DB2 showcases Orchard Sophia starting at $2,750 psf, with absolute costs ranging from $1.23 million to $2.29 million

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Five years ago in the year 2005, when Fairhaven became announced to be sold collectively, Dennis Leong, founder and CEO of DB2 was not the one to offer for it. However, it caught his attention in the year 2020 when Fairhaven returned to the market for collective sale along alongside the neighboring Sophia Ville. The developer paid $62 million to purchase both of the freehold sites situated on Sophia Road in prime District 9.

Novo Place contact number to be obtain showflat appointment and get a copy of official project details and floor plans.

The two sites resulted in a land surface of 23,881.5 sq feet. “Buying only one parcel isn’t as appealing since you’d only be able to construct an area of 20-30 units,” says Leong. “You must purchase both of them to create a rectangular area.”

The total site space of the site is 23,881.5 sq ft. In addition, the five-story condominium Orchard Sophia will comprise 78 units. Around 15% of them are one-bedders that range between 441 sq ft and 484 sq feet. The majority of them are two-bedders with 581 sq feet to 710 sq feet, making 55 of the units (71%). Three bedders with 764 sq feet comprise only three units, whereas three-bedroom units with dual keys of 829 sq ft up to 829 sq ft make up 5 units within the development.

Leong would like the project to convey the sensation like “staying in a luxurious hotel” starting from getting to the drop-off location or the basement carpark, all the way until the lobby. “I hope that the hotel will be exclusive to residents, no matter if they are proprietors and tenants” Leong confides.

DB2 contracted Ong & Ong as the designer, with EcoPlan Asia as the landscape architect, and Creative Mind Design as the interior designer of the showflats and the interiors of the units at Orchard Sophia.

According to the URA Master Plan, the site has plot ratio of 2.1 that means it could be able to go up to 24 floors. However, because the site is located in Istana Park and is a security concern the building’s height was limited to five stories. This presented an interesting counterpoint to Lai Tien Yong, Ong & Ong studio director-architecture. “There aren’t any taller structures within the area,” he says. “So it’ll be the tallest structure within the region, given its position at the highest point on the hill. Residents will still be able to enjoy an aerial panorama from Orchard Road and Istana Park.”

Based on the orientation of the units within these two buildings, both of which are located in the northwest-southeast, approximately 75% of the units in Orchard Sophia will enjoy unblocked city views, claims Lai. Another 25% of units will be able to see the inner courtyard as well as the lap pool that is 20m in length. Additionally the gap between the two blocks is an air tunnel, so the units will benefit from an excellent cross-ventilation system the developer says.

Alongside the standard balcony, which functions as an extension from the living space Each bedroom will also have an “Juliet balcony” according to Lai. “During Covid, we noticed numerous people who wanted to build small gardens on their balconies” Lai says.

The brass-colored mesh that is placed on the façade has a double purpose beyond its aesthetics: it serves as a privacy screening and shading device that can cut off the sun’s glare in the words of Lai.

‘Creating a semi-Mohamed Sultan vibe’
What makes this development stand out from other developments that are located in The Sophia Road neighbourhood is the area of 6,000 square feet of landscaping and deck on the roof. “We are trying to create an almost Mohamed Sultan-like vibe in this area,” says landscape architect and director of Ecoplan Asia Thanapong Boonyasiriwat (Gong).

Before planning the landscaping, Gong studied the surrounding neighborhood “to see what the competition was” He says. He discovered a neighborhood full of boutique developments so dense that the electrical and mechanical services occupied the entire roof and left no room to plant a garden.

Gong determined to transform his rooftop to something “edgy” and evoke the energy of a luxury resort. Gong divided the rooftop into various areas: a quiet one that is devoted to wellness and spa with a spa pool another one for fitness, with the possibility of an outdoor gym and a social quarter that has the sunken lounge, which is a place for people to meet in the evening, and a bar and dining quarter for guests to entertain family and friends with a capacity of 10 guests.

Due to the numerous higher education institutions in the vicinity, like LaSalle College of The Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), School of the Arts (Sota) and Singapore Management University (SMU) in close their proximity to Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange station, Orchard Road malls and the CBD, Gong reckons the population of residents will likely to be students who attend the schools and young executives from abroad who are looking for an ideal address in the Sophia region.

“It’s ideal for people who would like to entertain at home but don’t have the space in their home to host parties,” says Gong. “They are able to entertain their guests on the roof and host celebrations there.”

‘Boutique-hotel feel’
The property has St Margaret’s Primary School nearby and Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) within a one-kilometre distance the at DB2’s Leong isn’t averse to young families with the two or three children of schooling age. “The two and three-bedroom apartments are perfect for families with small children,” he says.

With the mix of units in Orchard Sophia, Leong expects to see interest in buying from both end-users and investors. “Young couples will be drawn to two bedrooms,” he says. “Those who require to study in a space but don’t want give up one bedroom can make use of the family shelter. It can be used as an area for study, pantry, or even a helper’s room.”

