Waterfront @Faber (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - December 8, 2014 7 Comments

The first question on our mind when comes to Waterfront @Faber is: where is the waterfront? So the wife and I decided to go find out for ourselves.

Waterfront @Faber is a project by World Class Land - the property arm of Aspial Group. It was first launched in May 2014 and was subsequently relaunched (supposedly at lower prices) in September 2014.

The project is nested within the Faber Walk private estate - access to the development is either via Jalan Lempeng along Clementi Ave 6 or via Faber Ave along Clementi Ave West. Of the two routes, the wife and I reckon that the later is probably the easier way to get there.

The sales gallery is located on the actual site itself, which is a relatively small irregular-shaped plot of about 166,000sqft.

Waterfront @Faber is a 99-year leasehold project consisting of 199 apartments and 11 strata-landed housing units. This is a 5-storey low-rise development, due to the building height restrictions imposed around the primarily landed-housing estate.

And now for the "waterfront" question: The project is located along Sungei Ulu Pandan, a river originating near Bouna Vista Road and flows into Sungei Pandan which in turn flows into the sea at West Coast Park.

However, the stretch of "river" that Waterfront @Faber faces looks more like a monsoon drain given the narrow width. And the supposed linear park along the "waterfront" is still not much to look at for now. But we understand that there are plans to beautify the stretch and hopefully things will look a whole lot different when the project TOP in mid of 2018.

In terms of unit types, Waterfront @Faber offers units from 2- to 4-bedrooms and 5-bedroom strata houses. There are also dual-key units available. However, the project does not offer 1-bedder (which is quite a surprise considering that this is very much the staple with new developments these days) nor penthouses.

Waterfront @Faber also comes with a few other unique selling points:

1. For similar unit type within the same stack, the private enclosed space (PES) for ground floor units are of similar area to the balcony space of the higher floor units - this is unlike typical projects where you have to pay for much larger PES space for ground-floor unit.

2. You have a choice of either the standard four-bedroom unit that does not come with a junior suite or the "premium" 4-bedder unit that has a junior suite with attached bathroom.

3. 4.27m ceiling height for all 1st floor units and 3m ceiling height for all other units.

4. All unit types (except for the strata house) has one bedroom with an in-built upper platform that take advantage of the higher ceiling (see diagram below). This creates additional space within the bedroom, which means you can sleep on the upper platform and leave the space below for a small study, for example. We will talk about this in more detail later. 
Facilities wise, these are spread over four distinct "zones" within the grounds on the development as well as the "Sky Park" on the rooftop across Blocks 44 to 50 that faces the waterfront. Everything that you come to expect from a full-facility condo (except for tennis court) are available here, but there's nothing in particular that made us go "wow".

Parking wise, there are a total of 203 parking lots available for the 199 apartment units. The strata houses get 2 dedicated lots each.

Both the 3- and 4-bedroom showflats are featured in the sales gallery. But for the purpose of this review, we will stick with the standard 4-bedder. This is a 1,281sqft Type C2-P unit on the ground floor.

The first thing you see as you enter the main door is the entrance to the kitchen. The kitchen is a longish strip that will probably accommodate 2 people working side-by-side quite comfortably. A generous amount of kitchen cabinets are provided and the appliances from Bosch looked quite appealing. One issue we have is with the induction cooker, which is not really suitable for heavy duty cooking... especially all them frying that is typical with Chinese dishes.

The other issue we have is the location of the utility room. Instead of being in the yard area at the end of kitchen, the developer has decided to house the utility room within the kitchen itself, across from the kitchen sink and cooking area. And given that the utility room is a fully enclosed area, this makes it less than suitable for use as a maid's quarter - the door cannot be closed due to lack of ventilation and this may give rise to privacy inconveniences, e.g. should you decide to cook yourself a midnight snack while your domestic helper is already asleep.

And speaking of the utility room, this is a narrow strip of real estate that is more suited for storage than for housing purposes. And if used as the maid's quarter, it will require some custom fitting to fit a bed within.

The yard is pretty good-sized and can sit both the washer and dryer (provided) side-by-side quite comfortably. If stacked one on top of the other (as per in the showflat), you probably have sufficient space to do your ironing in here as well.

But the wife and I are rather disappointed with the bathroom in the yard area. Our chief complaint being there is just a tap but no wash-basin within. So it can be a tad tricky to avoid getting wet while washing your hands after you have completed your "toilet business". Alternatively, you have to go to the kitchen sink to wash your hands - not the most hygienic in our books.

The living and dining room is a longish rectangular space that allows for proper segregation of the living and dining areas. We liked the high ceiling and the good quality marble flooring, which extends into the kitchen as well.

Now for the most unique feature of the apartments in this project: every unit type has a bedroom that comes with an upper platform to take advantage of the high ceiling. So you can either use the upper platform as a sleep area thus freeing up the space below for a study or simply use the entire room as a study (upper platform) cum entertainment area (below) - as per what is shown in the showflat.

The other two common bedrooms are huge compared to other new projects that we had recently visited - you can fit a Queen bed and a study table in each and still have ample "maneuvering space" within. But you have to contend with the typical 2-panel wardrobe that is less than adequate - the wife and I were a tad disappointed that the developer did not take advantage of the higher ceiling to put in more storage space above the wardrobe.

