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We present here a Review of the Penrose condo. This is the next upcoming launch in the Sims / Aljunied area, on the city fringe.

Penrose Singapore is being developed by a partnership, of a unit of Hong Leong Holdings and a subsidiary of City Developments, two of Singapore’s most reputable developers.

Note: This is NOT an advertisement for sale.

This review will discuss the attributes of this Sims Drive condo location, its likely pricing vis-a-vis those around, and how it rates against its competition.

At first glance, the Penrose condo looks like it could be one of the more promising new launches of 2020. There appear to be a number of factors in its favour, but some drawbacks as well.


The Penrose Location Map . Source Google


Penrose @ Sims Drive · Key Facts

First, a quick summary of its main features.

  • 99 year leasehold site of 174,648 square feet. The developers have said that the Penrose condominium could possibly comprise around 560 units in blocks of 17 or 18 storeys high.
  • Land cost was SGD$732 psf per plot ratio (PSF PPR).
  • Around 450 metres, or 6 to 7 minutes walk to Aljunied MRT station.
  • 5 minutes walk from Geylang Methodist Primary and Secondary schools.
  • Within 5 minutes drive from the nearest exits of the PIE (Pan-Island Expressway) and KPE (Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway)
  • The northern boundary of the Penrose site borders the PIE as well. So that part of the site will get traffic noise from it.
  • City-fringe location. 15 minutes drive from the Central Business District and Orchard Road Shopping Belt.


The Penrose Condo · Impact of Features

At around 560 units, the Penrose Singapore is a nice mid-sized project. Large enough to carry a good range of facilities and landscaped grounds, but small enough to give it a more cosy feel and engender a sense of community.

Buyers often prefer this over tiny projects with few facilities and little land, or the very big ones that could be overwhelming for some. So this could be a factor in the Penrose condo’s favour.

The site fares quite well for ease of access too. A 6 minute walk to an MRT station is of course not as convenient as one right next to a station, but generally considered quite acceptable. This is a plus point if you are thinking of renting out.

Particularly as this is a city-fringe location. Considering its proximity to the CBD, the Aljunied / Sims areas seem a bit undervalued, in comparison to other places within the same radius and convenience.

This could of course be due to the general grunginess of the neighbourhood. With the exception of Sims Urban Oasis next door, there is nothing “posh” about the vicinity. Most of it has not been gentrified yet.

On the flip side, it means that the potential upside would be so much the greater, if and when that happens.

The main drawback to the Penrose site is likely the expressway on its northern border. North-facing units at the top quarter of the land parcel, would get the hum of traffic. But if you can get accustomed to the noise, or keep windows closed and air-con on, you could be rewarded with a more open outlook.

Otherwise, just opt for the south-facing units. The choice is yours to make.


Penrose @ Sims Drive · Other Features

There isn’t a major shopping centre within walking distance of the Penrose at Sims Drive. The nearest big ones are at Paya Lebar Square / Paya Lebar Quarter, one train stop down.

Other than that, it doesn’t do too badly for food. There is Sims Vista Market and Food Centre diagonally across Sims Drive. And of course Geylang to its south is a veritable foodie’s haven within walking distance, round the clock.

Another place of note nearby is the James Cook University Singapore (Sims Drive Campus), about 10 minutes on foot.


The Penrose Location Schematic . Source URA


Penrose @ Sims Drive · Costs & Returns

Nice as the above features are, the sense of anticipation around this project is centred around its pricing, more than anything.

At its $732 PSF winning bid for the land in March 2019, the developer was felt to have got it for something of a “bargain”. This was the lowest price paid for a city-fringe near-MRT-station land parcel in over 2 years. In fact, for a city fringe site, with or without MRT station.

Even Parc Esta, the nearest comparable new launch, bought its land in 2017 for $910 PSF. Its selling price averages around $1,6xx to $1,7xx PSF, which appears to be seen by the market as fair value for a city fringe location.

As evidenced by the fact that Parc Esta managed to sell 1,000 out of its 1,399 units within 14 months of its October 2018 preview. And despite hiking prices, as they now have more than two years left to sell the remaining 399 units.

With the choicer units at Parc Esta gone, and Sims Urban Oasis next door having sold out some time ago, prospects are looking up for the Penrose condominium launch. Particularly since the developers, CDL and Hong Leong, are as highly regarded as Parc Esta’s MCL Land.

Of course a lot will depend on the kind of margin that the Penrose condo is targeting. And bearing in mind that construction costs go up every year. But that still leaves some room for play.


In assessing possible rental returns and gains, we are fortunate to have a direct comparison in Sims Urban Oasis next door. Sims Urban Oasis is still relatively new, having completed in 2017.

