Buckley Classique (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - July 11, 2011 No Comments
Project Name:   Buckley Classique
Tenure:   Freehold
Location:   9 & 11 Buckley Road
District:   11
Site Area:   71,800sqft
TOP (estimated):   31 Dec 2015
Total Units:   64
No. of Blocks/Storey:   2 blocks of 5 and 6-storey plus attic.
Car Park Lots:   76 (basement)
Developer:   City Developments Limited (CDL)

The wife and I visited the sales gallery of Buckley Classique over the weekend. This is a freehold project by City Development Limited.

Buckley Classique is located along Buckley Road, which is off Newton Road. The sales gallery is located on the actual site itself, which actually consists of 2 separate plots of land combined together. The apartments will be located on 11 Buckley Road, where the former Buckley Mansion is located. CDL bought the site via a collective sale in 2007 for around $633psf ppr. A colonial-style bungalow stands on 9 Buckley Road, which is owned by the Kwek family (Hong Leong Group, CDL etc). The bungalow will be preserved and converted into a clubhouse for Buckley Classique.

Buckley Classique consists of 2 blocks separated by the lap-pool in between. We were told that the two blocks are about 18.5 metres apart, which sounds like a good distance away. The outer block is 5-storey high, while the inner block is 6-storey. However, all the penthouses on the highest floor come with an attic.

The project offers a mix of 2- to 4-bedroom units as well as penthouses (4 or 5-bedroom). And unlike many new projects these days that have primarily smaller apartments, most of the units in Buckley Classique are 3-bedders. It also has a split-level (i.e. basement + ground) 4-bedder unit that comes with 2 private parking lots, and is the only one of its kind in the whole project:

• 2-Bedroom (9 units):   1098 - 1238sqft
• 3-Bedroom (45 units):   1399 – 1475sqft
• 4-Bedroom (4 units):   1959 – 2896sqft
• Penthouses (6 units):   3563 – 4359sqft

In terms of facility offerings, the highlight must certainly be the clubhouse. However, the number/types of facility available in the project are rather basic.

Parking is available in the basement, with a total of 76 lots (actually 74 if you exclude the 2 private lots for the split-level unit). So there is the odd chance that visitors may actually get to park within the development itself.

There is only one showflat on display – this is the 1475sqft, 3-bedroom unit with PES (Type B1). For those who are not really into ground-floor units, you be glad to know that the typical Type B1 unit (1410sqft) has the same interior layout as the showflat.

All apartments come with their own private lift/lift lobby. The other unique feature about the apartments is that you do not have a “main door” per se – you get a set of sliding glass partitions instead that is supposedly “lockable”. Once inside the apartment, another door directly opposite to the common bathroom opens into the stairwell. This will allow you access to your apartment (especially if you are on the higher floors) in case your private lift malfunctions.

The living/dining area is rectangular in shape and seems a tad small. It comes with nice 60cm x 60cm marble-slab floors and 3.25m ceiling height.

The kitchen is a narrow rectangular strip of an area and again seems somewhat small. However, the wife and I were rather impressed with the furnishing – you get good quality homogenous floor tiles/solid-surfaced worktop, very appealing set of kitchen cabinets that come with “anti-slam” mechanism and “Gagganeu” hood/hob/oven/fridge.

There is a proper yard area for you to do your laundry chores. For ground-floor units, you can access the yard from outside the PES (via a door next to the space for washing machine) as well as from within the kitchen. The home shelter (spacious enough for a single bed but not much else) and a bathroom are found in the yard as well.

The common bathroom is good sized and comes with homogenous-tile floors and ceramic walls. You also get “Hansgrohe” bathroom fittings and the “Kohler” toilet bowl is wall-mounted, which adds style. However, the developer can certainly do better than the ordinary looking wall-mounted shower set.

The two common bedrooms are very spacious – you can easily fit a Queen bed inside and still have lots of room. The floors are made of American white oak and there are no bay windows to contend with. The wardrobe provided are quite appealing and the doors even come with “anti-slam” hinges!

(* Apologies but we were unable to get photos of the common toilet and bedrooms, as the security guard was standing too close for comfort *)

And if you think the common bedrooms are large, the master bedroom is huge! This is the only bedroom with bay windows but despite so, you have more than sufficient space to put a King bed, a TV console and even a small study table inside. We especially like the wardrobe provided, which comes with sliding doors with superb mechanism – unlike normal sliding doors that run on tracks, the doors are fitted with rolling hinges that grip the top and bottom of the wardrobe.

The master bathroom is spacious and comes with tile floors but marble walls. You get similar “Hansgrohe/Kohler” fittings, a bath tub and an adjacent standing shower. A set of windows above the toilet bowl ensures ample natural lighting and ventilation.

Price wise, a 1410sqft, Type B1 unit on the 2nd floor (#02-02) will cost you $2,886,000. This translates to almost $2,047psf.

As of last weekend, 26 of the 64 units have been sold. For those of you who are interested in the 2-bedders, only 1 unit remains.

And now for the other bombshell: The monthly maintenance fees for a 3-bedder will set you back $672, which is rather steep!

What we like:
• We are very impressed with the quality of furnishing and fittings as seen in the showflat. At least you are getting (in terms of quality) what you are paying for, which is more than we can say compared to some other projects that we have seen.

• We are pleasantly surprised by the spacious bedrooms despite the fact that the 3-bedder unit is only about 1400sqft. This is a departure from the tiny bedrooms found in many other new projects these days.

• Novena MRT Station and amenities within United & Novena Squares are about 5 – 10 minutes’ walk away.

What we dislike:
• Buckley Road is a fairly narrow one-way street, with several condo projects lining both sides of the road. So finding roadside parking (e.g. your visitors who are unable to find parking within the condo, or maybe for your 4th car etc) may be quite a challenge. The road may also be quite congested during certain times of the day.

• The living/dining area for the 3-bedder is a tad too small for our liking. But given the size of the unit and the spacious bedroom, something has to give.

• $675 monthly in maintenance for a 1400sqft apartment? The wife and I were already complaining like crazy when we had to pay 500 bucks a month at our last condo unit. And that was for a bigger apartment with private lift!

• The good news is that you have a choice of 3 primary schools within 1-km of Buckley Classique. The bad news is that all of them are boys’ school (i.e. ACS Primary, ACS Junior and SJI Junior). So parents needing to enrol their daughters into primary school may have a slight problem.

Our Verdict: Buckley Classique is definitely one of the better projects that we have seen in terms of location, quality and unit layout. But as with all good thing comes a price and at over $2,000psf, it is much too steep for our comfort. This is especially when the project is one of those low-rise, “boutique” developments, unlike Residences @Evelyn or Trilight for example, which are high-rise (with a view of sorts) and with better facilities.


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