Tuesday, 6 October 2015

BTO Blues

SkyTerrace@Dawson BTO project tops HDB Design Awards

A record 14 projects were recognised at this year's HDB Design Awards, with the top honours going to SkyTerrace@Dawson for its park-like environment and multi-generational loft units paired with studio apartments.

Completed in early 2015, the Design Award-winning SkyTerrace@Dawson comprises five 40- to 43-storey high residential blocks linked to a four-storey carpark podium. The blocks are located next to the Alexandra Canal Linear Park and were developed as part of the Housing-in-the-Park concept under the Housing & Development Board's Remaking Our Heartland plans for the Dawson estate.

Among the various features of SkyTerrace@Dawson are multi-generational loft units. These two-level four-room or five-room units are paired with studio apartments to allow younger families to live beside their parents. Each unit has its own distinct entrance, though a door connects the two.

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Award-Winning Design, but Practical Issues at SkyTerrace@Dawson Frustrate Residents

It’s won the top prize at the HDB Design Awards, and even received a mention by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s National Day Rally.

But residents at SkyTerrace@Dawson aren’t too pleased with the new HDB development, for very practical reasons.

Such as this waste bin that somehow appears to be allergic to swallowing trash.

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Shortly after awarding itself the "HDB (Housing Development Board) Design Award" earlier this year, the SkyTerrace@Dawson project, which comprises five 40- to 43-storey high residential blocks located next to the Alexandra Canal Linear Park, has become the next embarrassing HDB project to be plagued by design faults as the growing number of residents complaints in the estate's Facebook community page seems to suggest.

SkyTerrace was developed as part of the Housing-in-the-Park concept under the Housing & Development Board's "Remaking Our Heartland" plans for the Dawson estate. Besides being located within a green park-like setting, SkyTerrace's features include multi-generational loft units, where two-level four-room or five-room units are paired with studio apartments to allow younger families to live beside their parents. Each unit has its own distinct entrance, with a door that connects the two units.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had even praised the project in his National Day Rally speech this year. "We said we would build more beautiful homes that Singaporeans could afford, and we did. This is Punggol 21. This is the view from Dawson, I think it is taken from the air terrace, I went up to take a look."

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New Flats Gone BAD
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In another unsurprising move to increase prices, property analysts have predicted that the new Housing Development Board (HDB) Build-to-Order (BTO) units in Bidadari estate, located between MRT stations Woodleigh and Potong Pasir, will probably come at a premium.

ERA Realty's key executive officer Eugene Lim says: "The nearest recent BTO in the vicinity was St George around the Boon Keng MRT station, which is just one stop away from Potong Pasir, where Bidadari is next to.

“That was in September last year and the flats back then were launched, from S$328,000 for a three-room flat, and for a four-room flat, it started from about S$459,000. So we would expect pricing for the flats in Bidadari to be in the range of, for a three-room flat, S$300,000 to S$350,000, while for a four-room flat, S$400,000 to S$450,000. As for the larger five-room flats, (it is expected) to be around S$600,000."

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Bumper launch of 12,000 new flats in November: Khaw

November will see a bumper crop of about 12,000 new flats enter the housing market due to a delay of a Built-to-Order (BTO) launch previously scheduled for September, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said today (Sept 23).

Of these, 7,000 will be BTO flats in six towns — Bidadari, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Punggol Northshore and Sengkang.

The remaining 5,000 are flats that are not sold in previous BTO exercises under the concurrent Sale of Balance exercise.

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The woes of DBSS residents
After it has happened so many times, you have to ask: What the hell is going on?

The latest DBSS fiasco to hit the Internet is Pasir Ris One, located beside the neighbourhood’s White Sands shopping mall. Residents are complaining that the common corridor – exactly 1.2m-wide – is too narrow, even if it is built to fire safety standards. Owners who picked up their keys over the last two months have formed a private Facebook group to discuss the issue. So far, more than 200 home-owners – about half of the 447 units available – have signed up. Members are required to present a letter or any official document that proves ownership in order join the group.

Residents who spoke to TMG complained about several building defects, including uneven ceilings and exposed pipes. The size of the flat and its rooms appear to have caught several by surprise, although the developer had stuck to the specified dimensions. The chief complaint was the dark and narrow corridors, which is “shocking, too small and with a ceiling that is worse than a factory and a car park”, as Ms Jynny Chew, 50, a soon-be-resident in Block 530C said.

Commissioned by the G, DBSS flats are designed and built by private developers. They typically come with better fittings and finishings than standard Build-to-Order flats, though unlike Executive Condominiums, these projects do not have facilities such as pools and gyms.

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SG Buildings Crumbling Down Parody
Planning For Singapore’s Future
Tweaks in Our SG Housing
Further steps to cool Singapore property market
Housing Woes
Our Sg Public Housing
Our Sg Properties
Affordable Housing
Prices of HDB resale flats rise, but can new HDB flats be cheaper?
The woes of DBSS residents