Balestier touted up-and-coming city fringe estate

The historical Balestier area is going through a makeover, with swanky new residential projects and several hotels now seen lining its streets.

It is also attracting high demand from young couples and professionals looking for a convenient city fringe property.

Still, home prices in Balestier are not rising as fast as other city fringe areas, but analysts say this trend may change once government works to spruce up the area are complete.

According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, home prices in Balestier are growing more slowly than those in other city fringe areas, increasing by 9 per cent on-year compared with the overall city fringe price growth of 11 per cent on-year.

The Viridian, a 23-storey condominium, is Global Orion Properties’ maiden residential project.

The industrial property developer chose the historical Balestier area – the former home to Singapore’s early immigrants – for the freehold development on Jalan Ampas, just off Balestier Road.

The property will have 108 units, ranging from 500 to over 3,300 square feet each, and amenities like a swimming pool and a recreational terrace.

Satia Narjadin, director of Global Orion Properties, said: “In terms of amenities and location, it really can’t be beaten – we are just outside of the city area itself. From here to Orchard Road, it’s just 5 minutes.

“If you take a walk outside, there is food aplenty, you have places to do grocery shopping, (and) it is conveniently located within walking distance to the MRT”.

Prices at The Viridian are going at S$1,550 per square foot (psf) – typical for new developments in Balestier like The Interweave, SkySuites 17 and Okio Residences.

Analysts say the massive 421,000-square-ft Zhongshan Park hotel and retail project in Balestier will boost its attractiveness even further.

The government has also announced plans to revamp the Balestier area, including building new footpaths and creating a heritage trail.

Liang Thow Ming, head of residential services, Credo Real Estate, said: “You will find that similar properties within the city on a 99-year leasehold will be costing you anything from S$2,000 per square foot upwards.

“Therefore, if you look at a freehold Balestier (property), at about S$1,400 or S$1,500 per square foot, that is value for money – for them to buy or even for investors who will probably be buying so that they can rent it out.”

The Viridian will sit on a former en bloc factory site, bought for S$27.5 million, while Skysuites 17 will be rebuilt from an old residential property, Diamond Tower.

Analysts say the Balestier area holds much en bloc potential for developers as the old gives way to the new.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 13 Jun 2011

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