Saturday, April 17, 2010


District: 4
Location: Beach Road
Address: 296 - 302 Beach Road
Developer: Hong Fok Group
Tenure: 99-year Leasehold with effective from 13 March 2008

The wife and I were at the sales gallery of CONCOURSE SKYLINE last Sunday. The sales gallery/showflat is located on the 38th floor of the office tower block of The Concourse – we reckon this is deliberate to showcase the magnificent views that come with apartments at CONCOURSE SKYLINE, especially for the higher-floor units.

As mentioned in our previous post, marketing of CONCOURSE SKYLINE has started since the later half of 2008. The wife and I had originally thought that the project was already sold out. So we were rather surprised to see full page adverts over the past few weeks and thus decided to check it out.

CONCOURSE SKYLINE consists of 2 high-rise towers and 1 seven-storey podium block.
• Block 296 – part 34/part 40-storey apartment block
• Block 298 – part 20/part 28-storey apartment block
• Block 302 – part 4/part 7-storey podium car park and apartment block, with retail on the ground level.

All apartments in the two high-rise towers start from the 7th floor onwards, while the 5th – 7th floor at the podium block are residential units as well.

In terms of unit types and sizes, CONCOURSE SKYLINE offers quite a good mix ranging from 1-bedders to 5-bedroom “super penthouses”, which are humongous 2-storey apartments of more than 10,000sqft!

Tower Blocks
• 1-Bedroom (148 units): 775 – 893sqft
• 2-Bedrooms (110 units): 1087 – 1173sqft
• 3-Bedrooms (54 units): 1313 – 1442sqft
• 4+Study (24 units): 2098 – 2282sqft
• Sky Suites (4 units): 3272 – 4445sqft
• Super Penthouses (2 units): 10194 & 11065sqft

Podium Block
• 3-Bedrooms (12 units): 1668 – 1991sqft
• 4-Bedrooms (2 units): 2648sqft
• Penthouses (4 units): 4101 – 4618sqft

In terms of facilities, these are located on the 5th floor, which is the connecting level to all 3 blocks. The wife and I found the facilities for CONCOURSE SKYLINE to be quite basic compared to the other new condo projects of similar size (refer to site plan below). So do not expect to find tennis court here. There is a “sky garden” on the 29th storey of Block 298, but we are unsure what (if any) facilities are available at this level other than the viewing deck. But a unique feature, other than the overhead link bridge to Nicoll Highway MRT station, is the 5-storey high waterwall that greets you when you drive up to the sheltered porte cochere (aka drop-off point).

A total of 380 carpark lots will be available at the 2 basement carpark levels and the 3 levels of multi-storey carpark in the podium block. However, parking does not come with your unit – you will have to subscribe to season parking separately, which will cost you another $100+ per month.

There are 2 showflats in the sales gallery. The first is a 1313sqft, 3-bedroom unit (Type C-a). This is the showflat facing the Kallang River Basin/Tg. Rhu/Marina Golf Club that we took our photo from. The first thing that the wife and I noticed was that the rectangular-shaped living/dining room, though regular, is a tad small. The living/dining/dry kitchen areas come with 60cm x 60cm marble-slab floors, 2.8m ceiling height and ducted air-conditioning. The rectangular balcony, which is easily 110sqft in size, stretches across the full width of the living room all the way to the adjacent bedroom. What we like about the balcony is that it has no planter box area, so you can utilize the full balcony space without needing to deck-up the planter area.

The dry kitchen has a beautiful solid-surfaced worktop and its own sink. It also comes equipped with “De Dietrich” induction hob/hood/oven /fridge and even a dishwasher. The wet kitchen is small – it will be quite cramp for two people to work inside here – with 90cm x 30cm homogenous-tile floors and equipped with “De Dietrich” conventional hob/hood and another kitchen sink. The bomb shelter is on one side of the wet kitchen while the yard/toilet is on the other. The bomb shelter is surprising huge and for once, the door actually opens out to the correct side, i.e. not blocking the wet kitchen worktop. The yard area is big enough for separate washer and dryer to be placed side by side – the “Brandt” washing machine and a separate dryer are provided, by the way – but the toilet at the yard is probably one of the tinniest the wife and I have seen for awhile. So your domestic helper will have a comfortable time sleeping but less so showering.

The two common bedrooms are rather small. This is especially so for the one that is adjacent to the living room. However, we liked the nice timber–strip floors and good quality wardrobe.

The common bath is good size, with marble walls/floors and “Duravit”/”Hansa” toilet and bathroom fittings. The shower stall does not come with rain shower, and the toilet cover can certainly do with better “anti-slamming” hinges.