The common bathroom is nothing much to shout about size-wise but it exudes luxury with its marble floor/walls and good quality bathroom furnishing and fittings from Grohe and Duravit. And yes, the shower stall does come with rain-shower!

The master bedroom is also very good-sized, which can easily accommodate a King-bed and a TV sideboard with ample walking space in-between and around. The master bathroom is almost an exact replica of the common bathroom, so those expecting a long-bath will be disappointed (not us though).

Pricing wise, a standard 4-bedder unit (1,292sqft) on the 2nd floor of stack# 37 is selling at $1.54 million ($1,192psf) while a unit on the 2nd floor of stack #40 is going at $1.653 million ($1,279psf).

And as a comparison, a 4-bedder deluxe unit (1,313sqft) on the 2nd floor of stack#14 is selling at $1.707 million ($1,300psf) while a unit on the 2nd floor of stack#36 is going at $1.602 million ($1,220psf).

From what we understand, most of the units sold are the smaller 2-bedders and some 3-bedrooms. So those looking at bigger units still have quite alot of choices with this project.

What we like:
1. The high ceiling, generous use of marble (living/dining/kitchen/bath-room flooring and bathroom walls) and excellent quality of furnishing and fittings provided give the apartment a spacious and luxurious feel.

2. The "upper platform" that comes standard in each apartment is a terrific idea, which helps to create additional usable space within the unit.

3. The spacious bedrooms, which is amongst the largest that we have seen recently.

What we do not quite like: 
1. The rather pathetic-looking "waterfront", which we hope will be much improved and beautified once the project TOP.

2. The rather "Plain Jane" facility offering, which is adequate but (for a lack of better word) boring.

3. Location of the utility room in the kitchen rather than the yard for all 3- and 4-bedder unit types (including the deluxe apartments), which makes it less than ideal as a maid's quarter.

4. Some may like Waterfront @Faber for its exclusivity, given it's location within a secluded residential enclave. Others (like yours truly) may find it a tad "ulu" - it supposedly takes at least 8 minutes (and we aren't talking about a leisurely walk) to get to the nearest bus-stop along Ayer Rajah. And should you fancy a night snack, there is nothing food-wise that's available within easy walking distance. So those who do not own a car (or two) may find the project somewhat inconvenient.

5. The wife and I can only identify ONE primary school that is within 1-km of Waterfront @Faber - Nan Hua Primary. So it's probably a good thing that the school is co-ed.

Our parting shot
While there is little argument that Waterfront @Faber is a quality project, the wife and I are just not that "hot" on the location. It is definitely a development worth considering for those who value privacy over convenience and accessibility - which unfortunately, we are not.

7 comments to ''Waterfront @Faber (Review)"

  1. Appreciate the candid review esp in the parting shot that accedes that it is definitely a quality project. Was excited and reassured to hear the approvings given. We surveyed and reviewed almost all contemporary and past projects before making the decision to go in. Your blog has certainly been the authoritative bible we unvaryingly referred to for pointers and insights. Indeed, the exclusively landed enclave, low density tranquility with completely unblocked open skies from all angles is definitely a premium in cluttered Singapore. Initially unimpressed, that's what captivate us upon arriving at the location. Something like a serendipity or an eureka find. Have to see to experience I guess (my personal opinion). Understandably, the idyllness of the project may not appeal to all esp to the upgraders but it is more than make up for by the fact that bustops are right outside the development str in a few stops to JE or Clementi. Felt it is like a hidden gem tucked away from common sights of the mainstream hustling and bustling traffic; esp when it is also literally a stone throw to IBP.

    Just my two cents and thanks for being Singaporeans' veritable "property-guru". *Hope there is no copyright to the term but aint have a better phrase in mind. Cheers and way to go.

  2. Hi Anonymous (Feb 23, 6:05pm): Thank you very much for supporting our blog!

    Singaporeans' veritable "property-guru"? The wife and I are hardly worthy of that accolade but we appreciate the compliment anyway. And it now makes us feel guilty about being "lazy" on our reviews during the past month or two...

    Congratulations on your new purchase (which we assumed was what you meant by "making the decision to go in") and all the best in the year of the Goat!

    And please tell your friends about SG PropTalk!

  3. Hi, please note a new bus depot will be just opposite Waterfront at Faber. The trees and views along canal will be replaced by buses and buses!!!


  4. Hi Anonymous (Apr 16, 5:10pm): So do you happen to work in LTA or do you just surf government websites for fun? :)

    Whatever the case, the wife and I thank you for the info. Goes to show that you can choose where you wanna live or the direction your apartment faces but you have absolutely no control over what the government decides to build next to/across from you.

    The latest development will definitely take some shine off the "waterfront" claim. One can only hope that the relevant authorities will leave enough trees standing so that the row of apartments lining the canal will see more of the waterfront than the bus depot.

    Then again, some would probably say better a bus depot than a C.... OK, we won't go there!

  5. Visited the show house n spoke to salesperson. They had a meeting with LTA and were assured that the bus depot orientation would face boon lay way
    20m buffer across the river then they will build a high wall around the depot. So Anonymous buyer shouldn't be too disappointed. Its a nice quite location

  6. Hi Anonymous (July31, 10:47PM), thank you very much for the update. We really welcome more folks like yourself to share information and opinions on SG PropTalk so as to make this an even more useful site for one and all. Cheers!

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