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Revisiting Pollen & Bleu at Farrer Drive: Duplex penthouse for $5.3 mil

Developed by Singapore Land, the 106-unit Pollen & Bleu at Farrer Drive was completed in 2016 (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - One of the two biggest penthouses at Pollen & Bleu is on the market for sale. It is a 2,831 sq ft, five-bedroom duplex penthouse — one of the two biggest in the 106-unit, eight-storey condominium at Farrer Drive, off Farrer Road. (See: Strong take-up at Pollen & Bleu since relaunch)

Three of the bedrooms including the junior en suite master bedroom is on the first level. On the second level is the master bedroom with en suite bathroom. The fifth bedroom, which is also on the second level, has sliding glass doors opening out to the roof terrace with views of the greenery beyond. Alternatively, it can be used as a study room, a home office or family room.

The main attraction of the penthouse is the view from the living and dining area, that has a 6.11m frontage and balcony beyond. “Most people who have visited the penthouse, would sit out at the balcony for about 30 to 45 minutes to take in the view,” says Choo Yi Ping, associate branch director of SLP International Property Consultants, the exclusive marketing agent for the penthouse.

The living and dining area of the duplex penthouse with a 6.11m frontage and view of the surrounding greenery from the balcony (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Another draw of the penthouse is its auspicious address which appeals to Chinese buyers, she adds.

Pollen & Bleu’s hilltop location affords a vantage point: a sweeping view of the Farrer Drive and Woollerton Park private residential enclave, set amid lush greenery and the Gallop Extension of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a Unesco World Heritage site.

Every room in the penthouse has a different aspect of the surrounding greenery. Even the staircase landing has a window framing the view outside. “The penthouse is able to command such views as Pollen & Bleu is situated on the highest point of the Farrer district,” notes Choo. “The unit enjoys a gentle breeze and natural light all year round.”

Developed by Singapore Land Group, Pollen & Bleu sits on a 99-year leasehold land area of 67,472 sq ft site, purchased via a government land sale tender in June 2012 for $113.2 million ($1,049 psf per plot ratio).

Designed by Ong & Ong, the development stands out architecturally and yet, is in harmony with the surrounding greenery (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Pollen & Bleu: ‘Not a cookie-cutter project’

Completed in 2016, the project was fully sold by 2017 at an average selling price of $2,009 psf. Pollen & Bleu has three eight-storey blocks designed by highly-acclaimed architectural firm Ong & Ong. “My brief to the architects was that we didn’t want a cookie-cutter project, but one that stood out architecturally, and yet be in harmony with the surrounding greenery,” says Michael Ng, former general manager of Singapore Land, who is now an executive director of CEL Development, the property arm of Chip Eng Seng Corp.

“From day one, we envisaged the ground, fourth and rooftop levels to have different areas catering for different group sizes — cosy spaces for individuals, quiet corners for small groups and lounge areas for larger parties,” adds Ng. “This was to create more green spaces, given that it’s a boutique development with fewer facilities on the ground level.”

The blocks are linked on the fourth level by landscaped spaces and cosy seating areas. During the “circuit breaker”, this provided a quiet refuge for residents who wanted a break from working from home, notes Choo.

Facilities in the development include a 33m infinity lap pool, children’s pool, poolside dining lounge, barbeque area, pool bar, gym, jacuzzi, fitness station and children’s playground.

The duplex penthouse on the market is one of 10 penthouses at Pollen & Bleu, but just one of two that have five bedrooms. It will be sold fully furnished as it is, says Choo. The asking price is $5.3 million ($1,872 psf).

“It’s attractively priced compared to the freehold developments in the area,” says Choo.

Nearby is Wilshire Residences, a freehold development located just off Farrer Road. It is a redevelopment of The Wilshire which was sold en bloc to Singapore-listed Roxy-Pacific Holdings and TE Capital Partners, in January 2018. The upcoming 85-unit Wilshire Residences was launched in April 2019 and is about 30% sold to date at an average selling price of $2,483 psf based on caveats lodged. (See: See potential condos with en bloc calculator)

The 33m lap pool is one of the communal facilities in the area, along with a children’s pool and jacuzzi pool (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Older freehold developments in the vicinity

Apart from Wilshire Residences which is currently under construction, the other freehold developments in the immediate vicinity, for instance, Gallop Gables, Gallop Green, Sommerville Park and Spanish Village are relatively old, points out Samuel Eyo, managing director of Lighthouse Property Consultants.

At the 140-unit Gallop Gables, completed in 1997, a 2,863 sq ft, five-bedroom unit on the third level of the block, changed hands for $5.88 million ($2,054 psf) according to a caveat lodged last month. Meanwhile, in the months of January to March, three two-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 1,152 to 1,173 sq ft, traded at prices ranging from $2.07 million ($1,781 psf) to $2.16 million ($1,875 psf).

