, you do not just get marble floor in the living/dining area. The kitchen, all the bathrooms and even the balcony area are “marbled” up, which definitely provide an added dimension of class to the whole apartment.

And if you think the living/dining area is huge, the L-shaped balcony/planter box area is gigantic – we are talking about at least 300sqft of space here, and you can probably host 2 tables of mahjong and still have plenty of space to go around. This is definitely one of the most functional balconies we have come across so far. We were also told that the doors separating the balcony and living room are designed to "fold" to one side and this can done via remote control - cool!

The apartment comes with both wet (Asian) and dry (Gourmet) kitchens – the dry kitchen table was converted to a 6-seater dining table in the showflat, which frees up even more space in the living room – not that you really need the additional living room space but a nice idea anyhow. The kitchen area is good sized, and fully equipped with “Smeg” (German brand) appliances – you get induction as well as convention hobs, hood, both steam and conventional ovens, dishwasher and a 2-door fridge built into the cabinet behind the dry kitchen. The kitchen worktop is of very good quality with nice "stone like" color, while the top and bottom kitchen cabinets all have “anti-slam” doors/drawers.

There yard space behind the kitchen is generous, even after you put in the “Smeg” washing machine and a separate dryer that the developer has thrown in for good measure. Your domestic helper will love her bathroom, as it is one of the largest we have encountered in our showflat visits thus far. However, you may have to custom fit the single bed into the utility room, which seemed a tad small. There is a back door access in the yard.

The “main” bedroom area is tucked at one end of the unit. The two common bedrooms are regular shaped and good sized, and come with nice-looking “white oak” strip floors. The wardrobe provided looked to be very good quality too. We especially like the design of the wardrobe doors – these comes in 3 panels that can be folded neatly to the sides, which saves space compared to the conventional doors that open outwards. The two bedrooms share a bathroom located in between the rooms – you find a standing shower stall with rain shower fitted, and “Hansgrohe/Duravit” bathroom and toilet fittings.

The master bedroom is huge – you can fit a King bed plus a small coffee table with 2 chairs and still have ample room to walk around. The wardrobe space provided is generous compared to many other projects, but for some reason the master bedroom wardrobe did not have the same “foldable” doors found in the common bedrooms, which would otherwise have made it perfect. The master bathroom is again very good size, and comes with a standing shower stall (rain shower) as well as an adjacent long tub. The usual “Hansgrohe/Duravit” fittings apply.

What we like:
What is there not to like about CENTENNIA SUITES, other than possibly… the price?
• The location is superb - within 5 minutes’ drive from CBD & Orchard.

• The project resides along the riverfront, with all the 4-bedders facing the Singapore River.

• Your amenity needs can almost be completely satisfied at Great World City just across the road.

• The unit layout is well designed and the quality of furnishings/fittings provided is probably the best that we have seen so far.

• The much sought after River Valley Primary School (co-ed) is well within 1-km of the project.

• And what’s more: Zouk is just a stone throw away for all you party animals!

What we dislike:
• There is a slight design flaw with the built-in fridge, which was spotted by the wife – the cabinet that houses the fridge is full-height, but the fridge itself is not. As such, the designer has incorporated some shelving spaces on top of the fridge. However, you can only access to the shelves by opening the cabinet doors, which will also open the fridge doors at the same time. So if you have to, for example, clean the shelves on top of the fridge, you will have to leave the fridge open for the whole duration of the cleaning.

• And speaking of built-in fridge, the wife and I are no big fan of "built-in" kitchen appliances. Sure, it does look elegant when everything is flushed into the wall cabinets. But what do you do if your fridge dies after a couple of years and you cannot find an exact replacement or a substitute in the exact same size and dimension?

• There is probably one too many condo along the stretch of Kim Seng Road – starting with Cosmopolitan at the Kim Seng/River Valley Road junction, then The Trillium, CENTENNIA SUITES, Mirage Tower and Trebeca all lined up next to each other. In addition, you also have Tiara across the road. And residents with cars at all these developments will have to use Kim Seng Road to get in/out of their condos. So you can expect the traffic on this already busy stretch of road to increase significantly once all the projects are ready for occupation - this is certainly bad news for yours truly, as the wife and I use Kim Seng Road quite frequently in our daily commute.

As for pricing, the current selling price for units at CENTENNIA SUITES range from slightly over $2000psf to around $2300psf. As an illustration, a 1755sqft 3-Bedroom unit (#11-02) is priced at $3.563 million, which equates to about $2030psf. The monthly maintence for the 3-bedder is about $460. A 4-bedder unit will cost you in excess of $4.8 million.

In summary, you probably may not like the price of CENTENNIA SUITES much. But at least you are paying good money for good quality, which is more than we can say for some of the other newly launched projects we have seen so far. This is definitely one development the wife and I will put money on, as soon as we get our hands on a few million dollars. Contributors are most welcomed… anyone?

Click to view pictures and floor plans of CENTENNIA SUITES:


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