March 04, 2021
Special Highlight: All about Tanah Merah Kechil Link GLS site New Launch
By PropNex Research
Sceneca Residence, the Tanah Merah condo site grabbed media headlines in October 2020 after it triggered a land bidding frenzy among developers, attracting strong interest from 15 bidders – a feat unseen since a similar number of bids were tabled for the plum commercial and residential site in Holland Road back in 2018.
Image source: URA Website
The upcoming development on the 99-year leasehold Tanah Merah Kechil Link site, Sceneca Residence will be mixed-use, comprising commercial space of about 21,528 sq ft on the ground floor and about 265 residential units. It will be jointly developed by MCC Land (Singapore), The Place Holdings, and Ekovest Development (S).
That the developers were falling over themselves to secure this site is not surprising. Mass market or Outside Central Region (OCR) homes have enjoyed steady demand and their tighter supply has helped to keep prices firm in this sub-market. The stiff competition for the Tanah Merah site also reflects developers’ confidence and optimism for mass market properties. In addition, there is very limited supply of vacant residential development land in the immediate locale.
In the end, MCC Land (Singapore) snagged the Tanah Merah Kechil Link site with a winning bid of $248.99 million, which translates to a land rate of $930.3 psf per plot ratio (ppr) - a land rate that is higher than that of many residential sites in the Rest of Central Region (RCR), commonly known as the city-fringe. Here’s why this OCR site was in high demand and commanded RCR land price.
An eye-catching attribute of this site is its location directly in front of the Tanah Merah MRT station – it is the closest to the station’s entrance compared with the surrounding condo developments at the time of writing.
Currently, the Tanah Merah MRT station is one stop from the Expo MRT interchange station which is also linked to the Downtown Line. The Expo station will also be connected to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) which will further enhance the accessibility to the city and northern parts of Singapore when the TEL is ready from 2024.
The proximity to the Tanah Merah MRT station on the East-West Line (EWL) provides effortless access to commercial centres in Tampines and Paya Lebar, as well as nearby Changi Business Park, the Changi Airport and exciting future developments in Changi East. It is also a straight train ride to major job centres in Raffles Place and Jurong East on the EWL.
Commercial centres and employment nodes
The push for decentralisation – amid improvement in public transport - has attracted many companies to establish their presence in regional commercial hubs such as in Paya Lebar and Tampines.
For instance, the Tampines Regional Centre has become a location for many banks’ back-office functions, while Paya Lebar has emerged as a vibrant live-work-play destination with developments including integrated development Paya Lebar Quarter, Paya Lebar Square and SingPost Centre. Not forgetting the bustling Changi Business Park nearby, which is home to many technology firms and financial services companies.
These employment nodes, just a few minutes from the upcoming Tanah Merah condo, Sceneca Residence via the MRT, will bring jobs closer to homes and create new opportunities for residents. For investors seeking stable rental income, these commercial centres should offer a fairly sizable and steady pool of leasing demand.
Heartland retail haven and food paradise
It is not all work and no play either. People living in the East, sometimes called the Easties, will attest that Eastern Singapore is a whole lot of fun and probably has some of the most popular eateries in the country – from East Coast Road to Joo Chiat and Katong, from Old Airport Road to Simpang Bedok. Foodies, be warned. There will be no lack of delicious dining/supper options for future residents of the new Tanah Merah development.
Meanwhile, avid shoppers will not have to look far for some retail therapy, since the project, Sceneca Residence will offer commercial shops on the ground floor. Beyond that, there are plenty of other retail offerings and event spaces in the vicinity such as the Singapore Expo, Changi City Point, Bedok Mall, Bedok Point, East Point, and of course the massive Jewel Changi Airport, which not only houses a comprehensive mix of F&B, retail and lifestyle options but also the 40-metre tall HSBC Rain Vortex – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
For water sports enthusiasts and those who love to revel in the sun, they can head on to the nearby Bedok Reservoir Park and the East Coast Park, both of which are just a short drive from the Tanah Merah development
The East Coast Park, which has a panoramic coastline stretching over 15 km, offers plenty of activities including camping, cycling and skating, fishing, as well as a range of water and sea sports such as cable-ski at the Singapore Wake Park. Over at Bedok Reservoir Park, fitness and water sports buffs can be seen dragon boating, kayaking or running at the park’s 4.3 km track. For the gutsy thrill seekers, there is also an exciting aerial treetop obstacle course at Forest Adventure, with zip-lines and suspended crossings.
Wide selection of schools
There are also many education institutions in the vicinity of the Tanah Merah site, thus shortening the commute to schools - which could mean some extra time in bed or to grab a quick breakfast. These schools include St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary and Secondary, Bedok Green Primary and Secondary, Anglican High School, Bedok View Secondary School, Bedok South Secondary School, Temasek Secondary School, Temasek Junior College, ITE College East, Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Future home owners looking to rent out the unit to expatriate families would be heartened to know that there are two international schools - Nexus international school in Aljunied and United World College South East Asia (East Campus) in Tampines – that are a short car ride away.
Changi Region Masterplan
The future holds even more exciting plans for Sceneca Residence. Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Master Plan 2019, the Changi Region looks set to be a thriving economic powerhouse with upcoming developments such as the future Terminal 5, Changi East Industrial Zone and Changi East Urban District.
Taken together, all these attributes make the Tanah Merah Kechil Link site very attractive, not only as a highly liveable locale but one that poses lots of possibilities in the years to come. This probably explains why there was such an intense bidding for the plot during the GLS tender.