Holland Park Good Class Bungalow GCB Review, District 10, Singapore

Holland Park is bounded by Holland Road and the GCB areas of Ridout Road and Pierce Road. It takes its name from Hugh Holland, an architect, amateur actor and early resident of the area.

This GCBA is closely tied with the billionaire Lien family, who derived their wealth from Overseas Union Bank, and continues to hold a 5% stake in UOB following their $10Bn merger in 2001. The sale included their hospitality assets held through OUE, including the landmark Mandarin Orchard Hotel built in 1971, the tallest hotel in SEA then. OUE was sold to Lippo’s Riady family in 2006. Today, the Lien family operate their private investments through their family office, Wah Hin & Co and are actively involved in philanthropy through the Lien Foundation, which was started in 1980 with half of Lien Ying Chow’s net worth. Talk about being ahead of his time!

At the mouth of Holland Park is the Lien Towers, a 12-storey building with just 24 identical units at 5,048 sqft each. The last transaction was in Jun 2021, at $8.4m ($1,657 psf) and still off its historical high of $1,882 psf in 2012.

Following Lien Ying Chow’s passing, their sprawling 100,000 sqft GCB was redeveloped into 6 GCBs (Lien Villas Collective) with 1 retaining the original grandeur of the home, with each being designed by different architects – K2LD’s Screen House, Ministry of Design’s Zig Zag House, Edmund Ng’s Raw House, Terre, PODesign’s 8 Box House & Zarch Collaboratives.

Eminent residents here are said to include the billionaire Song family of China’s Nanshan Group, former Rajah & Tann Senior Partner Chen Choong Joong and former Venture Ccorp Chief Technology Officer Thian Nie Khian.

Past transactions:
May’21 – $24.5m ($1699psf) – 14,416 sqft
Dec’16 – $25.5m ($1691psf) – 15,080 sqft
Nov’14 – $30m ($1991psf) – 15,071 sqft


Thiam Siew Avenue En Bloc – End Of An Era

Thiam Siew Avenue comprises of some 25 houses with a mix of semi-ds and bungalows, making up almost 265,000 sqft of land. It is a dual lane road connecting Tanjong Katong Road to Haig Road in prime District 15. The lane is surrounded by high rise condos such as Butterworth 8, Versilia on Haig and Questa @ Dunman among others. In late Nov 2021, this site was sold for $815m ($1,488 psf) to a Hoi Hup & Sunway JV, making this the largest enbloc land sale since the 2018 enbloc fever.

The redeveloped site can contain up to 800 units and is expected to cost around $2,500 psf, setting a new benchmark for the Haig Road / Tanjong Katong vicinity.

Named after property magnate and hotelier Wee Thiam Siew in 1940, this sale marks the end of an era for the low profile family, having held the houses for almost 80 years. They also used to own the surrounding plots including what is now Dunman View and Questa @ Dunman condos, having sold them a couple of decades ago.

Of note, Wee made his fortune as the former Chairman of Ban Leong & Co (which was in the business of cigars, cigarettes and tobacco) and the owner of the 7th Storey Hotel at Rochor and Lion City Hotel / Hollywood Theatre close by at Tanjong Katong. He was educated St Joseph’s Institution and Raffles Institution before working as telegraphist for the then Eastern Extension Telegraph Co at age 16.

Together with his brothers Wee Thiam Kee and Wee Thiam Leong, he helped to grow Ban Leong & Co’s tobacco empire before diversifying into real estate. He built the iconic 7th Storey Hotel at Rochor that was eventually acquired by the government for the Downtown Line construction.

Of the 25 houses, most were built during the early 1940s, as you can identify from their unique colonial inspired architecture that is becoming increasingly rare these days. Alas, these too will be gone in no time. These photos here are meant to encapsulate a soon to be bygone era when the new swanky towers come up.

[April 2022 Update] Enriched by the sale, Wee Thiam Siew’s descendants have gone on to purchase their own individual properties. This includes Wee Hian Nam’s purchase of a 27,909 sq ft Olive Road GCB at $50.2mil, smashing the GCBA’s record price.

Credits to Edgeprop & The Business Times


Chatsworth Park Good Class Bungalow GCB Review Part 1 – Cable Road, District 10, Singapore

Chatsworth Park is the largest GCBA in Singapore as it encompasses areas from Rochalie Dr and Bishopsgate to Jervois Hill and Mt Echo Park.

In focus here will be Cable Road, which was named aft the Cable & Wireless Company, a British telecom co founded in 1852. Its location is just off Jervois Road and is a street away from Prince Charles Cres, where condos such as The Crest & Principal Garden dominate the skyline.

Cable Rd is perhaps best known for where the Malaysia High Commission is and is regularly packed with Malaysians and Grab cars waiting to pick them up. This is perhaps one of the downsides of staying along Cable Rd.

Beyond that however, you will find that Cable Rd is actually a pretty charming estate, with many beautiful B&W GCBs designed by Swan & Maclaren restored in the hands of private owners. This includes 2 Cable Rd, owned by Ong Kok Thai of luxury furniture store Vanguard Interiors / Proof Living. He also owns that row of ultra prime shophouses beside Centrepoint, which I am sure most of us recognise.

The other prominent owner of B&W GCBs along Cable Rd is SGX-listed Straits Trading Co, who have added extensions to their original B&Ws at 10 & 12 Cable Rd. They also own 6A, 8 and 8A Cable Rd.

Earlier this year, 30 Cable Rd, a 12,980 sqft home was sold for $18.9m ($1,456 psf). In 2016, 16 Cable Rd was sold to Oxley’s Ching Chiat Kwong, a former police officer famous for developing condo shoebox units in Singapore, for $22m while 6B Cable Rd was sold for $31.8m ($1,904 psf) for its 16,701 sqft of land, presumably by Straits Trading in 2014. Their other GCBs are also on the market, with 12 Cable Rd (15,141 sqft) asking for $32.5m ($2,146 psf) for the restored B&W home.