VIVACE (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - April 4, 2010 No Comments
District: 9
Location: River Valley
Address: 19 Tong Watt Road
Developer: The Heritage Group
Tenure: Freehold
Artist Impression

The truth is: the wife and I did not intend to visit VIVACE at all. It so happen that we were having dinner at Robertson Quay and stumbled upon the sales gallery yesterday. And since we had about half an hour to spare, we told ourselves…what the heck!

VIVACE is a smallish project consisting of one 10-Storey block of 85 apartment units in total. The freehold project resides on a site area of approximately 12,000sqft along Tong Watt Road, which is a small road off the main Mohamed Sultan Road – If you know where Hong San See Temple (supposedly a national heritage building) is, VIVACE is located just behind this temple.
Actual Site

VIVACE is developed by The Heritage Group - a boutique developer known for smallish projects such as The Acacias (65 units/Braddell), The Fruition (22 units/Joo Chiat) and The Beacon Edge (32 units/Joo Chiat). For VIVACE, they have roped in Ong & Ong as the chief building architect of this project.

We have previously stated that Eastwood Regency is probably the project with the tinniest of apartments that we have seen. We now stand corrected – VIVACE has since assumed the dubious honour. The different unit types and sizes are:
• 1-Bedroom (56 units): 388 – 452sqft
• 2-Bedrooms (20 units): 570 – 850sqft
• Penthouses (9 units): 667 – 1227sqft

Given the “small project” (or rather, “boutique condo” as the marketing agent called it) status, the facilities in VIVACE are understandably basic and all located on the ground level. This is illustrated in the site plan below. Every inch of land is fully utilized – even the roof top of the sub-station is not spared.
Site Plan1
A grand total of 85 basement carpark lots are available in this project, i.e. basically one lot per apartment. And as usual, the marketing agent will lead you to believe that most of the 1-bedder dwellers will not own a car, so there will be PLENTY of “spare” lots available. But despite the lack of visitor’s lots, one can quite easily find roadside parking nearby.

The “showflat” in the sales gallery is more a representation showcasing the type of fittings and furnishings you can expect to get in a typical one-bedder unit at VIVACE. We can summarize what we see in one word – SMALL! The whole unit cannot be more than 400sqft, and this include the planter space and air-con ledge (which are not shown in the showflat) - thank god there is no balcony! In this small space the developer has managed to squeeze in a kitchenette, a living/dining area, a bedroom and a bathroom.

The developer has supposedly incorporated some high quality fittings and fine material finishes in the apartments at VIVACE. These include:
• Compressed marble flooring for the whole apartment

• “Gateman” digital door lock

• Clipsal “one touch scene control” lighting system

• Designer wardrobe and “Vitra” fixtures

• “Kinesis”-equipped gym on the ground floor

What we like:
• Locations – a District 9 address and stone throw away from the business (CBD) & entertainment (Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, Orchard Road etc) hubs. We certainly cannot argue against the centrality of VIVACE.

• River Valley Primary is within 1-km of VIVACE – this is a fairly decent co-ed primary school that feeds into its own secondary school.

What we dislike:
• 2-bedder of 570sqft and penthouse no more than 700sqft? The wife and I certainly cannot imagine ourselves living in units of such small sizes, even without kids!

• The apartment units in VIVACE are supposedly strategically designed to have panoramic views – this we find rather incredible, as given its height compared to the surrounding buildings, we reckon that VIVACE’s views will mostly be blocked.

• This may be a matter of perception, but the furnishings and fittings that we saw at the showflat were nothing to "wow" about. The “Bosch” kitchen appliances (hob/hood/oven) provided looked especially ordinary.

• No yard in any of the 1- or 2-bedders, so you can only rely on your dryer to dry your clothes. For some of the penthouses though, you have the option of hanging your laundry out to dry at the roof terrace.

• The wife has pointed out that VIVACE is a Feng Shui nightmare as it sited next to a temple, and a big temple at that - you do not want people praying at/towards you when you are not dead (or immortal)!

Now for the pricing: The 570sqft 2-Bedroom unit that we have “raved” about, should you decide on a 5th floor unit (#05-07), will cost you $1,179,378. This equates to $2069psf! And before you start berating about the price (like we did), you should know that more than 70 of the 85 units have already been sold. These include all the 1-bedders and some of the 2-bedders. Quite a number of the penthouses are still available though.

Build….and people will buy. This seems to be notion of developers these days, especially with new projects in prime locations. And in the case of VIVACE, it certainly looked like they are right.

Click to view brochure of VIVACE:
Vivace eBrochure

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