The master bedroom is quite decent size and can fit a “Queen” bed comfortably. There is a sort of “walk-in” (or rather, “walk through”) closet on both sides of the passage into the master bathroom. However, the amount of wardrobe space in those closets is quite pathetic. The attached bathroom is also decent size, with marble vanity top and separate long bath/shower stall. The shower stall actually comes with rain shower. The wife and I were quite pleased with the quality of furnishing and fittings that we saw.

The second showflat is a 796sqft, 1-Bedroom unit (Type A2-a). The living/dining room is actually not much smaller than the 3-bedder unit we saw earlier. However, the rectangular balcony is about half the size of the one in the 3-bedder showflat. The dry kitchen comes with induction hob/hood/oven/fridge and a washing machine cum dryer, as well as an “island” (with kitchen sink) that separates the kitchen from the living/dining area. There is no wet kitchen in the 1-bedder and no yard. The square-shaped bomb shelter is tucked between the master bathroom and dry kitchen. You can use this space as a study (as per the showflat) but it is more likely that you will need to use the bomb shelter for storage. The master bathroom actually has two entrances – one from the kitchen area (for guest) and another within the master bedroom. The bathroom is very good size and actually comes with a long bath with rain shower fitted on the ceiling.

The master bedroom is almost as big as the one in the 3-bedder, and accessible from either the living room (via sliding doors) or a door next to the master bathroom. The wife and I reckoned that the wardrobe space in the bedroom is not even sufficient to store all my clothes, let alone clothing for both. But we were again quite satisfied with the quality of furnishing/fittings in this unit, which basically mirrored those of the 3-bedder.

What we like:
• Locations – Located within the city (albeit at the fringe of the CBD), we definitely cannot argue against the centrality of CONCOURSE SKYLINE. Everything from shopping, F&B and Cultural/The Arts are just minutes away.

• View – The wife and I must admit that the views that come with the higher-floor units are spectacular, whether is it sea or city facing. And if you are lucky enough, you might even be able to catch the F1 racing action with a high-powered binocular from the balcony of your unit.

• The good quality furnishing and fittings, combined with the regular layout and “well thought out” design of the apartment units, definitely substantiates CONCOURSE SKYLINE's claim of being a high-end project.

• Two primary schools are located within 1-km of CONCOURSE SKYLINE – Hong Wen and Stamford Primary. However, some parents may not find these neighbourhood schools particularly appealing.

What we dislike:
• The fact that you have to pay for season parking after spending so much for a private apartment unit.

• And speaking of spending so much for a unit at CONCOURSE SKYLINE, the facilities that come with the project is really rather basic.

• The Golden Mile Complex next door to CONCOURSE SKYLINE, which was described by one NMP (Nominated Member of Parliament) as a “vertical slum, terrible eyesore and national disgrace”. The wife and I have always found this to be a rather ugly building. The complex’s shopping mall now houses numerous Thai clubs, shops and eateries. The stretch of Beach Road outside the complex is also frequently “blocked” by coaches waiting to ferry travellers going to Malaysia, as many tourist and ticketing agencies have their offices on the ground floor of the complex.

Pricing wise, here are the selling prices of some 1-Bedroom units with different facing:

1. Tg. Rhu/Kallang River Basin Facing
         • #13-13 (861sqft): $1.871 million or $2173psf

2. City/Marina Bay Facing
         • #13-04 (818sqft): $1.785 million or $2182psf

3. Kumpung Glam Facing
         • #26-01 (861sqft): $1.602 million or $1861psf
         • #20-16 (818sqft): $1.496 million or $1829psf
         Note: Stack 16 faces the west sun directly

The 3-Bedroom units are in excess of $3 million, or between $2000 - $2300psf.

The indicative monthly maintenance fees for each unit type are
• 1-Bedroom: $270
• 2-Bedrooms: $315
• 3-Bedrooms: $360
• 4-Bedrooms: $405 - $450

We had stopped short of asking about the maintenance for the sky suites and penthouses - we reckoned that if you can afford these, you are probably not that concerned about the monthly maintenance.

The wife and I understand that about 50% of the units in CONCOURSE SKYLINE are sold. All the 1-bedders in the lower (20-storey) stack of Block 298 have all been taken up, while the units in the podium blocks are not released for sale yet.

The developer is absorbing the stamp duty for units on the 19th floor and below. The offer is supposedly good till the opening of the Nicoll Highway MRT Station this Saturday (i.e. TODAY). But we are quite certain that exceptions will be made for really keen buyers.

In summary, the wife and I do like CONCOURSE SKYLINE but find the price somewhat prohibitive. Despite the marketing agent’s claims that the 1-Bedroom unit will fetch between $4 – 5k/month in rental once the project is ready (which we are rather sceptical), we cannot help but feel that we will be paying a substantial premium in the hope that the property market will remain buoyant over the next few years.

Click here for photos and complete floor plans


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