It launched in 2015 at around $1,3xx PSF. Today resales average $1,6xx PSF, with a rental yield of slightly over 3%, which is quite decent in the Singapore context.

Sims Urban Oasis Pricing and Yield . Source SRX

Sims Urban Oasis Pricing and Yield . Source SRX

If Penrose Singapore sells at around $1,6xx PSF it could still find takers as it is a newer product.

Its location should appeal to investors, being close to the tenant pool of the Marina Bay Financial District & CBD. Apart from Sims Urban Oasis, there aren’t many similar sizeable new projects in the area to compete with either.

The site also straddles two upcoming URA master plan growth areas, Kallang and Paya Lebar, and might ride a wave of growth from the development of these hubs.


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Status Condominium (Foreigners eligible to buy)
Address 20 Sims Drive Singapore 387396
District 14
Site Area 16,225.2 m² (174,648 sq ft)
Floor Area 48,675.6 m² (523,944 sq ft)
Plot Ratio 3
Tenure 99 Year Leasehold
T.O.P. Date TBA
Architect TBA


The Penrose condo floor plans are not ready for release yet. Please drop us a note via the Contact Form if you wish for the floor plans to be emailed to you once available.


The Penrose site is a roughly rectangular site oriented in a south-south-east / north-north-west direction.

It sits between Sims Urban Oasis condominium on its east, and some HDB blocks on its west.

To the north is the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE). Across that is the Nexus International School. Units facing this side will get relatively further views, but will also get pretty heavy traffic noise.

The Penrose condominium is accessed via Sims Drive on its south. This is a small road, across which are quite a number of typical HDB shops and the Sims Vista Market & Hawker Centre.

View of Penrose Condo Site . Sims Urban Oasis in Background on Right


The Penrose condo showflat is not ready for viewing at this point. Please drop us a note via the Contact Form if you wish to be notified once the Penrose showflat opening dates are decided.


The Penrose Condo Price . Unit Types & Sizes . Click to Open / Close


Unit Description Type No. of
Strata Area
(sq m)
Strata Area
(sq ft)
1 Bedroom A TBC TBA TBA
2 Bedroom B TBC TBA TBA
3 Bedroom C TBC TBA TBA
4 Bedroom D TBC TBA TBA
Total Number of Units TBA

Floor areas stated includes any Voids, Patios, Balconies, Terraces, A/C Ledges.

Penrose Prices . Click to Open / Close


The Penrose condo pricing is still being determined. Please let us know via the Contact Form if you wish to be kept posted when the indicative pricing is released.

Basis of the Penrose Condo Price Ranges . Click to Open / Close

The URA government land sale (GLS) tender for this 174,648 sq ft residential site closed on 28 March 2019. It drew 5 bids.

The top bid of SGD$383.5 million came from a partnership of Hong Leong Holdings’ Intrepid Investments and City Developments Ltd.

Based on the URA Master Plan, this plot is zoned for residential development with a plot ratio of 3 (ratio of maximum floor area to land area). Which works out to a GFA (Gross Floor Area) of 523,944 square feet.

Hence the winning land rate works out to $732 per square foot per plot ratio (PSF PPR).

Given its location on the city fringe and proximity to Aljunied MRT station, this is deemed on the low side for the area.

In fact, this is the lowest on a per square foot basis for a private residential site ever since the Chong Kuo Road parcel in Sembawang sold for $681 PSF in February 2018.

Tricia Song, Colliers International head of research for Singapore, attributes the lower-than-expected bids to the site being subject to the larger minimum average unit size of 85 sq m. As well as developers buffering for the higher ABSD imposed since July 2018.

After adding development costs, the breakeven could come up to around $1,300 PSF.

The final selling prices have not been determined yet.


Penrose Singapore is being developed by a 40:60 collaboration of City Developments Ltd and Hong Leong Holdings’ Intrepid Investments, sister companies of Hong Leong Group Singapore.

Both are well known and established household names. Each, in its own right, ranks amongst Singapore’s top property players. Each one has a long track record, and a reputation for quality across the various sectors, from mass market to high end products.

Over the last more than 50 years, the Hong Leong Group has been responsible for developing much of Singapore’s skyline, and emerged as a leading force in the local real estate market.


About City Developments Limited (“CDL” or the “Group”)

City Developments is a leading international property and hotel conglomerate that has been established in Singapore since 1963, and is listed on the SGX.

It runs a network of over 300 associated companies and subsidiaries worldwide. Seven have listings on the stock exchanges of London, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Hong Kong as well.

All in, the Group operates in 103 locations across 29 countries. Its main business focus is in real estate development and investment. But it is also involved in hotel management and ownership, facilities management, and hospitality solutions.

CDL’s portfolio encompasses a wide spectrum globally, from retail malls to offices and hotels, integrated developments and serviced apartments, as well more than 18 million square feet of residential property.

