It's been a while since this part of Singapore, between Upper Thomson and Sembawang, has had a new condominium launch of notable size, if we discount the Springside, which is more of a terrace house development. So when The Essence launches sometime next year 2019, it might get a better response than most other places, as there ought to be some pent up demand.

The Essence will be a low-rise development, no more than 5 storeys high, as it sits in a predominantly landed housing area, and is in fact practically surrounded by terrace houses on three sides, with the 4th side being a row of low-rise shophouses. The land parcel here was formerly dissected by Chong Kuo Road, a cul-de-sac, that was closed down and merged into the empty land on both sides of it. URA then sold this parcel in a GLS tender that was won by OKP Land and Lian Soon Holdings.

Perhaps the only drawback about the Essence condo is that it will be a 99 year leasehold project in a predominantly freehold neighbourhood. However that could be offset by its newness, and the upcoming Springleaf MRT station on the Thomson East-Coast Line. This MRT station will be no more than a 520 metre or 7 to 8 minute away, when completed by around 2021, well before the Essence condo is expected to complete.

The other attractions of this place must be its environment. This part of Singapore has long had the reputation of being rather “ulu” and out of the way. In actual fact it is probably closer in terms of travelling time to town, than other more well known areas. And at the same time, the Essence condo will have an attractive relaxing feel to it, since it straddles between two reservoirs, the Lower and Upper Selatar Reservoirs, and is close to the secondary forests of Mandai Road.