Location: Farrer Road/King’s Road/Leedon Heights
Tenure: 99-year Leasehold wef 8th April 2010
No. of Blocks: 7 Blocks of 36-storey each
No. of Units: 1715 residential units (including 12 villas) + 8 retail shops
Expected TOP: 2015
So to ensure that we still have our facts right, we decided to go down to the showflat again yesterday to refresh our memories.
Facility-wise, d’Leedon is probably second to none. You will find everything you expect of a full-facility development (including 3 tennis courts and even a basketball court!) and more. Two of the offerings that particularly caught our eyes are:
• The 5 “Themed Gardens”
• Mini Race track – for all you remote-control car fanatics
Parking lots are all in the basement, with the standard ‘1 parking lot per household’ applies. This is with the exception of the Garden Houses and Villas, which come with 2 dedicated parking lots.
There are 2 entrances into d’Leedon – the main entrance is along Leedon Heights, while a second entrance is along King’s Road. A covered walkway that leads to a side gate will bring you to the Empress Road Market/Food Centre and the upcoming Farrer Road MRT station, both of which are located just outside the development.
For our review purpose, we will stick to the 4-bedroom showflat. This is a 1744sqft Type D1a unit.
It may be of interest to note that only 2 out of the 10 units of 4-bedders in each block are Type D1a, while the rest are of Type D1. And the main differences between the two unit types are:
• Type D1a is slightly bigger in size – 1744sqft versus 1615sqft for Type D1
• Type D1a has an open terrace next to the Junior Suite, which is missing from Type D1
• The walkway from the main door to the living/dining area for Type D1a is almost twice the length of Type D1 (to accommodate the open terrace). So you lose out more on the walkway space for the former.
All the 4-bedroom units are located between the 25th - 34th floors of both blocks.
As you enter the unit, the first thing you see is the kitchen. Unlike the 4-bedders in many other projects, you do not get a dry kitchen. The kitchen is a rectangular strip of space, which is spacious enough for two (or even three) people to work in, It comes furnished with “Bosch” hood/hob/oven and “Hansgrohe” faucets. All the kitchen cabinets/drawers are fitted with “anti-slam” mechanism.
The Yard area is located at the far end of the kitchen around the corner. This is a square-shaped area with barely enough space for doing your laundry/ironing. A large window provides good ventilation and natural lighting to this area. The developers have included an additional sink here, which is especially useful if you have stuff that needs to be hand-washed.
Pricing wise, here is a sample of prices for the 4-bedroom units that we believe are still available:
• Block 11, #26-30 (1744sqft Type D1a, faces Bukit Timah) - $3,278,100 or $1,879psf
• Block 11, #27-30 (1615sqft Type D1, same facing) - $3,131,000 or $1,938psf
• Block 13, #26-47 (1744sqft Type D1a, faces Farrer/Holland Road) - $3,278,100 or $1,879psf
• Block 13, #27-47 (1615sqft Type D1, same facing) - $3,131,000 or $1,938psf
Some may say that it is not an "apple to apple" comparison, but units of around 1700 – 1800sqft at the neighboring Waterfall Gardens (completed in 2011) and Parvis (TOP in 2013) have been selling at $1,700+psf & $1,600+psf respectively. And both of these developments are freehold!
What we like:
• All seven blocks are well-spaced apart to offer unblocked view from the living room of your apartments. The actual “view” that you get will largely depend on how “high” your unit’s at, but at least you will not be staring into the unit of the guy living in the opposing block.
• More thoughts have gone into the apartment designs too – we like the spacious and functional kitchen and bathrooms, the smaller balcony (which translates into more interior living space), the windows in the bathrooms/yard that allows for ventilation and even windows for the utility room. If our memory serves us right, the common bathroom for the 4-bedder unit at The Interlace is fully enclosed, which may result in some rather interesting smell after awhile.
• Location – 15 minutes’ drive to CBD, 5-minutes’ to Orchard Road and even less to Holland Village. In addition, the Empress Road Market & Food Centre and upcoming Farrer Road MRT are right at your doorstep!
• Parents with primary school-heading children will be pleased to know that both Nanyang Primary (co-ed) and ACS (International) are within 1-km of d’Leedon. However, you probably still need to ballot for places at Nanyang and pay through your nose if you are thinking about ACS (International).
What we dislike:
• The living/dining area and the common bedrooms are too small for our liking. And if you do sacrifice one bedroom for the dining area, your unit effectively becomes a 3-bedder!
• For an “iconic” project such as d’Leedon and especially given the price, the wife and I are rather disappointed with the furnishing/fittings that are provided. What’s with the homogenous floor tiles in the living/dining area and less than impressive kitchen appliances?!
We recalled being similarly unimpressed with The Interlace - the other mega project by CapitaLand/HPL. Then again, the price at that time (Dec 2009) was $1,000psf not $1,900psf!
• The wife and I were told that blocks 11 and 13 have a total of 300+ apartments each. We can appreciate the reason why (else how to fit 1,700 units into 7 blocks?!) but 300 units is like the entire estate in many other developments! We wonder if anyone has considered the fire-hazard aspect of housing so many units within a single 36-storey block…
In summary, the wife and I have mixed-feeling about d’Leedon. There are certainly aspects of the project that we really like (the iconic design, the facilities, the location, MRT at your doorstep etc) but these are not compelling reasons enough for us to consider shelling $3+ million for a 1700+sqft apartment. This is especially when you take into account of the quality seen in the showflats, the 99-year leasehold status and having to cope with 1,700 other households living in the same (albeit huge) estate.
We believe the same amount of money will probably get us better buys at some of the other projects (freehold even) nearby. Maybe this is also the reason why only 50% of units in the 2 blocks are sold thus far, after the initial euphoria at the private preview…