In the course of 55 years of work, the Group has delivered over 43,000 homes.

Among the numerous projects these are spread across, are many local names. Like St. Regis Residences, Gramercy Park, The Pier at Robertson, Cliveden @ Grange, The Sail at Marina Bay, One Balmoral, New Futura @ Leonie Hill, Residences @ Evelyn, Echelon, Nouvel 18, The Glyndebourne, Golden Hill Villas, Goldenhill Park, Amber Park, and South Beach Residences.

South Beach Residences by CDL

South Beach Residences by CDL . Developer for the Penrose Condominium

For more details on City Developments Limited, see (opens in new window).


Hong Leong Investment Holdings (“Hong Leong” or the “Group”)

Intrepid Investments is a unit of Hong Leong Investment Holdings. Hong Leong started out in the property business in the late 1960s.

It has now grown to become one of the largest housing developers locally, having built over 130 residential, and 100 commercial and integrated developments.

The Group currently also owns and operates more than 8 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, and residential space.

Among the many projects it has built, some in collaboration with CDL, are names like The St. Regis Hotel and Residences, Watermark at Robertson Quay, The Tate Residences, Aalto and The MeyeRise at Meyer Road, One Shenton, Grange Heights, Sage, Atria, The Residences at W Singapore, and One Balmoral.

One Balmoral by Hong Leong Holdings

One Balmoral by Hong Leong Holdings . Developer for Penrose Singapore



The Penrose Site Map Layout . Source URA

  1. Location. The Penrose location is at Sims Drive, between Geylang on its south, and Aljunied to its north. This is also a city fringe location, straddling the Kallang Basin and Paya Lebar Central.

  2. Nearest MRT Station. Via Sims Drive and Aljunied Road, the Penrose site is about 450 metres, or 6 to 7 minutes walk from Aljunied MRT station. This station on the East-West line is 4 stops from City Hall, 5 from Raffles Place, and 6 from Tanjong Pagar. Pretty convenient for potential tenants working in those areas.

  3. Shops, Dining, Supermarkets, Banks, Lifestyle. There aren’t any sizeable shopping malls within walking distance of the Penrose condo location. But it makes up for that by having a vibrant and colourful street food scene nearby in Geylang, well-known for its food haunts.

    As for more basic fare or fresh produce, there is the Sims Vista Market and Food Centre, as well as several HDB shophouses just across Sims Drive.

  4. Schools. Geylang Methodist School (both primary and secondary) and Canossa Catholic Primary School are both within 1 km of the Penrose location. In fact, Geylang Methodist school is within 5 minutes walk from it.

    Apart from that, it also has Kong Hwa School and Cedar Primary School within a 2 km radius. As well as James Cook University within 10 minutes walk.

  5. Accessibility. The Penrose condo’s city fringe location makes for relatively quick access to the downtown and central business districts. Driving from the site to Marina Bay via Nicoll Highway takes roughly 12 minutes off-peak.

    It is also within 5 minutes ride to the nearest rampways onto the KPE (Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway) and PIE (Pan-Island Expressway). To Changi Airport via the PIE should take less then 20 minutes drive.

  • 1 to 3 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 10 to 12 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 13 to 15 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 16 to 18 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 19 to 21 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 22 to 24 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 25 to 27 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 28 to 30 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 31 to 33 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 34 to 36 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 37 to 39 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 4 to 6 Mins Walk to MRT
  • 7 to 9 Mins Walk to MRT
  • Deferred Payment Scheme
  • Dual Key Units
  • Luxury High-End Project
  • Near Park / Nature Reserve
  • Near Reservoir
  • Near Shopping Mall
  • Near Sports Complex
  • Near to City
  • Normal Payment Scheme
  • Payment Scheme
  • Prime District
  • Progressive Payment Scheme
  • Proximity to Primary School
  • Sale by Private Treaty
  • Sea / Water Views
  • Special Discounts
  • Special Features
  • Star Buys
  • Walk to MRT
  • Within 1KM of Ai Tong Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Anglo Chinese Primary School (Barker Road)
  • Within 1KM of Catholic High
  • Within 1KM of Cedar Girls Primary School
  • Within 1KM of CHIJ Primary School (Toa Payoh)
  • Within 1KM of Holy Innocents Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Kong Hwa Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Maris Stella
  • Within 1km of Methodist Girls' Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Nan Chiau Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Nan Hua Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Nanyang Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Ngee Ann Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Raffles Girls Primary School
  • Within 1KM of River Valley Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Rosyth Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Singapore Chinese Girls' Primary School
  • Within 1KM of SJI Junior
  • Within 1KM of St Andrews Primary School
  • Within 1KM of Tao Nan Primary School


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