Holland Village is identified by The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) as one of Singapore’s endearing Identity Nodes and a distinctive lifestyle destination. A plan for new Holland Village extension to the existing Holland Village was then hatched.
THE WINNING BID
In May 2018, in a dual-envelope (concept and price) tender process, URA awarded the project for the commercial and residential site at Holland Road to the consortium of Far East Organisation, Sinoland, and Sekisui House through their tenderer Stirling Land Holdings and company. The winning bid was $1.213 billion or nearly $1,888 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr).
THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
The 22,967 sqm Holland Village Extension site will be a mixed development with a GFA of 59,715 sqm (retail: 13,500 sqm). The number of housing units will be capped at 570.
The future development will include a series of ground-floor public spaces divided into three zones: Commons Square, which can hold events such as weekend markets and outdoor performances; Communal Green, which is a courtyard flanked by shops leading to a water court and a terraced water feature; and Pocket Park, which opens into Lorong Mambong in Holland Village.
A series of open walkways will connect these public spaces to the surrounding areas. Through street-paving design, the existing Lorong Liput and Lorong Mambong will be extended into the future development, creating a consistent and distinctive streetscape for the larger Holland Village precinct.
THE NEGATIVE IMPACT
In the short term, businesses at Holland Village will be and have already been adversely affected. The diversion and shortage of parking lots have turned many Holland Village-lovers away because of the inconvenience. Somehow the MRT didn’t help.
Just recently I went to Lorong Mambong on a Saturday night, the crowd was not like before. Wala Wala and Harry’s Bar were surprising just over half filled. Haagen Dazs and Kinara were so freaking empty. A “FOR RENT” sign was hanged on the door of a premium-located shop. Another one was in the process of a change of hands.
THE POSITIVE OUTCOME
In spite of the short-term pain, Holland Village hopefully will restore its former glory in the years to come when the new extension comes to fruition, and perhaps even to greater glory.
This is not the first time businesses were badly affected in Holland Village. I remember how bad it was during the SARS epidemic in 2003. I remember the lean years when the Holland Village MRT station was under construction. Then, car parks were closed and roads were messy. When everything was over, slowly but surely, Holland Village recovers.
This time, the pain will be a longer. It will likely be a 7-year painful growth process. Will it be a case of “no pains, no gains”?
GROWTH IN RESIDENTIAL BASE
On a brighter note, several new condo launches such as One Holland Village by Far East will breed close to 600 new homes; the nearby Van Holland (former Toho Mansion) by Koh Brothers another 100. So, there will be more residents in the heart of Holland Village.
I anticipate most of these new condos will be small units that appeal to investors. What used to be family-based homes will become homes for young singles and couples, both expatriates and locals. This profile perfectly matches those who would hang out at Holland Village. This strong base of residents should result in a high footfall to Holland Village.
Logically the new retail shops and eateries should add more buzz to the original Holland Village. The whole landscape should enhance the feel of this whole enclave, hopefully without sacrificing the ‘bohemian’ character of Holland Village.
WILL HOLLAND VILLAGE LOSE ITS APPEAL?
But the big question is when the extension project is completed, will the old Holland V lose its appeal? Will over-commercialisation lead to its demise.
New and modern designs are not necessarily good. Look at Dempsey Hill. Why the huge draw? Part of it is the all-day free parking. But the biggest reason is the charm of the rustic army barracks. Sometimes old is better.
Hopefully, Holland V will not lose its quaint charm when it finds itself surrounded by the modernistic high-rise condominiums and new sleek swank retail shops and eateries.
My greatest hope is, the Village will always remain a village.
Associate Deputy Group Director
OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd
Danny has been a licensed real estate agent since 2005 and has helped many in Property Wealth Planning.
Do drop him a Whatsapp message or send him an email for a discussion if you are planning to grow your property wealth.
Project Name: Van Holland
Developer: Koh Brothers
Address: 198 Holland Road
Number of Tower: 3
Number of Units: 69
Unit Type: 1BR/2BR/2+S/3BR/4BR
Expected T.O.P: TBA
Status: 8 Nov 2019
Project Name: Wilshire Residences
Developer: Tong Eng & Roxy-Pacific
Address: 30 Farrer Road
Number of Tower: 1 12-storey block
Number of Units: 85
Unit Type: 1BR/2BR/3BR/4BR
Expected T.O.P: July 2026
Status: open for viewing by appointment