Opinions on Southbank @ Lavender

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Opinions on Southbank @ Lavender

Post by Plotting » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 5:51 pm

First post on the forum so thanks for having me and looking forward to spending some time browsing and contributing.

I've had a search for threads with information on apartments at Southbank but I couldn't find anything. I was wondering if anyone who lives there or knows the place could give me their opinions?

I'm moving to Singapore this summer, initially by myself although my fiancee will be joining me next year. I'm in my early 30s and this condo is very close to my work. Is the area of Lavender lively/boring, good facilities, any markets nearby, etc? Is Southbank a nice condo in terms of quality of the apartments, facilities, etc?

Thank you in advance for your response.

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Re: Opinions on Southbank @ Lavender

Post by JR8 » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 6:02 pm

Plotting wrote:this condo is very close to my work.

Is this the basis on which you have chosen an area to live? Do you live very close to the office where you currently are?

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Re: Opinions on Southbank @ Lavender

Post by Plotting » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 7:30 pm

JR8 wrote:Is this the basis on which you have chosen an area to live? Do you live very close to the office where you currently are?
It's one of them, yes. The idea of walking to work is pretty appealing. It currently takes me about 40 minutes door-to-door.

I also judged it on being near to what seems to be a fairly central point of Singapore and the apartments look nice although I'm basing that on a few photos found online so was interested to get an opinion from anyone who currently lives there.

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 7:37 pm

There seems to be an unspoken insecurity prevalent in new arrivals; they often either want to live on Orchard Road, or on top of their office. I'd suggest either is a bad idea.

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Post by Plotting » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 8:07 pm

JR8 wrote:There seems to be an unspoken insecurity prevalent in new arrivals; they often either want to live on Orchard Road, or on top of their office. I'd suggest either is a bad idea.
From my own perspective you are probably right. I've stayed about 2 weeks in Singapore last year but didn't properly explore as I wasn't aware I might end up moving there and now I find myself somewhat blind in my approach to planning somewhere to live. Of course I will spend some time looking around before I choose a permanent residence but not entirely sure where to start.

I basically wanted to find somewhere that was easy for getting to work (Beach Road), near decent market/food spots, fairly modern flat, had a nice pool and wasn't a huge development and was a mix of ex-pat and local.

Any suggestions? You think it's worth looking further out and travelling in? The idea of walking to work was particularly appealing as travelling on the London underground regularly makes me want to end it all even if the journey time isn't unreasonable :D

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 8:12 pm

SG is a very small place and you could live in a huge range of areas if you are willing to put up with any commute (as opposed to requiring to walk to work).

Proceed with an open mind and open options, I suppose that's all I'm suggesting. Start with what kind of home neighbourhood you think you'd be happiest in...

p.s. First time I lived in SG I lived just off Orchard (Mt. Sophia), I worked all hours and probably never went far beyond the Orchard strip at all. So, I do understand. In a way it is a factor of age, interests.... and so on.. :)

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Post by Plotting » Fri, 13 Apr 2012 8:59 pm

Thanks mate.

I'm not particularly familiar with the different districts but from my admittedly very limited research I thought Kallang sounded pretty nice.

I'm not in to designer gear, shopping or living slap bang in the centre also don't have a family (yet). Like the idea of somewhere a little bohemian, local feeling, quiet and with decent transport links.

Out of interest, what area did you eventually really like? (Appreciate it's an individual thing but just interested).

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Post by JR8 » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 12:25 am

Plotting wrote:Thanks mate.

I'm not particularly familiar with the different districts but from my admittedly very limited research I thought Kallang sounded pretty nice.

I'm not in to designer gear, shopping or living slap bang in the centre also don't have a family (yet). Like the idea of somewhere a little bohemian, local feeling, quiet and with decent transport links.


Bohemian? That's in pretty short supply unfortunately. I'm not really sure what to suggest in this category, maybe part of a restoration shop-house?, if such a thing were available to rent. (don't raise your hopes it might be $$$).
Local feeling? - maybe avoid central ('CBD') as it is so $$$ it is far from feeling 'local'. Ditto the requirement to be Quiet.
Good transport. Kallang has that. No doubt

Don't get me wrong, Kallang could work out well for you. If I were you I'd use some of the maps/tools available (look at the links in SundayMorningStaple's signature line) to get an idea of what would be in-range for you within say just 20 minutes commute. SG isn't cheap at all... but the further from the CBD the better value you tend to get.



