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Generic placeholder imageThe heritage homes at Kay Siang Road are immediately recognisable for their distinctive black-and-white appearance


Hidden along Kay Siang Road lies a cluster of black and white heritage properties reminiscent of a bygone era.

Recognising its potential due to its prime location in Tanglin, just at the fringe of the Orchard Road shopping district and minutes from many embassies, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) identified the heritage properties for asset enhancement and refurbishment works.

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Generic placeholder imageSLA Chairman Lim Sim Seng (centre), CE Tan Boon Khai (left) and Leasing Director Nelson Liew (right) tour the newly upgraded State property

With the heritage properties more than half a century old, the upgrading works had to be comprehensive. The retrofit and build project included:

• Re-tarmac of existing roads
• Reconfiguration of existing rooms
• Installation of centralised meter compartments
• Replacement of new timber doors and windows
• Installation of electronic gate and intercom systems
• Upgrade of utilities (Singtel optic fibre cables, Citygas connection, air conditioning)
• Improvement of existing swimming pools and construction of new swimming pools for selected units
• Creation of additional GFA for selected units (with Total Lettable Area increased by approximately 500 sq m)

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Generic placeholder imageSome units had new swimming pools installed

Eai-Sy Yap, DD/Business Planning & Development, who led the project team consisting of Caris Teng, Sim Sze-wei, Mindy Gay, Randolph Thung, Valerie Loke and Desmond Loh, shared, “Due to the age of the units, there were many unexpected issues which came up. Despite the challenges, it was an extremely good learning opportunity for the team, who gained technical appreciation of the procurement process, thoughtful building design and function, building technology intricacies as well as the types of value-add ons to prospects.”

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Generic placeholder imageThe works provide an elegant blend of modern and colonial vibe to the heritage homes
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Generic placeholder imageEai-Sy Yap (left), DD/Business Planning and Development and Sim Sze-wei (right), Head/Business Planning and Development in the semi-open kitchen

Usually, tenants would incur their own move-in costs such as installation of amenities and non built-in appliances. For the Kay Siang properties, SLA took a differentiated approach to provide customisation and white goods for prospective tenants seeking a modern experiential living experience in Singapore. All that effort has paid off - four out of six enhanced properties were rented out less than a month after the project was completed, with absolute rents increasing by an average of $5,500. Additionally, the project had a higher then targeted Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 12.2%.

Encouraged by the success of the project, one can definitely expect more of such similar revamps in the pipeline as SLA endeavours to make State properties relevant and to optimise their use.


Simon Ong (Chairman), Johnson Seah,
Ng Siau Yong and Soh Kheng Peng


Johnson Seah


Pearlly Luo


Facebook & Instagram @singaporelandauthority


Eai-Sy Yap, Sim Sze-wei, Cheryl Lim, Cho Chui Wai
and Lee Mou Jian

LAND is a quarterly online publication by Singapore Land Authority (SLA), 55 Newton Road #12-01, Singapore 307987. For feedback and suggestions, write to Pearlly Luo at or call 1800-3239829