Adana @Thomson (Review)

By The Folks @PropTalk - August 26, 2015 No Comments

The wife and I have decided to check out Adana @Thomson (Adana) last weekend, since one of our readers had asked about it.

Adana is a low-rise, freehold project developed by Fortune Properties Pte Ltd - a boutique developer whose previous projects had included RV Suites, RV Edge and Estrivillas. The actual site of Adana is along Upper Thomson Road, but the sales gallery/showflat is located at the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Avenue 2, besides the Ang Mo Kio Telephone Exchange.

First off, let's talk about awards. Nature-lovers will be pleased to know that Adana is one of three developments that have been recognised under National Parks Board’s (NParks) Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) as an "Outstanding Project" for their efforts in providing greenery and ecologically friendly landscapes. What this essentially means is that the project features 100% usage of native species of shrubs, trees and creepers for its landscaping and a green gardenscape will cover the entire rooftop of the development, which is interweaved with walkways, jogging tracks, community gardening and recreational spaces for residents. The entire development will also serve as an extension of Central Catchment Nature Reserve and a green corridor to the Thomson area and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. 

Adana consists of just 74 units that is housed over 3 blocks of 5-storey each. It sits on a small rectangular plot of land of about 41,000sqft, which currently houses the showroom of Star Furniture. Entry into the development will be via Old Upper Thomson Road, which is the same stretch of road that one will use when visiting the Lower Pierce Reservoir Park. 

In terms of unit offerings, Adana has apartment types ranging from 2- to 4-bedrooms. And you get one standard size per apartment type, which makes for easier selection.
            2-bedroom (25 units):                         560sqft
            3-bedroom Compact (20 units):          721sqft
            3-bedroom (20 units):                         872sqft
            4-bedroom (4 units):                        1,152sqft

The development is currently scheduled for TOP in 2019.

Facility wise, these are located on the ground and roof-top levels. Offerings are fairly limited as can be expected with small developments but you still get your share of swimming pools (though the main lap-pool looks to be rather narrow despite its 30m length), gym (both indoor and outdoor), BBQ areas and even a children playground. And a side-gate will allow residents to access Upper Thomson Road by foot directly from the development. 

You also get underground parking but your visitors may have to find their own parking outside of the estate. Consolation is that there is a public parking area for about 20 cars (currently catering to those who visit Lower Pierce Reservoir Park) just across from the development. 
There is only one showflat available for viewing in the sales gallery. This is the 3-bedroom (Type B2).

As you enter the main door, the kitchen is directly ahead of you while the living/dining area is to your right.

The kitchen is a small rectangular strip that may pose a bit of a challenge even for two people working alongside. It comes equipped with hood/hob, oven, fridge and washing machine by Electrolux and the huge window located at the back will ensue proper ventilation and an outlet for the cooking smell that is likely to overwhelm the tiny kitchen. And since this unit type do not come with a yard/laundry area, you will have to get creative if you are one who prefers to "air-dry" your clothing.

The living/dining area is again a longish strip of real estate. The dining area is particularly narrow - do not be misled by the photo as the line on the floor actually demarcate where the walls will be. So other than the need for a small rectangular dinning table, those who sit on the outer side will probably have to stand up every time someone wants to pass from the living area to the kitchen/main door.  Alternatively, you can take your dining al fresco, i.e. at the balcony, which is definitely sizable enough to house a dining table for four but will probably need to double up as the laundry drying area as well.

The living area has sufficient wall for a three-seater sofa. And you need not worry about splashing on that 80" flat-screen given the narrow space. But what the wife and I liked about the living/dining area is the large-slab compressed marble flooring and the 5.5m (no typo here) ceiling height, which creates an extra dimension of space... or makes it seems so anyway.


The two common bedrooms are "petite" (aka small) but the saving grace is again the 5.5m high ceiling, which means you have the option of putting in a double-deck bed or raise the bed and leave the floor-space for alternative use (a study table, for example). The wife and I were told that one of the common bedroom will be pre-approved for building of a loft of no larger than 3sqm, which will allow you to add more space to that room. 

The common bathroom looks fairly plain-vanilla. That said, it comes with high-quality floor and wall tiles and sanity fittings from Laufen, Geberit and Hansgrohe. 

The master bedroom will not leave you with much space after putting in a Queen bed. You also get another balcony area which the small apartment can ill-afford. 

The master bathroom is almost an exact replica of the common bathroom. But the wife and I were rather stunned (but not quite like a vegetable yet) by how tiny the shower cubicle is. The wife and I reckon that an average-sized individual will need to be quite restrained while bathing to prevent knocking himself/herself against the glass partitions. Even with the rain-shower, the cubicle will offer little cheer to the overall shower experience.

Pricing wise, a second-floor unit in Stack #15 (which we opine to be the best stack) will cost you $1,372,600, which translates to $1,574psf. 

Adana was officially launched about 2 weeks ago (after an extended period of "preview" as per current practice) and as of last weekend, about 40% of the project has been sold. The wife and I also understand that all but one the 4-bedders have already found buyers.

What we like:

1. The project's freehold status, which for new developments these days are more the exception than the norm and will be increasingly so moving forward.

2. The quality furnishing and fittings provided, which adds that bit more class to the apartment.

3. The tall ceiling at 5.5m not only make the apartment feels more spacious than its square-feet will suggest, but may also allow you to carve out additional functional spaces through some creative ID.

4. Amenities such as F&B establishments, supermarkets and even a Singapore Pools outlet are about a 5-minute walk away across the road at Jalan Leban, where Sembawang Hill Food Centre is also located.

5. There is almost a zero chance that your car will run flat on petrol as there are 3 petrol kiosks lining side-by-side next to Adana  and another 2 more within close proximity across the road.

What we do not quite like:

1. At just a tad over 800sqft, the 3-bedroom unit in Adana is way too small for our liking, regardless of the high ceiling.

2. Call us pampered but we cannot quite get use to not having a proper yard to do our laundry, iron our clothes etc. And hanging them out in the balcony to air-dry is an eye sore.

3. Adana is located right along Upper Thomson Road, which is serviced by quite a number of public buses (to places like Clementi, Orchard and even CBD, according to the wife). It should also allow you to flag a cab rather easily. However, the nearest (upcoming) MRT station, which we understand to be Bright Hill station, is quite some distance away and probably a bit laborious to get to on foot. And being right next to a busy road will mean that apartments closer to the main road may bear the full brunt of traffic noises.

4. One of the major marketing point for Adana is its proximity to nature and the lower pierce reservoir park. However, given the orientation of the development due to the plot size, none of the units actually faces the reservoir directly. One row of apartments actually face the petrol kiosks, which is not exactly appealing. However, we were told that the leases for these will be up in a few years and that they are unlikely to be renewed. But nobody knows for certain what's gonna happen at current time, so you may still end up watching vehicles taking petrol or getting a car wash while breathing in petrol and exhaust fumes all day long.

5. Being in sync with nature is good. Having to deal with roving gangs of monkeys, not so. The wife and I are all too aware about the monkey infestation problem especially around the forested parts of Upper Thomson. When we asked about this, we were told that monkeys should not be a major problem. But our visual inspection of the area around the Adana site may suggest otherwise.

6. Primary school wise, we can only identify one -  CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School - that is within 1km of Adana. This may be a concern for some parents, especially those with boys.

Our Parting Shot 

While we are generally happy with what we see in terms of quality, the wife and I are not too hot over the small apartment sizes and location/orientation of Adana. And despite all the hype about this being a freehold project, we still feel that at almost $1,600psf, it is probably a tad over-priced.

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