Out of interest, what area did you eventually really like? (Appreciate it's an individual thing but just interested).

First time I lived on Mount Sophia. Worked all hours. My world extended to the them newish Boat Quay and Orchard Road. That in it's own way suited me fine, although I wasn't paying the rent.
Next time I lived in Toa Payoh. A new town it was built to have all required facilities. 3 MRT stops from Orchard but very few expats (sounding good eh? :)). Only real downsides are it only has two (now three apparently) condos so there is little choice.
The next time? My being currently out-station. Probably won't bother with a condo at all, will get an HDB instead. Doesn't really matter where it is for me... the wife's commute is the only thing of note. That opens a world of possibilities.... :)



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Post by x9200 » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 9:42 am

Plotting wrote:Thanks mate.

I'm not particularly familiar with the different districts but from my admittedly very limited research I thought Kallang sounded pretty nice.

I'm not in to designer gear, shopping or living slap bang in the centre also don't have a family (yet). Like the idea of somewhere a little bohemian, local feeling, quiet and with decent transport links.
If you mean like an artistic enclave in the original meaning there is probably nothing like this around because no limited budget artists could afford to live here anywhere and the subsidized housing is regulated. The closest it gets is probably in some places in the Chinatown, Temple St and surrounding, all the mentioned by JR8 restoration shop-houses. There are some painters studios over there but I would not call it bohemian and the area is highly touristic.

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Post by carteki » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 10:35 am

Seriously - a 40 min walk is NOT close to the office.

Southbank has nice but small apartments. A number of them overlook the National Stadium building site, so I'm not sure how that impacts the apartments. There are a couple of shops on the ground floor, but that is about it. You're very much in the middle of HDB land otherwise (although its a nice stroll to Arab street etc for entertainment).

Also take a look at bus routes - as per London taking the bus is way more pleasant than the MRT (I usually get a seat every day!) and above ground. Not as per London all the busses are AIRCONDITIONED!

There are other options with a number of new condo's in Geylang and Paya Labar (but not walking distance though). You can take a look through this (unfortunately degenerating) [url=http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic86746-30.html]thread[/] about living near Farrer Park MRT (not that far away from SouthBank)

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Post by JR8 » Sat, 14 Apr 2012 3:39 pm

carteki wrote:Seriously - a 40 min walk is NOT close to the office.
Er he said his commute to work in London is 40mins door to door, hence the idea of walking to work [in SG] is appealing.

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Post by foxinabox » Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:45 pm

I live near Southbank in a much older condo. In our experience, you're spoilt for choice in terms of food and transportation. There are tons of good eateries around (both cheap hawker fare and classier joints). There is a HUGE number of bus lines within walking distance (Beach Rd, Jalan Sultan, North Bridge Rd, etc.), and you're close to Nicoll Highway and Bugis MRTs in addition to Lavender. We feel that we can get almost anywhere we want on a direct bus/train line.

You're also right next to breezy Kallang Riverside Park, which is a big plus for us. You can follow the river all the way to Marina Bay and the downtown area (about a 30-min walk?). My husband runs to work in the CBD every other day and loves how easy it is. Just be aware that the park can be a bit dark at night, although it doesn't feel unsafe. The area has more "character" and local flavor than traditional expat enclaves as it's full of HDBs and shophouses.

That said, we LOVE the accessibility of food and transport. The only gripe we have is that being in a more local area means dealing with terrified people every time we take our 40lb golden retriever out for a walk.

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Post by Plotting » Mon, 16 Apr 2012 5:49 pm

JR8 wrote:
Plotting wrote:Thanks mate.

I'm not particularly familiar with the different districts but from my admittedly very limited research I thought Kallang sounded pretty nice.

I'm not in to designer gear, shopping or living slap bang in the centre also don't have a family (yet). Like the idea of somewhere a little bohemian, local feeling, quiet and with decent transport links.


Bohemian? That's in pretty short supply unfortunately. I'm not really sure what to suggest in this category, maybe part of a restoration shop-house?, if such a thing were available to rent. (don't raise your hopes it might be $$$).
Local feeling? - maybe avoid central ('CBD') as it is so $$$ it is far from feeling 'local'. Ditto the requirement to be Quiet.
Good transport. Kallang has that. No doubt

Don't get me wrong, Kallang could work out well for you. If I were you I'd use some of the maps/tools available (look at the links in SundayMorningStaple's signature line) to get an idea of what would be in-range for you within say just 20 minutes commute. SG isn't cheap at all... but the further from the CBD the better value you tend to get.



