Former Longhouse gets new lease of life

A new mixed-use development located along Upper Thomson Road on the site of the former Longhouse food court could launch as early as this month.

Dubbed 183 Longhaus, the four-storey project will comprise 40 residential apartments, 10 commercial units on the ground floor, facilities such as a Jacuzzi and gymnasium, and basement carparks.

Jonathan Phua, CEO and Executive Director of TEE Land, the developer behind the project, said they wanted to retain some semblance of the original name, due to the site’s colourful history.

The property had been an A&W fast food outlet in the 1980s before being leased to the Kopitiam Group for two years. It was subsequently abandoned for a decade before Longhouse took over in 2000 and converted it into a popular eatery.

In January 2014, TEE Land purchased the approximately 16,960 sq ft site for $45.2 million. There had been plans to acquire an adjacent plot that houses a Shell petrol station in order to amalgamate both sites and build a larger project, but the deal fell through, said Phua.

While the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has yet to approve the launch of the units for sale, the showflat has been open since late January 2016.

It is understood that there have been more than 200 walk-ins from potential buyers, most of whom stay in the Thomson area. Property agency Huttons Asia is marketing the project.

One reason for the strong interest could be the freehold tenure of the property. “This is the last pocket of freehold land in Thomson,” Phua noted.

Meanwhile, the residential component will feature a mix of two- to four-bedroom apartments with sizes ranging from 529 sq ft for a two-bedder to a 1,238 sq ft penthouse.

Phua stated that prices of the apartments have not yet been finalised, but they will not be too high. “The units will be priced competitively within market expectations and at an affordable quantum.”

Early indications are that prices will start from below $900,000 for a two-bedroom unit.

As for the commercial spaces, he revealed that they are in talks with a few potential tenants. “At this point, we haven’t decided whether to sell or lease the units, but we are looking for upmarket tenants.”

Situated within an established landed housing estate, 183 Longhaus is close to Thomson Plaza and popular eateries along Thomson Road. Marymount MRT station, the future Upper Thomson MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line and MacRitchie Reservoir are also nearby.

Construction is expected to begin in June and the project is scheduled to obtain TOP in 2019.

Separately, TEE Land is also marketing Hilbre 28, a 999-year leasehold residential development in Kovan. Launched last year, close to 50 percent of the 28 units have already been sold at an average price of $1,219 psf.

Commenting on prospects for the Singapore property market in 2016, Phua admitted that “home seekers have become more cautious and would rather hold on to their money for now”.

Despite this, TEE Land will continue to be on the lookout for good sites to build boutique projects of up to 100 units each, he added.

Article and Photo Reference: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2016/2/116572/former-longhouse-gets-new-lease-of-life