By KK Tong (guest contributor)
Artra is one of the newest condominium developments located at the Redhill /Alexandra area in District 3. It is a 99-year leasehold mixed development with 400 residential units, 16 shops, a childcare centre and a supermarket.
Despite the slew of condominiums in that area, Artra moved 130 out of the 200 units released during its launch at end April 2017. In percentage terms, 65% of units launched isdecent. This is probably because Artra is a mixed development, and such projects are so popular nowadays. I guess they spell convenience for today’s ‘lack-of-time’ buyers. Developed by FEC Skyline Pte Ltd, Artra has a site area of 90,400 sqft and the expected TOP is 30 June 2021.
The unit types are:
The development consists of a 44-storey tower with 400 residential units. 15 commercial units, a supermarket and a childcare centre are located on the first two levels. There are two levels of basement parking with 324 parking lots for residents. The main entrance is via Alexandra View.
Figure 1: Site Plan
Most of the usual facilities are located on the 3rd level, while the fitness facilities are at the Sky Terrace on Level 24. On the 44th level, a rooftop lounge and pavilion are provided for residents’ enjoyment. Residential units start from the 5th level.
Thoughts from Show Flat Visit
Figure 2: Floor Plan of Type A2(2 Bedroom+ Study)
This particular unit is a pretty comfortable 829 square feet. Because of the open design of the unit, there is little wasted foyer and corridor space. On the contrary, privacy is compromised due to the openness of the unit. Another odd feature of this unit is that the entrance to the common bathroom is right next to the entrance.
Figure 3: Kitchen/Dining Area
The spacious kitchen comes with asolid surface worktop island that is mobile – so cool! It also comes with storage spaces – really useful in the small units we see today. The dining area is not too shabby either. In fact, it’s quite a decent space compared to many other new 2-bedroom condos.
As is the norm, the kitchen comes with standard equipment, including a ceramic hob, an oven, a fridge and a washer/dryer. All par for the course nowadays.
Figure 4: Living / Balcony Areas
The distance between the sofa and the facing wall is an acceptable viewing distance. However, the length of the wall opposite the sofa is rather short, so options for furniture or storage are limited. On the whole, combined with the extended balcony, space is rather adequate.
Figure 5: Study
A nook just outside the master and common bedrooms is the designated study area. It’s a pretty cosy area for a work space with shelves for books or display pieces.
Figure 6: Master Bedroom
The size of the master bedroom allows sufficient walking space, and two side tables. Seems decent enough.
Figure 7: Area Map
Amenities around the area
Artra has the best of both worlds. Situated amongst the private condos dotted along Alexandra View, it also enjoys the convenience of amenities in Redhill Estate just across Tiong Bahru Road. In addition, Redhill MRT (East-West Line) is right at the doorstep of the development.
Within the development, there is a supermarket and some retail shops. Just across the road, there are shops, eating places, and clinics as well.
For shoppers, nearby shopping centres a short drive/ride away include Great World City, Anchorpoint, Ikea, and Tiong Bahru Plaza. Fast food outlets and restaurants abound in these malls.
Other nearby places where good food can be found are ABC Brickworks Food Centre, Alexandra Village, and Redhill Food Centre.
Readers can patronise the libraries at Bukit Merah or Queenstown.
In that vicinity, there are a number of parks suitable for walks or jogs. Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, and Mount Faber are some of the nearer ones.
Schools in the area include Blangah Rise Primary School, Gan Eng Seng Primary and Secondary Schools, Crescent Girls’ School, and CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent. ISS International School is near Depot Road, while the Global Indian International School is in the Queenstown area.
Nearby medical facilities are available at Alexandra Hospital.
For drivers, getting to other parts of Singapore is via the Ayer Rajah Expressway and the Central Expressway.
Positive Aspects of the Development
- The development is situated amidst private housing, but has the convenience of a HDB estate just across the road. The best of both worlds.
- At 44 storeys, high units facing Tiong Bahru Road will have greenery views of Telok Blangah Hill and the sea beyond.
- It has the convenience of a supermarket as part of the mixed development.
- The childcare centre will spell convenience for young parents with children.
- The area is within a mature estate, so all kinds of amenities are close by.
- Transport is convenient via the MRT or buses.
- Units are of North-South orientation.
Negative Aspects of the Development
- The MRT track is above ground, so there will be track noise for units facing Tiong Bahru Road.
- There are only 324 parking lots for 400 residential units, so there may be competition for carpark spaces.
- Entrance to Artra is via Alexandra View, which is a loop road linked to Alexandra Road. This road also serves Ascentia Sky, The Echelon, and Alex Residences. There will probably be congestion in the mornings when residents head out to work or school.
- There are many condominiums in this area. Besides those on Alexandra View mentioned earlier, other nearby condominiums are The Metropolitan, Tanglin View, and Tanglin Regency. Investor buyers will face stiff competition for tenants.
Some Thoughts on Units
- Units facing Tiong Bahru will have nature views. However, these are the noisier units as they face the MRT track.
- Units facing Alexandra Road will not have views as these will face the 45-storey Ascentia Sky and the 43-storey Echelon.
- Stack #2faces the playground, so low units may be noisy.
- Stack #1 faces the splash pool, so the likelihood of it being noisy is possible.
- Stacks #10 and #11 are right at the entrance, which may face horning from impatient drivers.
- Stack #8 will have afternoon sun in the common bedrooms.
- If I had to choose a unit, I would probably go for either #3, #4, #5,#6 or #7 on a higher floor for its views.
Figure 8: Location of Artra and Surrounding Areas
Artra is located at Alexandra View in District 3, and we will be comparing it with Echelon and Ascentia Sky, two nearby 99-year leasehold developments. Echelon is a 43-storey development with 508 units completed in 2016. Ascentia Sky is a 45-storey development with 373 units completed in 2014.
Price Comparison Table (2 bedrooms)
Price Comparison Table (3 bedrooms)
Prices for Artra
For the 2-bedroom units, I will strike off Echelon based on two counts – its relatively smaller-sized units, and its higher PSF prices, as compared to the other two developments. My personal preference will be AscentiaSky as its prices are more palatable, and the sizes are more liveable. I think in this category, it is a clear winner although it is older than the other developments by a few years.
For the 3-bedroom units, the choice is harder to make. Size-wise, both Ascentia Sky and Echelon will definitely be comfortable, but their quantum prices are rather daunting. Artra may be easier on the pocket due to its quantum, but its PSF prices are higher than Ascentia Sky by almost $200 PSF. Moreover, its sizes are not as comfortable. This one is a tough call, so buyers will have to decide what is more important to them – more comfortable sizes, or more affordable quantum prices.