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Becoming "Up" in real life, Geylang terraces are denied to be sell to condo developer by owners

Becoming "Up" in real life, Geylang terraces are denied to be sell to condo developer by owners.

If you have seen the movie "Up", the Oscar animation movie in 2010, you would remember the sence where Carl's old house was surrounded by new high-rise buildings. Or there are "nail houses" in China which belong to owners who resist stubbornly development and the destruction of their homes. So, there is a version of a holdout in Singapore, after two terrace houses in Geylang was refused to be part of a group selling homes to condominium developer by owners.

Noma is a new launch condo development along Guilemard Road will surround one of the homes on three sides while the other one will be inserted in between Noma and existing condo project La Brisa along Lorong 28 Geylang. This area has witnessed successive landed homes snapped up by condominium developers eager for a financial gain.


Noma condo along Guillemard Road

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It is impossible to find any house in prime location at Geylang, said the owner.

The developer Macly Group have approached the owners of the bunch of seven landed homes back in 2017 for the intention of buying the properties. The houses including a service road occupied a squarish land parcel which has the site area of about 1700 square meters. It is such a perfect shapes of the sites that every developer dreams about because it is easy to configure units as well as layouts for sale.

Nevertheless, there are two owners were unwilling to consider offers. According Shin Min Daily News, the owner of the holdout along Lorong 28 Geylang explained his decision for not striking a deal with Macly Group, although the other five owners doing so in June 2018 for a total of $20.55 million.

Mr Goh, a 60-year old hawker by trade told the newspaper in Mandarin that his mother had bought the house but she had already pass away so he lived then with his elder sister.

He added that he had turned the open area in front of the house into a garden. Beside gardening, he also kept angelfish and birds as well. Everymorning he got to watch the city woke up while sitting in his garden.

Mr Goh divulge that this was the second time he denied an offer for purchasing his home by a developer. Mr Goh's home was part of a long row of terrace homes along Lorong 20 Geylang, most of which changed to La Brisa condo over a decade ago.

Because of the freehold tenure of his home, Mr Goh refused to sell. He said that it was immpossible to find a house like this nowadays. Other properties may be have only a 99-year tenure but his home is freehold. It belonged to him, he got to do his gardening and he wouldn't sell no matter how much the developer offer.


Mr Goh’s terrace house (outlined in yellow in the first photo) became the only one standing. Source: Google

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There is a Buddhism prayer hall and caretaker residence at Guillemard Road nearby NoMa Condo.

There is an other holdout property facing Guillemard Road is a Buddhism prayer hall. Shin Min Daily News reporters explored that a lady who is living on the premises is the caretaker of the hall and she is not the owner.

The caretaker told the reporters that the prayer hall located on the ground level of the two-storey home, is only available to the owner's family members and friends. She doesn't know why the owner doest not want to sell the property.


The landed prayer hall/caretaker’s residence along Guillemard Road will be hemmed in. Source: Google

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Inspite of a large number of works taking place around their homes and part of their roof are associated with the construction of Noma, both owners currently do not face any big problems with living in their homes (apart from construction noise) and are easy to enter and exit their homes freely.

How do the architects work around the holdout homes surrounding NoMa

Although the Mr Goh's holdout home at Lorong 28 Geylang wasn't troublesome to the overall land parcel layout, the landed property along Guillemard Road had the impact of nearly deviding the Noma site into two.


Yellow: What Macly Group wanted. Blue: What Macly Group got.

Because of this problem, Noma is devided into three separate blocks - a West Block, East Block and a North Block, surrounding the holdout property by the condo's architects. This is what the site plan looks like with rooftop facilities on each block.


(Above) Noma’s site plan showing the facilities on the 6th level. The vertical gap in the middle is where the holdout property is sited.


An artist’s impression of Noma. (Residents, please don’t party too hard and throw stuff onto the house in the middle.)

Explore NoMa Site Plan & Facilities to contemplate the unique concept of this development

Noma Condo is also designed that the Guillemard Road holdout will be bordered in on three sides by six to seven-storey high walls. There will be two additional residential storeys that is above the retaining wall along the rear perimeter creating a “cliff” that’s eight storeys tall.

When Noma Residences is complete, the property will receive very litlle sunlight because the house is sited on a North-South axis. The artists’ impression below clues how Noma will dwarf the Guillemard Road house.


The yellow arrow indicates where the Guillemard Road house will be, which gives a whole new meaning to “tucked away”!

Mr Goh’s house located along Lorong 28 Geylang, which is sited on an East-West axis, will be sandwiched by two eight-floor high retaining walls on the North and South sides. A single-lane back valley can be remain opened by the rear perimeter of the home. Because of the orientation, Mr Goh's garden can keep on with flourishing even after Noma is completed.

Noma Residences will be yield about 50 residential units ranging from one to four bedrooms apartments. It is expected to complete in 2023. There is a fun fact that it could have built at least 20 units if Macly Group buy all of the landed homes in their intention.

Regarding to the value, Mr Goh’s home is also more valuable of the two because the maximum allowable tall on that plot of land parcel is eight floors compared to the five floors limit for the house fronting Guillemard Road.

There are 66% units of NoMa Condo being sold on the first weekend.

Macly Group had made the correct decision to push a head with the purchase eventhough two of seven owners denying to sell because of the base on the buyer demand. On the development's early bird sales weekend in August 2020, there are 34 units in a total of 50 residential units are sold out at average price of $1,639 per square foot (psf). And two more units were sold in September as well.

With the price of $20.55 millions of the site, Macly Group is willing to make a decent profit because the original price is equivilant to around $700 per square foot per plot ratio. The breakeven price of a developer is a $700 psf ppr property, after figuring in construction, marketing and administration cost, is up to $1400 psf.

Noma Condo is a freehold property that is nearby the CBD, the price range could bring good value for buyers. Arena Residences is also a freehold development, is just about 500 metres away from Noma along Guillemard Road, which moved nine residential units in August 2020 in average price of $1841 psf.

There is one more unique layouts of Noma is that a stack of two-bedroom apartments sited in between the two holdout homes. The units have the size of 667 square foot in this stack have an extended layout that is actually suitable for buyers looking for a kitchen space that can be expanded significantly:


Check out the NoMa Typical Units Layouts immediately to choose the best unit for yourself!

The layout of the units above look like a landed home with the spacious balcony serving as a mini front porch. One more unique element of this development is that the best advertisement for the condo is not only its facilities but also the interesting neighbours like Mr.Goh, whose purpose to cling onto their freehold homes to persuade buyers of the worth of a location like this.

Geylang | The Inception Place Of Masterpieces

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