Out of interest, what area did you eventually really like? (Appreciate it's an individual thing but just interested).

First time I lived on Mount Sophia. Worked all hours. My world extended to the them newish Boat Quay and Orchard Road. That in it's own way suited me fine, although I wasn't paying the rent.
Next time I lived in Toa Payoh. A new town it was built to have all required facilities. 3 MRT stops from Orchard but very few expats (sounding good eh? :)). Only real downsides are it only has two (now three apparently) condos so there is little choice.
The next time? My being currently out-station. Probably won't bother with a condo at all, will get an HDB instead. Doesn't really matter where it is for me... the wife's commute is the only thing of note. That opens a world of possibilities.... :)
I see what you mean regarding bohemian areas, makes complete sense.

Took your advice and had a play around on the property site and followed the train lines in various directions including around Kallang and going further North and East. The Modules (SOHO) looked interesting as did One St Martin's although that's without really knowing what the neighbourhoods around there are like.

8 @ Mount Sophia was another one I was looking at before I posted on the forum which I'm assuming is around Mount Sophia. Wasn't too sure as it looked like the area might be a bit hectic and business orientated but the apartments and area (from the photos) looked pretty nice.

Toa Payoh sounds interesting, think I might have to investigate that further.

Thanks again.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 16 Apr 2012 6:12 pm

Plotting wrote: Took your advice and had a play around on the property site and followed the train lines in various directions including around Kallang and going further North and East. The Modules (SOHO) looked interesting as did One St Martin's although that's without really knowing what the neighbourhoods around there are like.

Nor do I so I shan't comment :)

8 @ Mount Sophia was another one I was looking at before I posted on the forum which I'm assuming is around Mount Sophia.

My guess is it is probably at #8 Mount Sophia! But I haven't checked.

Wasn't too sure as it looked like the area might be a bit hectic and business orientated but the apartments and area (from the photos) looked pretty nice.

Mount Sophia (the area not the specific road of that name) is a funny area. Central but a back-water. Now the lift in the Cathay building has been taken out (it used to go up from the cinema on Orchard Road to an exit on Adis Road) it is certainly less convenient on foot than it once was which is a real shame. Only thing I'd watch now is the mother of all condo building plots there (just look at Google Earth) and there is only one route for site access Wilkie Road/Mount Sophia. If that condo is still going up, sorry to say but I'd avoid the vicinity like the plague...


Toa Payoh sounds interesting, think I might have to investigate that further.

Toa Payoh has a lot going for it. It's not bohemian, but it is not touristy, or ex-patty - it feels like a SGn neighbourhood. The two established condos are Oleander Towers, and Trellis Tower. There's a 3rd one somewhere there now. When we return it is somewhere I'd look at living again as it is so central and convenient. As the new-town facilities include a huge pool-complex etc I'd need persuading the premium for a condo, vs HDB, is worth it.


Thanks again.

Good luck! :)

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Post by Plotting » Mon, 16 Apr 2012 6:18 pm

carteki wrote:Seriously - a 40 min walk is NOT close to the office.

Southbank has nice but small apartments. A number of them overlook the National Stadium building site, so I'm not sure how that impacts the apartments. There are a couple of shops on the ground floor, but that is about it. You're very much in the middle of HDB land otherwise (although its a nice stroll to Arab street etc for entertainment).

Also take a look at bus routes - as per London taking the bus is way more pleasant than the MRT (I usually get a seat every day!) and above ground. Not as per London all the busses are AIRCONDITIONED!

There are other options with a number of new condo's in Geylang and Paya Labar (but not walking distance though). You can take a look through this (unfortunately degenerating) [url=http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic86746-30.html]thread[/] about living near Farrer Park MRT (not that far away from SouthBank)
Definitely nto planning on walking 40 minutes to work everyday. I went for a few drinks around Boat Quay and decided to walk back to my hotel, by the time I got there I looked like I had just stepped out of a shower :D

Read the thread on living near Farrer Park and it was quite interesting. I visited this area on a Sunday (if that's the workers day off) and it was crazy busy but everyone seemed pretty relaxed although perhaps if I was female it could be a completely different experience.

Never took a bus in Singapore but the tube was really impressive even if the aircon was insanely cold.

Thanks.

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