Okio Residences (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - May 23, 2011 1 Comment
Project Name:   Okio Residences
Tenure:   Freehold
Location:   262 Balestier Road
District:   12
Site Area:   22,285sqft
TOP (estimated):   4Q 2015
Total Units:   104 apartment units + 10 shops/offices
No. of Blocks/Storey:   1 Block of 18-Storey
Car Park Lots:   Multi-storey Parking with 114 lots
Developer:   SDB Asia Pte Ltd

The wife and I decided to visit the sales gallery of Okio Residences over the weekend. This is a freehold project by Malaysian developer Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB).

Sales Gallery

The actual site of Okio Residences is at Balestier Road (where Balestier Complex used to be). However, the sales gallery is located along Clemenceau Avenue North, diagonally across from Newton Hawker Centre.

Some of you may wonder how the name Okio Residences comes about. “O kio” actually means “Black Bridge” in Hokkien and apparently, the Hokkien used to refer to Balestier Road as “O kio”.
Location Map

Okio Residences consists of 1 block of 18-storey each. It is a mixed development with apartments from the 5th to 18th storey, while 4 shop and 6 office units occupy 1st – 4th storey. The project was launched back in February and more than 80 of the 104 apartment units have already been sold as of last weekend.

The freehold project offers a mix of 1 and 2-bedroom “small format” apartments as well as penthouses:
• 1-Bedroom (48 units):   420 & 431sqft
• 1-Bedroom Garden Villa (4 units):   452 & 463sqft
• 2-Bedroom (44 units):   570 & 592sqft
• 2-Bedroom Garden Villa (4 units):   657 & 667sqft
• Penthouses (4 units):   1044 & 1098sqft

The Garden Villas are basically ground-floor (5th floor rather) units that come with private terraces and direct access to the pool deck. The penthouses are duplex units that come with private Jacuzzis.

As can be expected, the facility offerings at Okio Residences are rather basic. Everything is located on the 5th floor:
• 25m Lap Pool (1)
• Hydrotherapy Spa Pool (2)
• Pool Deck (3)
• BBQ Area (4)
• Poolside Gym (5)
Site Plan

Parking lots are available in the 4 levels of multi-storey carpark, with one lot per unit. The marketing agent will have you believe that there is more than sufficient parking lots given that many residents (especially the 1-bedders) will probably not own cars. So if you own more than one car, you better hope that it’s true.

There is only one showflat on display – this is a 570sqft, 2-bedroom unit (Type B2).
Type B2

The living/dining area and kitchen are all contained in a small rectangular space. However, the developer has done a very good job with space planning.

The kitchen and dining area stretches along one side of the wall, with a “pull out” dining table (included) that should comfortably sits four. The units comes with integrated fridge, induction cooker hob and hood, oven and washer/dryer (all from “Bosch”) as well as all the cabinets you see in the photo below. Even the sofa is provided, which can be converted into a bed if needed. You get a ceiling height of 2.95m, while the flooring throughout the whole apartment is made of “engineered wood” – this consists of three layers, i.e. oak, compressed timber and plywood. You will also find a small home shelter (just after the main door and to your left) as well as a small balcony at the end of the hall.

The common bedroom is small, but if you place the bed in the same manner as shown in the showflat, you can actually free up quite alot of space! The integrated wardrobe/storage cupboards/study table you see in the photo comes standard with the unit.
Common Bedroom

The master bedroom is good for a “Queen” bed but nothing much else. The room opens out to another balcony, which we felt is an overkill given the size of the apartment. (* Sorry but we were unable to show you the master bedroom *)

There is only one bathroom in the whole apartment, but this is surprisingly spacious and well-designed to save on space (e.g. storage cabinets behind the mirror).  It is fitted with homogenous-tile floor/walls and “Duravit” toilet and “Grohe” bathroom fittings.

The most unique feature of the whole apartment is actually found in the standing shower stall – a door actually opens out to an air-con ledge that also doubles as the laundry area. It comes equipped with a “laundry drying” system (i.e. hangers attached to a set of pulleys that allow you to air-dry your laundry), which is both practical and quite cool in terms of design.
Laundry Area

Price wise, a 570sqft, 2-bedder (Type 2B) unit on the 14th floor (#14-08, facing the lap pool) will cost you $881,600 or $1,547psf. Alternatively, you can purchase a 420sqft, 1-bedder (Type 1B) unit on the same floor (#14-04, backward facing) for $713,300 or $1,698psf.

Monthly maintenance charges will set you back around $320 for the 2-bedder or $280 for the 1-bedder.

What we like:
• The efficient use of space and well thought-out interior design, which is extremely important for apartment of such (small) size.

• Amenities are conveniently located within short walking distances, whether be it for food, marketing (Whampoa Market) or even shopping. Also easy access to PIE, CTE and ECP.

• Two primary schools within 1-km of Okio Residences – St. Joseph Institution Junior (boys) & Hong Wen Primary (co-ed). However, we reckon this may not be an important consideration as the project may not really appeal to families (given the unit size).

What we dislike:
• Location – Okio Residences is located along Balestier Road, which is quite a busy road throughout the day. As such, we reckon that apartments facing the main road (i.e. the 2-bedders) will be a tad noisy, unless you keep the windows closed (and air-condition on) the whole time.

• This may sound anal, but the wife and I find the number of budget hotels around Okio Residences somewhat disturbing.

• The wife and I have reservations about mixed-developments, as the quality of tenants that occupy the shop and office units may have a huge impact on the value (perceived or otherwise) of the apartments.

• The quality of furnishing and fittings can certainly be better given the asking price of the units. The soft furnishings (e.g. sofa and dining table) are especially disappointing.

Our Verdict: Okio Residences is definitely one of the better “small format” projects (in terms of interior design and space planning within the apartments) that we have come across so far. We reckon that the development will probably appeal to singles or DINKS who enjoy living in the Balestier area, but less so for family units. However, one may find the price (in excess of $1,500psf) too steep for comfort despite its freehold status.


1 comment to ''Okio Residences (Review)"

  1. Wow, with such prices might as well buy D Leedon... despite its freehold status
    Crazy Prices for Balestier...