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Claydence, a boutique condominium by Hong How Land, is located at the intersection of Still Road and Koon Seng Road. As Teo Teck Weng, director of Hong How Land, puts it, “Hong How Group’s comeback to residential projects after almost 15 years.” Hong How Land is a 60/40 joint venture between Hong How Corp and Marrion Capital. He and his older brother, Daniel Teo, the chairman and managing director of Hong How Group, own the firms, and their children are also stockholders.
Twenty-eight dwelling units make up the Claydence, which occupies a freehold plot of 23,541 square feet and the result of the consolidation of three nearby sites that Hong How bought two years ago. The first location is the old Malacca Hotel, located at 97 and 99 Still Road, while the second location is the two-story apartment building at 137 Koon Seng Road, which was once utilized by the hotel operator as staff housing and administrative offices. At the closing of the tender at the end of March 2021, Hong How bought both properties together from CBRE for $21 million.
Afterward, four months later, Hong How paid $14.5 million in a private treaty transaction to acquire the third land at 133 Koon Seng Road. Building 133 on Koon Seng Road is a 10-unit, 5-story apartment complex. Teo discovered that the property’s current owners were interested in a sale. Since “the Malacca Hotel site was too cramped,” as Teo puts it, buying the land for the merger made sense.
You may choose between studios, one, and three bedroom apartments when you live in Claydence. There are one-bedroom apartments that are 614 square feet in size, two-bedroom apartments that are 786 square feet, and two-bedroom-plus-study apartments that are 872 square feet to 915 square feet in size. Three-bedroom apartments are 1,076 square feet in size, while three-bedroom apartments with a study add an additional 206 to 313 square feet.
The fourth and fifth floors are home to four duplex penthouses, including a 2,185-square-foot four-bedroom premium penthouse, a 3,475-square-foot three-bedroom penthouse, and a 2,164-square-foot four-bedroom-plus-study penthouse.
Owner-occupants who value Claydence’s closeness to East Coast Park and prestigious schools are the target market, as stated by Teo. CHIJ Katong Primary and Tao Nan School are two highly regarded institutions of higher learning in the area. As an added bonus, the Eunos MRT Station is less than 800 meters away, while the Paya Lebar Interchange Station, where the East-West and Circle Lines meet, is just one stop away.
Claydence has chosen DS Architects as its official architect and design consultant Wallflower. Teo observes that “the New York brownstone” served as the architects’ primary source of influence for the building’s architecture. They’ve taken the distinctive color palette of Brownstones and reduced it to the essential elements of the building’s brick exterior to create a fresh take on the style.
European porcelain tiles manufactured from white clay will be used to complete the flooring and walls, which will provide a nice contrast to the brick tile exterior. Having “clay as the major material paired with dwelling” prompted the term “Claydence,” as explained by Teo.
Designed by landscape architects Coen Design International, the landscape at Claydence has tropical and historic trees and plants between Still Road and Koon Seng Road to muffle the sounds of passing cars. The glass doors that open onto the balconies of each apartment will be framed in aluminum. According to Teo, “wind load resistance and noise reduction elements” would be included into the frames of these windows made by Belgian aluminum manufacturer Reynaers Aluminium.
There will be enough room for 27 cars in the underground carpark to accommodate 28 owners. “a typical irritation of residents in boutique complexes with restricted first-floor parking,” as Teo puts it, will be alleviated as a result.
The rooftop has a swimming pool surrounded by trees and bushes for shade, a poolside bar and jacuzzi, a kitchen garden, and a fitness center. There’s a multi-purpose room and barbecue terrace on the ground level, as well as themed gardens including the Ulam Garden, Chin Chow Garden, and Ylang Ylang Garden.
Vibes of Joo Chiat
Claydence is towards the end of Still Road and is just a short distance by foot or bike from Joo Chiat Road. Teo, jokingly, claims that “Joo Chiat is the new Tiong Bahru.” Joo Chiat Place Char Kway Teow, Fei Fei Wantan Mee, and Kim Choo Kueh Chang, as well as Cugini Trattoria Pizzeria and Asadore Spanish Grill, are just a few of the well-known restaurants in the neighborhood.
Artisanal cafés and bakeries like as Tigerlily Patisserie, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Kings Cart Coffee Factory, Apiary ice cream store, wine shop Bound By Wine, and The Cheese Shop have opened in lieu of the quiet coffeeshops that formerly dotted the Joo Chiat neighbourhood.
Teo predicts that the now quiet stores on Still Road (towards Eunos) and a handful on Koon Seng Road may be gentrified in the future, bringing Joo Chiat’s atmosphere all the way to the doorstep of Claydence.
Hong How renovated 292 Joo Chiat Road, and on April 1, 2020, its main tenant IWG will move in and begin operating a 20,000 square foot coworking space. They have signed a ten year lease.
Developments in the commercial sector
Developments in Hong How prior to Claydence focused mostly on the company’s business interests. Two Art Deco storefronts at 36 and 38 Armenian Street were erected between the 1930s and the 1950s and have been preserved because of their historical significance. The ground floor has a variety of food and beverage establishments and art galleries, while the higher levels are divided into office spaces designed in the Soho fashion.
The four-story commercial conservation building at 292 Joo Chiat Road, another Hong How creation, has also been renovated. In 2016, Hong How made the acquisition of the structure. Originally, it served as a student dormitory with retail space on the ground level. A branch of OCBC has been present at this location since the 1950s, making it the former owner.
Hong How has renovated the 292 Joo Chiat Road building, and its main tenant IWG has signed a 10-year lease beginning on April 1, 2020 to run a 20,000 square foot co-working space. Building at 292 Joo Chiat Road was designed and constructed by Boon Tian Contractor and DS Architects, the same firms responsible for Claydence.
The Maybank-Kim Eng Securities office buildings at 48 and 50 North Canal Road were both operated by Hong How. For financial gain, the company constructed and maintains B1 manufacturing facilities for lease.
Lighthouse, a boutique condominium with 51 units and a 99-year leasehold, is Hong How’s last residential development. It is situated at Pasir Ris, close to Pasir Ris Park and the seashore. The project began in 2001 and was completed in 2004. Based on caveats submitted to URA Realis in 2001, when the project was originally introduced, the average price was $483 psf.
On the secondary market in 2022, resale prices averaged $900 psf. As of late September, when a 1,195 sq ft, three-bedroom condo on the second floor of the four-story construction sold for $1.19 million, the price per square foot had risen to a record $971.
In contrast, one-bedroom units at Claydence will cost $1.582 million ($2,577 psf), while the four-bedroom penthouse would cost $5.353 million ($2,450 psf). Teo estimates that the “average price will be around $2,500 psf.”
Despite the fact that Teo intends for Claydence to primarily appeal to young families, he thinks that singles, couples, and investors will be interested in the project as well because of the generous unit sizes.
Different-sized and shaped units, as well as those with dining areas conducive to working from home, will attract a certain clientele, he says.
Teo thinks that the resort-style amenities and airy layout of Claydence—” including pockets of breakout areas among lush greenery”—will attract purchasers from abroad.