Monday, April 5, 2010
The wife and I did mention in our first preview of THE INTERLACE (posted on 20th Dec 2009) that we will post an update on this project once the showflats are up. As promised, we decided to visit the "new" sales gallery yesterday.
As if to make up for lost time, the developers of THE INTERLACE (CapitaLand & HPL) have gone from zero showflat to a humongous two-storey temporary structure that houses 3 different types of showflat.
We will just concentrate on reviewing the showflats here, as we have already spoken quite extensively about this project in our previous post.
Type D1: 2465sqft, 4-Bedroom unit
The living/dining room is huge and rectangular in shape, and comes with 60cm X 60cm homogenous tiles and 2.85m ceiling height. You also get a large rectangular balcony/planter box area, which we reckon is about 200sqft and stretches across the whole length of the living/dining room as well as the 2 adjacent bedrooms. You can easily fit a long 8-seater dining table here, especially if you deck up the planter box. However, there is really little need to move the dining table out to the balcony given the huge living/dining space.
The kitchen is at the nearer end of the living/dining room as you enter the apartment. The wife was especially impressed with its size, as it is probably one of the largest kitchens we have seen so far. It comes with homogenous tiles floor and solid-surfaced worktop. However, the developers are rather stingy with the kitchen appliances especially with the price you are paying for the unit, as you only get “Bosch” hob/hood/oven. We were equally impressed with the generous yard area at the back of the kitchen - definitely sufficient space for laundry hanging and probably ironing too. The yard also houses a large utility room with a “built-in” toilet – perfect for your domestic helper.
The bedrooms are tucked towards the opposite end of the living/dining room across from the kitchen. The 2 common rooms are regular shaped but a tad small. You get a choice of either timber strip or laminate flooring - always opt for the later, the wife says.
The common bathroom comes with a standing shower stall (no rain shower here) and a solid-surface vanity top. However, the quality of the solid-surface material used left little to be desired, as there are very obvious scratch marks on the vanity top. This is despite the relatively short period of time since the showflat is up. You also get “Bravat” & “Hansgrohe” toilet/bathroom fittings.
The junior suite is longish rectangular shaped and again quite huge. You can easily fit a “Queen” or two “Single” beds inside and still have plenty of room to move about. The size extends to the attached bathroom, which has a standing shower stall (no rain shower, again) and the usual “Bravat/Hansgrohe” bathroom fittings.
The master bedroom is decent enough size and comes with ample wardrobe space. The master bathroom has a long bath and a separate standing shower stall, but without rain shower yet again. The same type of solid-surface vanity top and bathroom fittings apply. But what we really like about the master bedroom is the fact that instead of a solid wall that separates this from the adjacent common bedroom, you get a sliding door instead. So you have the option of keeping both rooms separate, or converting the adjacent common bedroom into a mega-size “walk-in wardrobe” or attached study.
Overall, the wife and I quite liked the layout of the Type D1 unit. However, our single biggest concern is the bathrooms, which are located in the middle of the apartment (Feng Shui taboo) and fully enclosed with no natural ventilation (aka windows). The apartment that we currently live in has a powder room that is similarly fully enclosed. Trust us when we tell you that the artificial ventilator will not do as good a job as windows. So be prepared for some rather “interesting” smell emitting from such bathroom. We have to keep our powder room ventilated constantly by keeping the door open, and investing majorly in scented sticks/candles.
Type B1(R): 3208sqft, 3-Bedroom unit
Before you go “wow” on the supposed gigantic size of this unit, Type C1(R) actually comes with a private terrace that we reckon is almost as big as the unit interior itself! For the private terrace in this showflat, you will see things like a private Jacuzzi, BBQ area with an adjacent sink, a long dining table and benches as well as lush landscaping. However, these are all “ideas” of how you can convert your terrace into, i.e. none of these items actually come with the unit. Having said that, the private terrace is an excellent idea if you happen to do a lot of private entertaining at home, and have the cash to do it up (and maintain it) nicely.
As you enter through your private foyer (i.e. the area just in front of your main door), the utility room (with built-in bathroom) and the yard is located on the left. The yard space for this unit is much smaller than the 4-bedder, so you probably need to hang your laundry out to dry at the private terrace, which you can access through a door on the right of the foyer and opposite to the utility room/yard area.
We liked the L-shape design of the living/dining room (which is very decent-sized), as it creates a distinct separation between the two areas. The living/dining room actually “wrap” around the square-shaped kitchen. The unit comes with similar type of furnishings and fittings as the 4-bedder.
One of the common bedrooms is longish in shape and a tad small, while the other common bedroom is of fairly good size. However, both rooms have rather small wardrobes. The common bathroom is of decent size, but again this is fully enclosed.
The master bedroom has a small “foyer” area with an L-shaped wardrobe. Again you find ample wardrobe space here as per the 4-bedder. The bedroom itself is rectangular-shape and very decent size. The master bathroom is again good sized and comes with both long bath and standing shower stall.
The wife and I especially liked the design of the living/dining room for the Type B1(R) unit, but find the private terrace a terrible waste of space that you need to pay for. We really do not see the need for private Jacuzzi/BBQ, since these facilities are already provided within the condo premise for common usage. The price for such exclusivity is simply too much for us to bear!
Type C1: 2056sqft, 3-Bedroom unit
Instead of the huge private terrace you get with Type C1(R), the Type C1 unit comes with a large balcony (we reckon about 300sqft or thereabouts). The layout of the unit is quite similar to Type C1(R), except that this unit actually has an extra powder room. The other difference is that there are several round pillars located within the unit, e.g. at the bay window area in the living/dining room and between the two common rooms, which is absent from the other two showflats.
Of the 3 showflats, the wife and I both liked Type C1 the best, as the unit is of good enough size and has a nice layout. We also like the fact that it comes with a separate powder room for guests.
Pricing wise, there was quite a bit of confusion on which unit is available at what block, given the complex design and layout of the blocks at THE INTERLACE. So we have only managed to get the prices of two Type C1 units for your reference:
• Block 208/206 (#06-54) – 2056sqft at $2,129,200 or $1036psf
• Block 196/194 (#03-26) – 2056sqft at $2,053,500, or $999psf
The reason for the lower psf price for the second unit, other than the fact that it is on a lower floor, is because the unit faces the intersection between the AYE and Alexandra Road.
The TYPE C1 units with the best facing are actually found in Block 214 (stack #66) – these units have a slightly different living/dining room design and face the greenery opposite Depot Road. You can probably see Hort Park and part of the Southern Ridge as well. However, all the Type C1 units in this Block are fully sold.
Floor Plan: #06-54
Floor Plan: #03-26
The wife and I also recommend the Type C1 over the Type C2 units, as the former do not have odd-shaped bedrooms (see below).
If the above prices are representative of the current pricing for units at THE INTERLACE, there has not been substantial change in the psf price for this project since our last review in December 2009. Maybe this is an indication of the “price resistance level” that THE INTERLACE may be experiencing.
After viewing the showflats, the wife and I are still somewhat disappointed with the quality of furnishing you get at THE INTERLACE versus what you are paying for. But most of all, we remain concerned about the fully enclosed bathrooms, which we maintained is a terrible idea especially in a tropical country like ours.
Posted by The Folks @PropTalk at 10:45 PM