Creative Mind Design’s interior designers Creative Mind Design also ensured that the rooms exude a luxurious hotel atmosphere. “We were looking to create a warm and welcoming feeling starting the moment you enter and also as you walk through the pathway,” says the firm’s director of design Alvin Tan. “We combined the palette of materials and colors to blend in with the architectural.”

In keeping with modern interiors, the living area tiles are huge porcelain tiles with a matte finish. The kitchen cabinets come with a built-in storage rack to store condiments and spices. The polished kitchen backsplash as well as the counter constructed from sintered stone was chosen for the kitchen because of its toughness, says Tan and “to give a unique contrast to the floor’s matte finish”.

The developer provides top-quality brands of fittings and appliances, for example, Smeg kitchen appliances, Bosh washer and dryer, as well as Franke kitchen faucets as well as mixers. Bathrooms are outfitted by Gessi bathroom faucets as well as shower set-ups. Hansgrohe Accessories, water closets from Duravit, and Geberit the flush plate.

The showflats in the two-bedroom unit as well as the triple-bedroom dual-key units are designed to provide homeowners with suggestions on how to make work and storage areas, according to Constance Tew, creative director at Creative Mind Design.

Tew discovered DB2 refreshing. “When she first got to know Dennis Leong I was able to hear him talk about the way he wanted Orchard Sophia to be more like the boutique hotel and one that people are happy to call their home,” she relates. “The common boutique developer typically wants to carve out small spaces, make use of inexpensive materials, and then sell their venture quickly.”

The focus is on boutique, freehold projects
DB2 has been involved in the property development industry since Leong created the company in the year 2006. Leong has concentrated on residential freehold projects. Some of his previous developments include the freehold Siglap V comprising 114 apartments on the upper levels and retail units at the top floor. The project is located in District 15’s prime area within the Siglap area It was inaugurated in the year 2010 and was it was completed by 2013. In the Kovan region, DB2 launched the 164-unit freehold, mixed-use project Promenade Pelikat located on Pelikat Road in 2012. The project located in District 19 was completed in 2015.

Boutique developments within prime districts created by DB2 includes the 10-unit Ten Shelford that was first launched in. The freehold development situated on Shelford Road in prime District 11 was completely sold by 2014. The 84-unit freehold Devonshire Residences was established in 2011 and then was sold out. The property is situated at Devonshire Road, it sits in the prestigious District 9 and was completed in the year 2015.

According to Leong the prices for absolute units for Orchard Sophia will start from $1.23 million for a one-bedroom unit to $2.29 millions for three bedrooms apartment. In a psf model the prices will begin at $2,750 per square foot.

“Orchard Sophia is attractive from an psf perspective,” says Ismail Gafoor chief executive officer of PropNex. “Notably it has the new launch of 99-year leasehold suburban properties within the Outside Central Region (OCR) priced between $2,000 and $3,000 psf as well as 99-year leasehold city fringe, or Rest of Central Region (RCR) projects that cost $2,400 to $2,500 per square foot.”

Based on Marcus Chu, CEO of ERA Singapore, the median price of condos purchased in District 9 during 1H2023 was $2877 psf. “With Orchard Sophia starting from $2,750, there is bound to be high interest from homeowners as well as the investors” Chu says.

“With the decreasing price gap among CCR as well as RCR new projects We can expect more sophisticated homebuyers and investors to zero into CCR purchases now,” adds Chu.

The first launch of a new initiative in the CCR in 2023.
The most recent launch of the CCR was in November last year and included the 72-unit freehold Hill House on Institution Road, off River Valley in the District 9 According to Huttons Data Analytics. So far 17 units in Hill House have been sold for an average of $3,003 psf in accordance with caveats that were lodged. Another project that was announced this year included the 38 unit Sophia Regency across the road from Orchard Sophia. The prices of the freehold development began at $2,850 per square foot. At this point there haven’t been any caveats filed for the development.

“Orchard Sophia” will mark the initial CCR project to be launched in 2023.” claims Mark Yip director of Huttons Asia. The development is situated within District 9 which is a five-minute walk from the Dhoby Ghaut MRT interchange.

Yip thinks that the attractive quantum units and dual-key units offered by Orchard Sophia are likely to draw those who are end-users, or investors. “Looking at the mix of units the ideal market for this unit is likely to include families, singles, or investors” Yip says.

Targeting end-user, investor demand
Justin Quek, deputy CEO of OrangeTee is convinced that Orchard Sophia’s distinctive character as a draw for Singaporeans as well as expatriates that like the privacy of “boutique-style condominium living”. “Professionals in the education and creative industries are the most likely targeted market, given the number of arts and international schools located in the area,” he observes.

Quek is also expecting interest from first-time homebuyers, particularly Singaporeans who are looking for the option of moving into as well as renting out the apartment after the project is complete. Orchard Sophia is scheduled for completion by 1Q2027.

As per PropNex’s Gafoor Gafoor, the developers have taken the rivals into account and priced their units accordingly.

Orchard Sophia is previewing on the same weekend (July 29-30) as TMW Maxwell on Tras Street in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood.

“There’s very little overlap since the two companies Orchard Sophia and TMW Maxwell have different target markets,” he says. “But investors with budgets between $1.5 million to $2 million have the option of choosing.”