New luxe condo gets done up

PHOTO: New luxe condo gets done up

SINGAPORE - Barely a year after the ultra luxurious Hamilton Scotts condominium was completed, the construction cranes and hoardings are back at this development in Scotts Road again.

Renovation works at the 56-unit freehold development, where units can cost in excess of $10 million each, has been going on since July.

According to KOP Properties, the condominium's developer, the areas being worked on include the first floor lift lobby and the two penthouses which have been sold.

The works are being funded by Chinese company Reignwood Group, which bought up the remaining 36 units at Hamilton for a total of $407 million in April, reported The Straits Times then.

These additional works are not to fix any defects or appease any unhappy owners.

Said a KOP spokesman: "Our understanding is that Reignwood purchased Hamilton Scotts because they like the building and they believe in the project."

Asked permission

The New Paper understands that Reignwood had asked the other 20 unit owners for permission to start the renovation works.

Luxury developer KOP Properties told TNP that they are now the appointed project manager for the enhancement works.

"While discussions for the purchase was ongoing early this year, KOP was also involved in suggesting new design for the enhancements."

The spokesman said that a renovation is typically done in order for a "new acquisition to fit in with the rest of a portfolio".

Reignwood, whose Thai-Chinese owner also produces the Red Bull energy drink in China, declined to comment.

The 30-floor Hamilton had been touted as the world's tallest luxury residence with en suite elevated "sky garages" - where private lifts transport owners' cars to their homes and park them right beside their living rooms.

The condominium has 52 three-bedroom units of about 2,700 sq ft big, two 3,200 sq ft junior penthouse units and two 7,100 sq ft triplex penthouses with interior customised to buyer specifications, serviced by an internal lift, a rooftop garden and swimming pool.

However, only 20 of the three-bedroom units were sold from the time it was launched for sale in 2008 to the time it was bought over by Reignwood this year, reported The Straits Times in April.

Urban Redevelopment Authority records show that in June, a 2,756 sq ft unit at Hamilton was sold for about $13.8 million, or at $5,001 per square foot.

A check on property website ST Property showed that owners were asking for upwards of $14,000 a month in rental .

Property analysts, though, said that such refurbishment works on a development with a recently obtained Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) is rare.

The TOP is issued by the Building and Construction Authority to certify that the building is safe for occupation.

The Hamilton Scotts obtained its TOP last June.

Mr Nicholas Mak, the executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, said the renovation works at the Hamilton Scotts is "unusual".

"(The unit) may already come with warranties for the different types of work done, from glass panelling to waterproofing.

"The warranty will be void if the unit is renovated again," he explained.

Raising the issue of cost, Mr Mak said: "Typically, investors will see if the cost of the renovation is justifiable. If it's not, they will keep the unit as it is."

He said that a newly renovated unit may not necessarily increase in value.

Using a modified car to illustrate his point, he said: "If someone were to buy a rare car, then do more modifications to it, the value may not always go up. It depends on how you modify it too."

Instead, the value of a unit is dependent on how much the tenant or owner places on the renovation, and how much utility the unit brings to him, he said.

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