Sommerville Park, also at Farrer Drive, was completed in 1985. Over the three months from March to May to date, three 1,302 sq ft, three-bedroom units across various floors have changed hands at prices from $2.27 million ($1,741 psf) to $2.4 million ($1,843 psf), according to caveats lodged.

Meanwhile, a ground floor, four-bedroom unit of 4,101 sq ft, was sold for $5.45 million ($1,329 psf) in March, and a 2,336 sq ft, three-bedroom unit on the ground floor was sold for $3.88 million ($1,661 psf) in April.

Located behind Pollen & Bleu is Spanish Village, the 226-unit, freehold development on Farrer Road. The project was completed in 1987 and has made three collective sale attempts, the latest was in 2019 when it was put up for sale at an indicative price of $882 million ($1,721 psf ppr) inclusive of development charge. Edmund Tie was the marketing agent then.

Spanish Village is said to be making a fourth collective sale attempt, with CBRE as its marketing agent. The latest recorded resale transactions at Spanish Village were in October and November 2020, when three units, ranging from a 1,163 sq ft two-bedder to a 2,045 sq ft three-bedder, changed hands for $1.65 million ($1,419 psf) to $3.22 million ($1,575 psf), according to caveats lodged.

“Even though these freehold projects feature larger units, given their age, the buyers may still have to spend money on renovations before moving in,” says Eyo. “This is unlike a relatively new project like Pollen & Bleu, where the buyer can just move in immediately.”

The fourth level common area with landscaped garden and cosy seating areas for residents’ use (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Different target audience

On the opposite side of the Farrer Road main thoroughfare are recently launched, new freehold developments such as the 638-unit Leedon Green (redevelopment of the former Tulip Garden) and the neighbouring 319-unit Hyll on Holland (redevelopment of the former Hollandia and The Estoril).

Leedon Green was launched in January 2020 and to date, 137 units have been sold at an average price of $2,670 psf. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 3Q/4Q2023. Hyll on Holland, which was launched in October 2020, saw units sold at an average price of $2,673 psf.

Next to Leedon Green is the biggest development in the area, the 1,715-unit d’Leedon, a redevelopment of the former Farrer Court privatised HUDC estate. The 99-year leasehold development has seven 36-storey towers and 12 semi-detached villas on a sprawling 849,049 sq ft site. The project was designed by the internationally renowned Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.

Completed in 2014, d’Leedon remains one of the most actively traded projects in the area. From January to May to date, about 26 units at d’Leedon have changed hands in the resale market at an average price of $1,465 psf, according to caveats lodged.

Further down Holland Road is the freehold Van Holland, a boutique development with 69 units and a redevelopment of the former Toho Mansion. To date, 18 units have been sold at an average price of $2,940 psf, based on caveats lodged.

Across the road is One Holland Village, a 99-year leasehold, mixed-use development with commercial office and retail space, serviced apartments and 296 units of luxury residences. The project is located just a two-minute walk from the Holland Village MRT station. Since its launch in late November 2019, about 47% of the total residential units have been sold to date, at an average selling price of $2,732 psf.

“Each development in the area appeals to a different audience,” says Lighthouse’s Eyo.

View of the rooftops of neighbouring projects such as Gallop Gables and Sommerville Park set against the backdrop of the nature reserve and Gallop extension of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Quiet area, views of Botanic Gardens

“Pollen & Bleu, with only 106 units, is perceived to be more exclusive, located in a quiet area away from the main road,” adds Eyo. “You can also enjoy the fresh air and the views of the Botanic Gardens from there.”

Located in prime District 10, Pollen & Bleu is just a six- to seven-minute walk to Farrer Road MRT station on the Circle Line, a three- to five-minute walk to the nearest bus stop and a 10-minute walk to Empress Market. “It is such a beautiful garden paradise,” says SLP’s Choo. “There’s no traffic noise, and yet, just a short distance from the main Farrer Road and MRT station.”

While viewing of the penthouse will continue, tighter safe management measures will be observed in accordance with guidelines issued by the Council for Estate Agencies on May 15 in light of the heightened Covid-19. The penthouse is currently vacant and will be available for immediate occupancy, adds Choo.

Check out the latest listings near Pollen & Bleu, Farrer Drive, Woollerton Park, Wilshire Residences, Gallop Gables, Gallop Green, Sommerville Park, Spanish Village, Leedon Green, Hyll on Holland, Van Holland, One Holland Village, Holland Village MRT station, Farrer Road MRT station

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