Belgravia Ace residences

Jervois Mansions is located at 18 Jervois Road, across from the High Commission of Malaysia. It has 32 apartments and has been leased for 36 years. Jervois Mansions is situated on a freehold property measuring 93,183 square feet. It is a redevelopment of three Good Class Bungalows, (GCBs), that Aw’s father purchased in 1980.

Belgravia Ace residences, a landed residential home developed by Tong Eng Group. Target to launch in 2021.

After a 12-year tenure at Ascendas Singbridge, Aw was EVP-founder of Bridge+ and last executive vice president (EVP), of special projects. Aw had previously worked for JTC Corp as the last director of land planning. Aw was the deputy director of the one-north group during his time at JTC. Aw was awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Architectural Association London. He says that his thesis was focused on large-scale, integrated workspace development and was inspired by his experience at one-north.

Aw redesigned Jervois Mansions shortly after joining Kimen Group. He says that the black-and-white theme was welcomed by expatriate tenants. Aw was concerned that the project was getting old as it neared 40. He laments that the three-bedroom apartments, which measure 2,400 square feet, only have two bathrooms. This led to the decision of redeveloping Jervois Mansions.

Redevelopment revisited

Given its proximity to the Bishopsgate-Chatsworth GCB area, the site has a plot ratio of 1.4 and the new residential development has to be low-rise, with up to afive storeys. It is named Jervois Mansion and will house 130 apartments in six blocks connected by overhead bridges on the rooftop decks.

Christopher Lee, co-founder at Serie Architects, an international firm that specializes in architecture, urban design, and research, was chosen by Aw to head the Jervois Mansion design team. Gwen Tan (principal architect, partner at Formwerkz Architects) is the principal interior designer. Chang Huaiyan, founder and CEO of Salad Dressing is the landscape architect.

Mason Tan, Mace Studio’s managing director, and Janet Wong (director and biodiversity planner) are the “sustenance curators” for Jervois Mansion. These two urban farmers of bohemian style are experts on what plants will thrive in the community garden given the soil conditions.

After the project is completed, the pair will remain together for two more years to help train Jervois Mansion’s gardeners and maintenance personnel in organic farming. They will also conduct workshops for residents. Aw says that anyone who is interested in gardening can tend to the community garden and grow their own vegetables. The rule of thumb is to share the harvest with the community.

The Jervois Mansion sales gallery showcases the different unit types. It also serves as a testing ground for urban farming, biodiversity, and other sustainability features. Aw says, “We want people to get a taste of what it’s like living at Jervois Mansion.”

Sustainable luxury?

The BCA Green Mak Gold Plus Superlow Energy (Residential Buildings), rating was awarded to the project. This rating is one tier lower than the Platinum rating. In the future, solar power will be used for 30% of Jervois Mansion’s common facilities.

Aw chose Roxy-Pacific Holdings to be its development manager, since this is the Kimen Group’s first residential project. Aw says Roxy-Pacific was chosen because of its reputation for being a high-quality developer of micro-apartments. A lot of attention has been paid to maximising the size and efficiency the bedrooms and bathrooms. Aw also made sure that each room had a view of the garden.

The ground floor units will have a 4.57m ceiling height. This allows owners to create a loft, whether it be an additional bedroom or workspace. The penthouse-level units will have a ceiling height 3.3m. Aw. says that the apartment will be brightened by its high ceilings and large windows.

The main entrance of each apartment will have two doors to promote cross-ventilation: a timber door, and a door grille. The timber door can be left open, without any compromise in security. Aw anticipates that this will promote neighborliness among residents.

Kimen Group uses only European brands for its fittings and materials. De Dietrich kitchen appliances, Blanco kitchen sinks, and Steinberg kitchen mixer taps are all from France. The tiles for the floor and bathrooms are made of engineered stone by Grespania Ceramica in Spain.

Aw says that it is more than creating a luxurious project. It is also about making sure that the project is long-lasting. “We’ve been managing our properties for over 30 years and are familiar with the maintenance issues that may arise. We want the materials that we use to maintain the property to last.

Kimen Group will keep 25 units of Jervois Mansion as a long-term capital investment to give home buyers more assurance. Kimen Group identified large premium units with three- and four-bedrooms in the middle blocks as a long-term investment. Aw explains that the developer won’t be competing with investors looking to rent out the units. He says that premium units will be able to command higher rental rates than standard units because they are larger. This will result in product differentiation and not head-on competition among tenants.

Jervois enclave

PropNex’s luxury team head Dominic Lee believes Jervois Mansion will stand out from other projects in the region because of its land size of nearly 100,000 square feet. Lee points out that the Jervois Mansion is situated on one of the largest condominium plots in the Jervois region. “There is ample space to provide communal facilities on the grounds and roof terraces.”

The Jervois area has seen a number of boutique launches, including the 45-unit Jervois PRIVE by Midas Land, Fragrance Group’s 36 unit Jervois treasures, and SC Global’s Petit Jervois with 55 units. The most expensive project is Petit Jervois. Units have been sold at a median of $2,902 per square foot this year.

Jervois Mansion, which is located in the Core Central Region (CCR), is part of District 10. Nicholas Mak, ERA Realty’s head of research, says that the project is priced to sell. Its pricing is comparable to those of upcoming launches within the Rest of Central Region (RCR), like the Slim Barracks Rise GLS [government-owned land sale] sites in the one-north or the Northumberland Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 sites. You are purchasing a freehold CCR project at RCR project price. Capital upside should be possible with the expected rise in prices for freehold projects located in prime areas.

Ken Low, the managing partner of SRI, calls Jervois Mansion “the best CCR project currently available”. Low has received strong signals of buyer interest.
He says that the main draw is the lush landscaping and bungalow-inspired living. Kimen Group will hold 25 units over the long-term, so residents can be sure that the quality and value of the project will be maintained.

PropNex’s Lee believes there will be interest from both owners-occupiers and investors in larger units. He says that buyers will likely include upgraders from the city fringe and residents from older developments in the area. It’s a quiet, peaceful residential area that is close to River Valley Road, Robertson Quay, and Orchard Road.

Mak of ERA says that the Jervois neighborhood is a submarket. It’s located near the Embassy Row, GCB area, and park connector.

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